Sunday, September 1, 2013
Book Review: Me, and Earl, and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews
This was a marvelous, fun book. The balance between how the author dealt with Rachel's impending death was so different from say, The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. However, if you are looking for another book that is like TFiOS, this is definitely it.
Greg, the protagonist, had such a dynamic but subtle character arc. I loved how the author covered it up with teenage humor so it wasn't just like "Aww! That sad YA heroine is crying in the rain" to "Oh snap! That same YA heroine is not punching someone!" This book was a nice breather from that style of writing. It was as if Andrews knew that all books were heading in that direction of development, and he didn't want that for his book.
I loved the way he could easily transition between how characters would impact Greg. The way Andrews would do it is he would take a character like Earl, who probably doesn't care too much for grammar, and contrast it against someone like Mr. McCarthy, who would show his love for facts. (Seriously, though, I loved Mr. McCarthy. He may have had some of the stupidest lines, but the way he was crafted made him very likable. I could easily imagine him being my teacher.)
I liked the way Greg thought. His first-person narrative was very potent and strong, but not flawed or unimaginable. The way he was written was very carefully put together to seem like a mesh of thoughts and ideals. The way he dealt with the situations handed to him was very nicely done. You see, with TFiOS and every other cancer book out there, the main character is very up-close with the cancer and everything is easily traceable to them about how it is bad. With Greg, he didn't know how to act. Greg isn't exactly a "people person" which I liked. He was mean to his only friends, which is more realistic than you might think. People aren't perfect- we get snappy and mad frequently. Often times, the characters are made so that they are warm and loveable, but Greg wasn't. I liked that. I also liked how much of a perfectionist he was with his works. It reminded me of myself, but with my writings (See? Notice how I'm still in school and writing on a blog instead of having my name on books?).
The book was very funny (although some of the humor was kind of dumb and overrated). Andrews had a unique way of writing parts of the story: through a script, as Greg is an aspiring filmmaker. It was a very quick read, because some of the pages would literally have 10 words. Others, though, would have 300, so don't get your hopes too up.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Over and out,
Posted by Universe of YA Books at 12:31 PM