Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
by Jesse Andrews
Paperback, 295 pages
Published July 5, 2013 by Amulet Books (First edition published in 2012)
Genre: Realistic Fiction, Humor
Awards: YALSA Quick Picks for Reluctant Young
Adult Readers, 2013
YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults, 2013
YALSA Popular Paperbacks for Young
MLA: Andrews, Jesse. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. New York: Amulet Books, 2013. Print. ISBN-13: 978-1419705328. Paperback, $7.95.
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VerdictThis book was both hysterically funny and extremely honest about how easy it can be to mask our true feelings about serious stuff like friendships and death. Rachel refreshingly doesn't fit any of the "cancer kid" tropes; she's just a normal girl who's been handed some really crappy cards, and neither she nor any of the other characters in the novel find any big philosophical meanings of life or death in her illness. Greg explains it best:
This book contains precisely zero Important Life Lessons, or Little-Known Facts About Love, or sappy tear-jerking Moments When We Knew We Had Left Our Childhood For Good, or whatever [...] For me personally, things are in no way more meaningful because I got to know Rachel before she died. If anything things are less meaningful.That being said, this time in Greg's life -- all of it -- influences him as he learns to look at the world outside of his own experience. I recommend Me and Earl and the Dying Girl to older teens (because lots of cursing) looking for a funny and unique take on the standard YA book about terminal illness.
Me and Earl was just released as a movie not long ago -- I will update this post as soon as I get a chance to see it and share my thoughts. Here's the trailer:
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl also mentions a ton of classic movies, many of which I have never seen. Here's a trailer for Aguirre, The Wrath of God, Greg and Earl's favorite movie:
This blog post by Chad Beckerman, the creative director who oversaw the design of Me and Earl's gorgeous cover, shows the evolution of the movie covers for the book, all of which are pretty amazing. There's also a link in the post to the evolution of the original cover. Both feature tons of awesome designs, and also give some really interesting insight into the process of how books get their covers.
Finally, here are the movie posters for Me and Earl. They are predictably great. Below is my favorite.