Fourth Grade Journey

A Fourth Grade Teacher's Journey Through the World of Books

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

How I Heard About It:   I have actually had the hard copy of this novel for quite some time.  It just never seemed to make it to the top of my pile.  I had also heard mixed reviews about it so was torn as to whether I wanted to read it or not.  Last weekend while at the local library, I came across the audio version of the book and decided to give it a try.  While commuting to and from work, I listened to the entire story.  

What It Is About:  Greg has a plan for his senior year and he is going to fly under the radar.  He isn't going to attach himself to one single group.  He is going to be friends with everyone.  He refuses to be a part of a clique.  Greg's plan lasts for a few hours and then his mother intervenes.  She asks Greg to call Rachel who is also a senior, but the two of them haven't been friends since years earlier.  Rachel has just been diagnosed with cancer and Greg's mother thinks she needs a friend.  Greg thinks this suggestion is quite ludicrous, but decides to give it a try.  At first Rachel wants nothing to do with Greg, but eventually these two form a "sort" of friendship.  Greg decides to bring in his really only friend Earl into the mix.  Greg and Earl have a history of making "bad" films together.  While getting to know Rachel, and her getting to know them, she requests they make a film for her before her life changes too much.  

What I Thought Of It:   This was an absolute delight to listen to on audio.  As opposed to most of the audio books I listen to, this one had an actual array of narrators representing the variety of characters in the story.  It was almost like watching a movie, but with just the listening part.  I truly enjoyed the story of Greg, Earl, and Rachel.  It was quite different from other "Cancer" stories I've read and I appreciated it.  This one was told with much humor and I actually laughed out loud while driving my car.  Greg, who was the narrator, had such a great sense of humor during this difficult time in his life.  I also enjoyed Earl.  He was a bit more raw, and there was a scene in the book that bothered me greatly, but he was a necessary part of the story.  Even though the story was about Rachel and her cancer, it actually focused more on Greg and his being witness to this nasty disease.  

Who Should Read It:  In my opinion this would be a great novel for both the adult reader and the young-adult reader.  Even though it is about a serious subject matter, there is lots of humor and funny moments throughout the story.  The telling of the story is also quite different being as it is told from Greg's train of thought, but I thought it worked wonderfully.  I know there are mixed reviews of this book, but I think it was darn good and would bring hours of pleasure to any reader.  Happy Reading!  

Rating:  4 STARS out of 5 Stars

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