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Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults) Hardcover – March 1, 2012


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Product Details

  • Series: Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Harry N. Abrams (March 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1419701762
  • ISBN-13: 978-1419701764
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.8 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #116,250 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Kirkus Reviews

A frequently hysterical confessional from a teen narrator who won't be able to convince readers he's as unlikable as he wants them to believe.

"I have no idea how to write this stupid book," narrator Greg begins. Without answering the obvious question—just why is he writing" this stupid book"?—Greg lets readers in on plenty else. His filmmaking ambitions. His unlikely friendship with the unfortunately short, chain-smoking, foulmouthed, African-American Earl of the title. And his unlikelier friendship with Rachel, the titular "dying girl." Punctuating his aggressively self-hating account with film scripts and digressions, he chronicles his senior year, in which his mother guilt-trips him into hanging out with Rachel, who has acute myelogenous leukemia. Almost professionally socially awkward, Greg navigates his unwanted relationship with Rachel by showing her the films he's made with Earl, an oeuvre begun in fifth grade with their remake of Aguirre, Wrath of God. Greg's uber-snarky narration is self-conscious in the extreme, resulting in lines like, "This entire paragraph is a moron." Debut novelist Andrews succeeds brilliantly in painting a portrait of a kid whose responses to emotional duress are entirely believable and sympathetic, however fiercely he professes his essential crappiness as a human being.

Though this novel begs inevitable thematic comparisons to John Green's The Fault in Our Stars (2011), it stands on its own in inventiveness, humor and heart.

About the Author

Jesse Andrews is a writer, musician, and former German youth hostel receptionist. He is a graduate of Schenley High School and Harvard University and lives in Brooklyn, New York, which is almost as good as Pittsburgh. This is his first novel. Visit him online at www.jesseandrews.com.


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Customer Reviews

His writing is blunt.
Amber Lane
Until Rachel, the girl he almost-kind-of dated in Hebrew school, but hasn't talked to since, gets cancer and his mother insists they hang out.
H. Frederick
And in the end, although Greg was totally ridiculous at times, it was a really great book.
OpheliasOwn

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By YA book lover on March 2, 2012
Format: Hardcover
"Me and Earl and the Dying Girl" was my second "cancer book" in as many months. Although both Jesse Andrews and John Green had the same intention - to write a story about cancer that was different from those other tearjerky novels, in my eyes, Andrews was much more successful at stepping away from melodrama and cliches of the genre than Green. Of course, Andrews does not (yet) have a publicity platform of Green's magnitude to promote his novel, so I am glad to be able to help him out a little, because, from my perspective, "Me and Earl and the Dying Girl" is a better, more honest, more real book than "The Fault in Our Stars."

It is better mainly because it does not try to force you into feeling all the obvious things we are expected to feel reading stories about young, terminally ill characters. There is a certain compulsion to idealize cancer kids, lives ending so tragically early and all that. It is also pretty common to practically guilt you into feeling sorry for their specific predicament. But I like that Andrews allows his characters, even his hero, to be resentful and maybe indifferent towards or burdened by the illness, that his cancer-stricken patient is not an ever-so-wise, heroic saint, that there are maybe no life lessons to learn from such personal tragedies. Maybe having a dying girl in your life is just an event that will affect you in a major way, or maybe it will not and that would be okay, too.

"Me and Earl and the Dying Girl" is not all about cancer though, in fact, the dying girl subplot plays only a relatively small part in Greg's story. It is more about Greg defining himself, stopping to play so safe, about bringing a little more focus onto his future and about understanding of who he is.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Aeicha @ Word Spelunking on February 26, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Jesse Andrews' Me and Earl and the Dying Girl took me by surprise with its ability to make me laugh, infuriate me and have me on the verge of tears, often in the span of a single page.

Seventeen year Greg Gaines has somehow accomplished the seemingly impossible- made it to his senior year of high school maintaining a "friendly" acquaintanceship with every group/clique in his school without truly belonging to any of them. Greg and his only real friend, Earl, make their own movies but don't share them with anyone else...until Rachel happens. Greg and Rachel were friends when they were younger but haven't spoken in years, but after Rachel is diagnosed with leukemia Greg's mother insists he hang out with her. And somewhere along the way Greg and Earl are roped into making a film for dying Rachel, and Greg's comfortable invisibility vanishes forever.

Moving and poignant in entirely unexpected ways, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is brash, profane, funny, relentlessly honest and at times almost hard to take, but in the best way possible. This isn't your clichéd sappy, profound YA "cancer" book full of true love or life affirming moments...so if that's the kind of story you're looking for then this book probably isn't for you.

The writing style in this book is to the point, unique and quite addicting. I read this book in one sitting, simply unable to put it down and the Greg's story has continued to stick with me. Andrews offers readers a coming of age story that is heartbreaking and intense, but also easy and okay to laugh with and even at. With a pitch perfect voice, tone and dialogue this book feels and sounds authentic.

Greg Gaines is not always an easy character to like, nor do I think he is supposed to be, but he is always easy to relate to.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Robby Werner on February 28, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I read a lot of contemporary fiction. This book is among the Top Five of anything I've read in the last couple of years. I wish I could express, in as clever and funny way as its author, the kind of praise this novel deserves. Full disclosure: I am the author's uncle. And he knows if this book sucked I would say so. It definitely doesn't suck. There is an exchange between Greg and Earl where I had to stop reading because I was laughing so hard. The last several pages of the narrative, the denouement if you will, is among the most poignant, beautiful and cleverly-written prose I have come across. I recommend it without reservation.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A. Sykes on December 15, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The book was well-written, humorous and engaging, but due to the content and language, I would have to recommend this to only high school students.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Michelle Q on August 6, 2013
Format: Paperback
There is no real plot or character development in this book, but that did not prevent me from devouring it in one sitting. I literally laughed out loud from start to finish and I LOVE Earl and Greg's interactions.

If you have a sense of humor that can be considered slightly immature, this book is for you! If your moral and social compass is questionable at best, this book is for you! If you laugh out loud at jokes made in inappropriate situations, this book is for you!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Debra Garfinkle on December 23, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This book made me laugh a lot, and I loved the self-deprecating, neurotic voice of Greg, the teenage boy narrator. I also loved the secondary characters such as his foulmouthed best friend; the imperfect dying girl; Greg's voluptuous and nice friend; and even Greg's ornery cat. This was an entertaining, funny read, but there was more to it. Though Greg sometimes acted like a horny, self-centered, and awkward teen and the book wasn't the least bit maudlin, the book had depth and sweetness.
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