Just because there are teenagers, cancer and a tragedy involved in a book, doesn’t mean it’s a heart-wrenching love story. Greg Gaines, the main character and narrator of “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” by Jesse Andrews, awkwardness and social indifference leads him to be apprehensive and incapable of creating real relationships. He even considered himself to have no friends in this world, just coworkers (Earl) or acquaintances. However, one day Greg’s intrusive mother demands Greg to become friend with Rachel Kushner, who has just been diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia. This budding relationship makes Greg question and challenge every judgement he has made about high school life, but also question what is the importance of a real friend.
The quirkiness and uniqueness of the main characters produces distinctive interactions that make the book even more lovable. Two of the three main characters, Greg and Rachel have a strange way of interacting. Greg is mostly the talker, constantly telling her more than he had originally bargained for. Greg has to constantly remind himself to not get closer to Rachel than he already is, but somehow she seeps her way into Greg’s vortex. Greg and Earl share a unique relationship as well. Earl and Greg are complete opposites, coming from different backgrounds, and home situations. However, there love for filmmaking causes them to radiate toward each other. At times Earl is Greg’s needed advisor and wake up call, and Greg gives Earl the sense of trust and home he has never experienced.
“Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” by Jesse Andrews is different from any book I have ever read. The author takes teenage awkwardness and insecurities, and creates a complicated and sophisticated character we can all relate to. This book is missing the romance effect, and the tear jerking moments, but it supplies you with a more realistic and raw tone. Earl is my favorite character just because of how much he surprised me. Earl gave comedic relief but at times heartfelt and needed advice, that gave me hope for the main characters. This book is perfect for a teen with a sense of humour and authenticity. 10/10 for sure!!