Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

Jesse Andrews. Abrams/Amulet, $16.95 (304p) ISBN 978-1-4197-0176-4
In his debut novel, Andrews tackles some heavy subjects with irreverence and insouciance. Senior Greg Gaines has drifted through high school trying to be friendly with everyone but friends with no one, moving between cliques without committing. His only hobby is making awful movies with his foul-mouthed pal Earl. Greg’s carefully maintained routine is upset when his mother encourages him to spend time with Rachel, a classmate suffering from leukemia. Greg begrudgingly rekindles his friendship with Rachel, before being conned into making a movie about her. Narrated by Greg, who brings self-deprecation to new heights (or maybe depths), this tale tries a little too hard to be both funny and tragic, mixing crude humor and painful self-awareness. Readers may be either entertained or exhausted by the grab bag of narrative devices Andrews employs (screenplay-style passages, bulleted lists, movie reviews, fake newspaper headlines, outlines). In trying to defy the usual tearjerker tropes, Andrews ends up with an oddly unaffecting story. Ages 14–up. Agent: Matt Hudson, William Morris Endeavor. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 02/06/2012
Release date: 03/01/2012
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FORMATS
Paperback - 295 pages - 978-1-4197-0532-8
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