Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

Jesse Andrews

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
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Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

Jesse Andrews

Greg Gaines is the last master of high school espionage, able to disappear at will into any social environment. He has only one friend, Earl, and together they spend their time making movies, their own incomprehensible versions of Coppola and Herzog cult classics.

Until Greg’s mother forces him to rekindle his childhood friendship with Rachel. Rachel has been diagnosed with leukemia - cue extreme adolescent awkwardness - but a parental mandate has been issued and must be obeyed. When Rachel stops treatment, Greg and Earl decide the thing to do is to make a film for her, which turns into the Worst Film Ever Made and becomes a turning point in each of their lives. And all at once Greg must abandon invisibility and stand in the spotlight.


To tell you the truth, I can’t for the life of me think of how to explain this book other than funny and quirky … annoying, right? But true. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is a strange yet great book that is all about film making, trying to hide from yourself, and friendship.

Greg Gaines has mastered the act of being in every social group at school without really being in any group. No one hassles him as no one really knows where he belongs, which is exactly what Greg wants. But when Greg’s mum forces him to become friends again with a girl he knew from Hebrew school, he is none too pleased. I mean, just because she has cancer doesn’t mean he needs to be friends with her, does it?

So begins the awkward friendship between Rachel and Greg. Bring in Earl, his best friend whom he makes terrible movies with, and you have Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, a funny, quirky story where making terrible movies doesn’t mean people won’t like them and just because someone has cancer doesn’t mean you have to like them.

Katherine Dretzke is from Readings Hawthorn

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