| Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is not your average young adult novel. The me being Greg who wants to be casually social with everyone and avoid close friendships is guilted by his mom into hanging out with the dying girl, Rachel. Greg has been around Rachel before in Hebrew school, he was always able to make her laugh, but things got awkward when he kept avoiding her invitation to hang out. Now Greg is hanging out with her and still able to make her laugh, with his odd sense of humor. His other friend-but-not-really-more-like-a-coworker-making-&-watching-films, Earl meets her and ends up showing her the films him and Greg have made, no one is allowed to see them, this freaks Greg out that Rachel has seen them, but she understands to keep it a secret and she actually really likes them. Once it is clear Rachel is going to die Earl and Greg set out to make a film just for her, despite not knowing much about her.
What I liked is it’s nothing you would expect from a young adult book about a teenager with cancer. They don’t fall in love, Greg is hanging out with her because she has cancer and his mom pressured him to do so, he can’t truly express what he is feeling, and he is beyond modest when he gets complimented. The story is told from Greg’s perspective, he’s writing a book about the experience. The style of writing got on my nerves, the constant self depreciating and teenage boy talk was over the top. The story is realistic though, Greg knows nothing about Rachel, but wants to make her happy in her final days and when he tries to express what he is feeling it just falls flat, because how can you put that in words. He feels like shit that he can’t define what he feels and thinks he’s a shitty person because he can’t. I loved that, its accurate.