This is probably the most hilarious young adult book that I have read! It’s a good thing that I read this at home rather that making it my waiting time read, for I’ve always caught myself grinning and snorting the whole time my nose was buried in it. For some reason, An Abundance of Katherines kept popping up my head, along with Mandy Moore and Shane West. It’s going to be in theaters on June 12, so I guess it would be fun to watch it, even if Greg says that when you convert a good book to a film, stupid things happen.
A bit of a background. Greg Gaines has been feigning invisibility his entire high school life. You may not be able to figure out how he did it, but the thing is, he seemed to master the tactics on how to be unnoticeable. He describes himself as unattractive, fat and a colossal jackass, but I had a hard time conjuring up such an image in my head. I kept seeing Shane West.
Greg is fond of making amateur films with Earl, his only friend, and whenever they hang out, they just keep to themselves. Until the fiasco began, when Greg’s mom talked him into resuming his friendship with Rachel, a girl with whom he had a sort of disastrous encounter in sixth grade. Apparently, Rachel is dying of cancer. And so Greg was forced to hang out with Rachel in her last remaining days. He tried his best to cheer Rachel up, without knowing exactly how to do so. Then one of the kids in school came up with the idea of Greg and Earl creating a film for Rachel. Now, Greg’s high school life will never be the same.
Insensitive Greg? Mom was asking me to resume a friendship that had no honest foundation and ended on screamingly awkward terms. How do you do that? This is Greg’s main problem. He doesn’t have a clue on how to be friends with Rachel again, after being not-so-horrible to her. They may have been in sixth grade back then, and based on experience, twelve-year-old boys can really be mean even if they don’t intend to. Greg must have grown up, enough to make him feel ashamed of himself for what he did when he was twelve. And if resuming his friendship with Rachel is a problem, then what more cheering her up because she’s dying? That’s definitely a dilemma. Earl, has pointed out that he’s being insensitive about Rachel’s condition. He cannot show genuine concern, or a maybe a bit of sympathy for the girl. But putting myself in Greg’s shoes, it goes like this – this is the girl I made fun with when I was twelve, I once told her that I couldn’t hang out with her because my foot is stuck in the oven, or my head was trapped in the freezer because I couldn’t tell her that I didn’t want to hang out with her though I know that’s kinder than what I was doing. Now she’s dying. Should I feel bad, because I didn’t get the chance to be kind to her when I still could? Or should I just be indifferent and get on with my life, since we haven’t been on speaking terms for, like five years? Clearly, Greg didn’t have a choice to think about this, because his mom didn’t give him the chance to do so.
Colossally funny. I can’t seem to get over Greg’s hilarity and wit. The things he said about high school, that it sucks, why it sucks, the perpetually annoying check-ins of moms, and the way he says things are just too hilarous. Add the gross conversations with Earl, the alien barf and the tche-moe tum-wah, I was rolling on the floor, laughing. I have to give credit to the author for that.
In conclusion. Rachel had to go. It’s no spoiler since it was already disclosed in the onset of the story. After all, it isn’t about Rachel, or Greg falling in love with her. It could have been ideal, yes, and maybe that’s the reason why I was constantly reminded of the characters of A Walk To Remember. Maybe I was half hoping that Greg will fall in love with Rachel in the end (she had leukemia, by the way). Me, Earl and the Dying Girl made me realize that you cannot really give proper emotions to the things that you are forced to do. No matter how good your intentions are, if you’re not a hundred percent into it, then the outcome will be unfavorable.
Recommendation: Me, Earl and the Dying Girl cheered me up big time, so if you’re looking for a funny read, then this is for you.