“Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” is a really awkwardly written book in my opinion. I’m not going to say it’s a bad book in any way, but the format through me for a loop. It does depicts a cute budding friendship between 2 of the 3 main characters. It is told through the eyes of the main character Greg, and the format seems to switch between novel writing and screen play. The screen play aspect makes sense if you read it. It’s an OK book if you don’t mind looking into a teens coming of age story while dealing with a bit of death.
I rather dislike writing negative reviews, because then I just feel like the book must have just not been for me. So I’m going to be as impartial as I can be, but just so no one is shocked (unless you’ve already seen my GoodReads post) this is my lowest rated book at 2 out of 5. The story’s concept was great, but I felt like there was something missing in the execution of the story.
Let’s just talk about just the story line, I liked it. The story of old friends getting back together, by being forced to by one of their parent is relatable. You don’t really get the urgency of Rachel’s cancer in the story, but that might be because it’s being told through Greg’s point-of-view and I feel like he is in denial throughout the entire book. In stories like this, I much prefer an omniscient narrator but I believe that this is just a personal opinion.
Now for what I believe threw me the most, the format. When it was just being written in ‘normal’ form, i.e. how most novels are written, I didn’t hate it. But, when it switched over into screenplay format I wanted to throw my Kobo. Not only was it jarring, but if I wanted to read a screenplay I would have just picked up the screen play for the movie. I understand that Greg is the suppose to be aspiring to be a filmmaker, but it’s really quite annoying.
If you think you can get over a spotty incomplete story with an odd format, try reading the book. I just feel like the movie did a better job.
Quick thought on the movie:
This may be sad, but I much prefer the movie to the book. The actors weren’t cast well for the book, but I liked them in their respective roles. The movie did cut short or omit parts of the novel that I found dragged on for too long. It also managed to depict the struggle that Greg and Rachel are going through. I do like how they changed the ending a little, but I felt like it worked better for the story. So I would say watch the movie rather then read the book.