October’s book club read:
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews
(Taken from the Amazon page where I bought it, since the eBook has no blurb!)
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, they’re 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.
Jesse Andrews is an author, screenwriter, and former German youth hostel receptionist. He was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA, and is a graduate of Schenley High School and Harvard University. He currently makes his home in Boston, MA. Me, Earl and the Dying Girl is his debut novel, and he also wrote the film adaptation, which was released this year. His website can be found here.
The first lines really belong to ‘A note from Greg Gaines, author of this book’, a short introduction from the protagonist, but I’ll take a sample from ‘Chapter One’, as it gives a more representative taste of the book.
So in order to understand everything that happened, you have to start from the premise that high school sucks. Do you accept that premise? Of course you do. It is a universally acknowledged truth that high school sucks. In fact, high school is where we are first introduced to the basic existential question of life: How is it possible to exist in a place that sucks so bad?
The book has a quite generic cover; it could just as easily be the cover for The Perks of Being a Wallflower. The tagline, ‘A little friendship never killed anyone’, is setting it up as a comedy, and I am a huge fan of that special kind of witticism found in YA fiction (Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda was brilliantly funny). All in all, I really can’t wait to read it.
Follow me on Goodreads to see my reading progress, and check back later in the month for updates and a review!