You know we’re big fans of adults who love well crafted young adult novels. We have a book club just for you guys, that’s how great we think you are. So take notice, teens and grownups alike: you’ll want to read this one. Immediately.
When Greg’s (sort of) ex-girlfriend is diagnosed with leukemia, he finds himself prodded into a half-hearted friendship. Enter Earl, Greg’s only other friend, a pseudo-thug with a Napoleon complex who curses like a sailor. Of course, friendship blossoms between all three. This novel of unlikely friendship is a wry, self-effacing, sarcastic read that is impossible to put down. It’s the gems of discovery made by each character that make this book so memorable, and it doesn’t hurt that it’s told with a hilarious, cinematic tone. This is an honest, smart, belly laugh-inducing, tearjerker of a novel.
We’ve seen several teen reads with themes of cancer and illness this year, titles like The Probability of Miracles by Wendy Wunder, and, most notably, John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars. What makes these books fantastic is their unwavering honesty. Jesse Andrews achieves this brilliantly. His characters feel like real people–flawed, confused, emotional, and hilarious.
I read Me and Earl and the Dying Girl while commuting, and I had such a visceral response to the story that I found myself laughing out loud one moment and crying the next, all to the great confusion of my fellow passengers. Sorry, DC metro riders, but when you’ve got a book this good to read, it’s inevitably going to turn into a shared experience for all of us.
Read on, lovers of YA. Read on.
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews; Abrams Publishing; 16.95; Ages 14+