Part of the reason I love teaching the middle grades is due to the fact that I really enjoy reading Young Adult novels. Not only does it keep me in-check with the emotions of teens, but it allows me opportunities to recommend books to students and, perhaps even more importantly, have conversations about books with young adults. Perhaps someday I’ll create my own fictional YA masterpiece…
Every Sunday, I will try to post a review of a YA book that I’ve read. I’d love to hear your thoughts and recommendations (and so would my students).
Without further adieu, here’s this week’s review!
Title: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
Author: Jesse Andrews
Synopsis: Greg is that high school kid who is nice to everyone, but doesn’t really belong to a clique. He has a friend, Earl, who is sort of Greg’s foil character. Greg and Earl make movies and goof off together. Then, Greg’s mother strongly urges (okay, forces) him to befriend Rachel, who has leukemia and whom Greg went to Hebrew school with years ago. Throughout the book, Greg struggles with who he really is (and isn’t) and who he thinks he should be.
Review: I really enjoyed the style of this book. The narrator, Greg, writes it as if he’s having a conversation with the reader (yes, the “F” bomb is dropped quite a bit). At times, you feel as if you are living through Greg’s experiences and thoughts. Earl’s character was the most interesting and least developed. I almost feel as if I want a sequel to the book from Earl’s perspective. Rachel is the sick one, the victim so-to-speak and the person at the center of the story.
Overall, an easy, funny read about the honestly of being a teenager in today’s world. I’d recommend for 8th grade and up.