Greg has accomplished what every high school student dreams of: he’s found acceptance in every social group. Of course, that doesn’t come without strings attached—he can’t be seen hanging out with the goth kids when jocks walk by, can’t hang out with jocks while band practice is underway, and lunchtime can get quite complicated. Greg also doesn’t have many real friends, since he spreads his time evenly among the different groups.
That’s really what Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is all about: Greg, along with his friend Earl, surviving high school. Don’t be fooled into thinking it’ll be a depressing story of death and cancer, because that only plays a small role in Greg’s high school journey. There’s a lot of humor, and many situations to which students today can relate. Jesse Andrews paints a very real picture, including all the drama, twists, and hilariousness that come along with being a high school student. Andrews shows us that just because someone’s dying doesn’t mean there’re prescribed life lessons to be learned, or someone to save the day. Life doesn’t go the way you plan for it to, period.
Greg and Earl are forced to deal with situations as they come, including being friends with a dying girl, so you’re not left with loose ends or a mountain of questions when the book concludes. The one pitfall of Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is that there isn’t a lot of character development; Greg remains the same one dimensional character throughout the book. Still, you’ll find that Me and Earl and the Dying Girl has purpose–a moral if you will—and with humor spread throughout, it will keep you entertained to the last page.