Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews
Greg has worked hard to build up a carefully constructed façade to get through high school. Not able to join any of the established social groups in the brutal hierarchy that is secondary education, and knowing that being group-less will lead to certain misery, he has learned to feign being a member of every group, thus ensuring survival on the periphery. On the side, Greg hangs out with his friend Earl – more coworker than friend, he thinks – creating films in the style of their idols Herzog and Coppola, but this is a secret lest Greg find himself ostracized from a high school where no one is really a friend, but thinks they are. Then in senior year, in the midst of parental pressure to apply to college and to keep his grades up, Rachel Kushner gets cancer. Greg and Rachel haven’t really been friends for years – at best indifferent classmates – and now Greg’s mom has decided that he has to hang out with her – because she has cancer. Soon Greg’s foolproof plan for high school survival begins to unravel.
Funny, brutally honest, and heartbreaking, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is Jesse Andrews debut novel, and has recently been released as a motion picture. Both the book and DVD are available to reserve at the Haliburton County Public Library.
*Originally published in the Minden Times on January 14, 2016.