Book Review: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

Synopsis from Goodreads:

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, their 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.

My mini-review:

“So if this were a normal book about a girl with leukemia, I would probably talk a shitload about all the meaningful things Rachel had to say as she got sicker and sicker, and also probably we would fall in love and have some incredibly fulfilling romantic thing and she would die in my arms. But I don’t feel like lying to you. She didn’t have meaningful things to say, and we definitely didn’t fall in love.”

I appreciate the attempt at not romanticizing illness. I didn’t find myself heartbroken by the end of the story, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I enjoyed it from beginning to end and I feel like I really got to know Greg’s voice.

★★★ (3.5 stars) for a different spin on this YA plot.

Book Review: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Bestselling author Sherman Alexie tells the story of Junior, a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Determined to take his future into his own hands, Junior leaves his troubled school on the rez to attend an all-white farm town high school where the only other Indian is the school mascot.

My mini-review:

“I think the world is a series of broken dams and floods, and my cartoons are tiny little lifeboats.”

These tiny little lifeboats—like the uncontrollable chuckles that may escape from your hysterical thoughts and loose lips during the most inappropriate of times—carried me from beginning to end.

I can honestly say that no other book has ever made me laugh out loud, and certainly not so many times throughout the course of one reading.

★★★★ (4 stars) escape through my giggles for this well-written and absolutely true diary that is both devastating and hilarious.