Date Completed: 9/29/2016
This book was insanely funny! I laughed out loud more times than I can count; it was a very vocal reading for me despite just lying in bed reading it silently to myself. I can’t tell you how rare it is for me to actually laugh out loud while I’m reading, but this book was like candy. I read it in one sitting and absolutely loved it.
If you haven’t heard what this book is about yet, here’s a brief synopsis. You guessed it, it’s about the main character Greg, his best friend Earl, and a dying girl, a girl named Rachel who has leukemia. This is the story of how they become acquainted and the adventures of High School. It sounds pretty typical, but the humor was so spot on. The humor is what makes the book.
I loved how Andrews played around with writing styles, writing in script, bullet points, categories, interview style, etc. This made the pacing very fast and enjoyably readable. In fact, I would say reading it felt like the most natural and effortless thing I’ve done in quite a while.
What I found odd about this book was that I really didn’t fall in love with any of the characters. I didn’t even really like any of them all that much. The story just felt so real and yet so unreal and humorous that I think I really just fell in love with the story and the way it was written. I don’t read a comedy very often that’s written about someone with cancer and told by a main character who really doesn’t have that much of a personality. Yet despite that, I found myself close to tears on several occasions, tears for the characters in the story. Despite this book being so filled with humor that I was laughing hard, I found myself almost crying several times for characters that I didn’t really like all that much. How Andrews did this, I’m not sure, but his writing is pretty amazing.
This is Andrews’ debut novel. He recently published The Haters. You can read more about Jesse Andrews on his website.