I joined an online Summer Reading Program since most libraries don't like when their staff/librarians join their programs (seems a tad mean to me- telling your staff they can't participate. They should be allowed to participate if they want but not eligible for the prizes- but hey, I don't make the rules). I am super excited to join this SRP- especially since a majority of the participants are librarians and fellow book lovers! Its nice to see what other librarians are reading and what they think of the titles. Since I work in an academic library, we don't really have a popular collection (i.e. current fiction) so unless it pops up on my Goodreads or Amazon recommendations, I tend to miss out on some good titles. My goal this summer (May 30-August 29) is 20 books.
Onto my first review for the SRP!
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl reminds me, at first of The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (loved this book)- mainly because of the cancer aspect and characters in high-school. That is where the comparison ends. Fault in Our Stars this book is not. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is told from Greg's point of view (the "Me" in the title)- a loner by his own admission, just trying to survive high-school under the radar. Earl is his "co-worker"- they make films together; he is also Greg's only friend but he will never admit that out loud. The Dying Girl is Rachel, diagnosed with leukemia during her (I assume senior year of high-shool, though its never really mentioned). This is FIOS for guys- its not a sappy, romantic, heartbreaking, love story. Its a humorous, realistic depiction of a guy who's semi-friend gets cancer and is forced to deal with it. Greg is self-centered but what high-school senior isn't?
One of my favorite lines/sections came towards the end of the book when Rachel (and I hope I'm not giving anything away as its in the TITLE of the book but if I am SPOILER AHEAD!!!) decides to stop receiving chemo and head home.
Greg is sitting with Rachel in her room and this is his inner monologue:
"You're probably hoping that I was sitting there overflowing with love and tenderness. Maybe you should think about switching to a different book. Even to, like, an owner's manual to a refrigerator or something. That would be more heartwarming than this. Because mostly I was feeling resentful and annoyed. I was resentful at Rachel for deciding to die. How stupid does that sound? There's a decent chance that I'm not even a human being. Anyway, yeah, I was pissed that she was just going to die." (pg 261-262)
I read that paragraph and thought, "that is an honest reaction- how many friends and family members of cancer patients have thought this and felt horrible afterward because its not what "you're supposed to think" or that "they aren't being supportive of the decision"
SRP Goal: 1/20
Up next: Before I Go to Sleep by S. J. Watson