Me and Earl and The Confused Readers of the World

By Clara Oswin Oswald

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(Yes, I am aware this “whale” hello gif has already been used on our blog–but  I saw it and I cannot stop laughing!)

Hello Chums! If you haven’t already guessed, today I’m going to dissect Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. What you DON’T know is that I’m also going to talk about The Fault in Our Stars. And then I’m going to compare the two books.  Aren’t I just full of surprises today! Before I begin to trash talk either of the books, I’ll give you some quick plot overviews, complete with bullet points and equations.

The Fault in Our Stars

  • Hazel Grace=Depressed girl with cancer
  • Augustus Waters= Contemplative boy – 1 leg + a cheerful attitude
  • Hazel + Augustus= LOVE
  • Hazel + Augustus + Cancer= The Fault in Our Stars

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

  • Greg= Chubby insecure boy with a foul mouth
  • Earl= Greg’s black friend with an even fouler mouth
  • Greg + Earl + Filmmaking= Disaster
  • Rachel= Girl with leukemia who dated Greg ‘once upon a time’
  • Greg + Earl + Rachel + Filmmaking + Cancer= Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

BOOM. Any further questions you have will be cleared up later.

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The hard thing about reviewing cancer books is that I know nothing about cancer, so I tried to look at both books from a writer’s perspective. If I were to give both books awards, it’d end up looking like this:

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl wins MOST REALISTIC

The Fault in our Stars wins BETTER BOOK IN GENERAL

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I don’t have anything against a book being realistic; however, I read books to escape from the world, not to have the world crammed down my throat in the most hopeless way possible. The ending of Me and Earl and the Dying Girl was MASSIVELY depressing. What bothered me most about the book is that there was no character arc for Greg. I mean, come on—even Earl had a character arc! To turn back to the equations:

Earl1 + the book= Earl2

Greg1 + the book= Greg1

There’s nothing more frustrating than a main character not changing over the course of the book, because it’s super unrealistic. There’s NO WAY that Greg could have gone through all the events in the book without his character ending up even a little different at its end.

The other big turn off for me about Me and Earl and the Dying Girl  was the language. It wasn’t just the occasional cuss word; noooo, every page was all like: @#$&%@!!!!  Sex Joke @#%$#@^@!!!! Sex Joke #$%@ &^$# @$#%!!! Sex Joke $%#!

You get the picture. The language was so bad, I almost stopped reading the book. My final recommendation would be:

“Just watch the movie!”

I NEVER say that, so take it to heart.

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On to Augustus!!!! (Aka The Fault in Our Stars)

As you can probably guess, Augustus Waters was my main reason for liking this book so much. I’m aware that he is kind of a trope (the deep-thinking hot guy), but I don’t mind tropes if they are well-written, and John Greene certainly is an AMAZING writer. What made the book so sad was its ironic ending. The reader expected this to happen:

Gus – Hazel=😢

Instead, you got:

Hazel – Gus=😢

And to top it all off, Hazel will die in a few years (because, you know…terminal cancer…), so really, neither of them survive! How depressing. Gus was supposed to grow up! To get married! To go back to Amsterdam and sob and wish Hazel was alive!

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My final recommendation is to diffidently read The Fault in Our Stars! And DON’T watch the movie—Shailene Woodley RUINS HAZEL AND IT MAKES ME SO MAD ARGGGG!!!!!

And thus, in conclusion: Both these books had interesting premises and were fairly original but in the end, The Fault in our Stars beats Me and Earl and the Dying Girl because of nothing more than the fact that tFiOS contained less cussing and cooler characters.

Adios Amigos!

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Content Charts

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

Graphic Violence None
Sex Constantly talked and joked about
Homosexuals Several jokes made concerning this topic
Cussing Umm.. If you’re sensitive to cussing, pick another book
Disturbing elements Some Drugs and Pornography

The Fault in Our Stars

Graphic Violence None
Sex One occurrence of teenage sex; Intense making out
Homosexuals None
Cussing Fairly frequent
Disturbing elements None

 

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5 Comments Add yours

  1. Great post! I haven’t read Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, but I definitely don’t intend to now! (My eyes have grown weary of all the cussing in YA lately.) Telling people to just go watch the movie on a book blog? That says sooo much more about the book than the most thorough review could! 😀

    I loved The Fault in Our Stars. A lot of people complain that the characters don’t talk like teenagers and that they’re pretentious. I would say that Augustus especially is definitely a little pretentious. I have a few defenses for the both of them, however:

    (a) Augustus’s parents gave him the name AUGUSTUS. He has built-in pretentiousness with that name. The fault, dear Brutus, is not in his stars, nor in himself, but in his parents.
    (b) “They don’t sound like teenagers” actually means “they don’t sound like TYPICAL teenagers.” And that’s because they aren’t. Teenagers typically have a feeling of invincibility and endless possibility. They expect (without even thinking about it much) to have a whole, long life ahead of them, and lots of time to figure out who they are and who they want to be. Hazel and Augustus, on the other hand, have both been faced with their mortality from a very early age. They are much more aware of everything they say and do, because they don’t know how many more words and actions they have ahead of them.
    (c) “normal” teenagers (and normal people in general) are the worst, and who wants to read about them anyway?!

    Anyway, loved your review, and your content charts are incredibly helpful!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for commenting! Yeah, I think…. (that you’re completely right) (they were both good books but I’ve read better) (everyone secretly wants to be a John Green protagonist anyway because normal teenagers ARE stupid…or, I guess, at least have a John Green protagonist for a FRIEND, because they would be witty and interesting and you wouldn’t be the one to end up dead) (books aren’t SUPPOSED to represent *everybody* anyway, because,um, that’s literally impossible. And undoubtedly there ARE pretentious John Green-ish teenagers out there, and why shouldn’t they get a book too??) (Yeahhh Augustus is a VERY pretentious name. He’s just living up to the role his parents have given him, what can you say)
      -Clara

      Liked by 1 person

  2. shar says:

    I like (but don’t love) TFIOS, and I started Me, Earl and the Dying Girl but actually didn’t finish (I got lazy, what can I say?). It was interesting but I think I had to return it to the library or something. I didn’t mind the TFIOS movie, but the book was better.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes thanks so much I totaly agree!
      -Clara

      Like

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