Jesse Andrews: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (2012, Amulet Books) 3 stars

Seventeen-year-old Greg has managed to become part of every social group at his Pittsburgh high …

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

3 stars

Another book I am reading because it has been banned. The protagonist -- named Greg -- has writing that is direct and almost painfully self-conscious. Andrews writes in short, punchy chapters, and throws a variety of writing styles at the reader: film script, bulleted lists, film reviews, and so on. Greg is forced by his mother to befriend a girl in his high school class dying of leukemia (the "Dying Girl" of the title), and the book charts his attempt to navigate this as best he can. His descriptions of high school life, navigating the various cliques, uncomprehending adults, and making things worse when trying to make them better all ring true. Why is this banned? Well, there is definitely naughty language and reference to sex, although the banter struck me as a high school boy's desperate facade of bravado rather than anything actually that prurient. The language is a bit over-the-top and Greg's self-deprecation can get tiresome -- but I'm also not the target audience for this book. Don't ban it, read it.