Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (Movie Review)

Once again Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is a movie where I have actually read the book beforehand, but can’t remember it in much detail. Maybe I should really start reading them closer to the movie release date …

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Genre: Drama/Comedy
Length: 105 min
Cast: Thomas Mann, RJ Cyler, Olivia Cooke, Nick Offerman, Connie Britton, Molly Shannon, Jon Bernthal …
DirectorAlfonso Gomez-Rejon
Writer: Jesse Andrews (for both, the novel and the screenplay)

Greg Gaines tries to survive High School by being on good terms with everyone but friends with no one. He usually spends his time making parody-like remakes of classic movies with his co-worker Earl. That is until his mother forces him to hang out with Rachel, a girl who just got diagnosed with cancer and who will profoundly change his life.

Me and Earl was originally a YA novel and reeked quite some havoc at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, igniting a bidding war for the movie. I have to say it is definitely one of the the better Indie movies out there and after the whole The Fault In Our Stars hype an original and refreshing take on the cancer-topic. Alfonso Gomez-Rejon puts his own spin on the story and makes every scene feel either beautiful, comical or deeply relevant.

I remember not liking Greg very much in the book and maybe he still isn’t the most likable character out there. Greg is just such a freaking liar, most of all to himself I think and that broke my heart. However, this time around I just felt so much more with him. And with Rachel as well. And also with Earl. I really have to say that all three (Mann, Cyler and Cooke) did a brilliant job with their respective characters. The adults were also cast very well, but they are just not the focus of the story.

I like that Me and Earl wasn’t pretentious or over the top. It had a beautiful cinematography, but often in the most simple ways. I can tell you that I was just crying by the end – the final message was just brilliant. I hope that this movie will get a bigger audience over time and won’t get stuck in the art-house or indie sector, because it does have commercial potential.

Fazit: I am glad that I’ve watched the movie. It made me feel so much more than the book.

What’s your take on Me and Earl and the Dying Girl? Do you prefer the book or the movie or like them both equally?

Top Ten Tuesday: Characters I Didn’t Click With

Okay, you know the drill by now. I am participating in the weekly meme Top Ten Tuesday created by The Broke and the BookishThis week’s theme is “Ten Characters You Just Didn’t Click With” so, let’s do this!

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(again I just want to remind you that this is not really a ranking, but more of a “numbering”)

1. Quentin from the Magicians Series by Lev Grossman

I’ve talked about this series in the past days because I am currently reading it and I mentioned that I just don’t like any of the characters very much. They are all pretty miserable and a drag, but since Quentin is the protagonist, I chose him.


2. Eadlyn from The Heir (Selection #4) by Kiera Cass

22918050I just do NOT like this girl. For the matter, I didn’t liker her mother much either, but seriously? Eadlyn is a spoiled brat with not a trace of empathy in her body. If the book hadn’t ended with a cliffhanger, I wouldn’t want to continue the series with her as main protagonist. But since I am too curious to stop now, I will have to.


3. Sutter Keely from The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp

sutterI like that the book isn’t like every other teenage story out there. It is a lot more cynic than that, but I just did not click with Sutter (not even when he was portrayed by Miles Teller in the movie …). He drinks way too much, is an immensely selfish person and is not nearly as funny as he thinks. Maybe I was just really disappointed with the outcome of the story though …


4. Harriet from Geek Girl by Holly Smale

13621089What is that girl’s problem with being called a “Geek”? I would embrace the heck out of that, but she is just embarrassed about it and let’s it drag her down. Also, she’s too naive for my taste.


5. Greg from Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

The book was fine, but I just really couldn’t connect with Greg. He was mopey and in complete denial. Why couldn’t he just say that the others are his friends? What on earth is so bad about caring?


6. Bianca from The DUFF by Kody Keplinger

As much as I like the message behind the story, snarky Bianca is not my kind of person. Her voice definitely wasn’t for me.


7. Teresa from the Maze Runner Series by James Dashner

Seriously? What was the point of that girl? She was supposed to be Thomas (to whom I also couldn’t really connect) soulmate or something but she was barely even there. In book one she was basically in a coma most of the time, in book two she has a couple appearances and in book three the end? Come on!!! If that was her sole purpose and I was supposed to be sad, you should actually have made her do something important during some point in the series before.


8. Lola from Lola and the Boy Next Door (Anna and the French Kiss #2) by Stephanie Perkins

Everybody seems to love Lola or at least prefer her a lot over Isla, but I am not one of those people. As much as I love the series as a whole, Lola was way too eccentric, selfish and also a bit annoying. I clicked with her the least of all three girls.


9. Laurel  from Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira

18140047Maybe it was the fact that her whole story was pretty much an identical female version of Charlie’s story from the Perks of Being a Wallflower or maybe it was something entirely different. But I did not really enjoy her as a protagonist. But for the record, I didn’t exactly bond with Charlie either …


10. June and Day from Legend by Marie Lu

I’m sorry, okay! I know how many people love this series, but I just can’t. It’s totally not for me and I did not like either of them very much which is probably the reason I never read farther than volume 1 in the series.

 

 

 

What are some of the characters you just didn’t click with? Leave a comment and let’s talk!

Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Would Be On My Syllabus If I Taught Buddy Stories 101

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the BookishThis week’s topic is Top Ten books you would put on your syllabus if you thought a literature class and I chose the friendship theme, so thanks for enrolling to Buddy Stories 101. Class is about to start!

(Whenever I do these lists, I am never sure if the ranking is actually from 1 to 10 or just numbered to give an overview. I have a hard time picking favourites, so see it as more of way to count rather than rate. The books I picked all have great friendships and some of them even evolve or are sprinkled with a bit of romance. I tried to avoid the romantic parts mostly, but then I thought that being best friends with your partner is pretty amazing, so who cares?)

1. The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare

Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, #1)NOTHING and I mean absolutely NOTHING is more powerful than a parabatai bond. It’s so much more than just friendship, it is even more than family or romantic love. It’s everything really. While I did enjoy Alec’s and Jace’s bond from TMI, I was even more fascinated with Will and Jem. Bring Tessa Gray into the mix and you’ve got ultimate friendship goals for me! So, the Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare it is!

2. Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson

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This is one of my favourite books portraying female friendship. Emily and Sloane are just complete opposites of each other and that makes them work so well together. I’m so happy this book wasn’t just about romance! Also, it wasn’t just a fun read, but really funny as well!

3. How to Be Bad by Lockhart, Myracle & Mlynowski

23629114Three girls on a road trip? There is no way it’s not going to be great. They all have their own problems, but they can only get through it with each other. Sometimes they may explode and fight, but in the end, they are happy to have each other and I am happy to have read about their friendship.

4. Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan

23230I’ve talked about Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List a lot and while I do find the characters a bit annoying sometimes, they also have something special with each other. Their friendship changes a lot over the course of the book and is quite different in the end to what it was when you started reading. When one person develops romantic feelings, I think it is necessary to address this and deal with it instead of throwing the friendship away altogether.

5. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

893136This is a sad book. There is no way around that, but it’s a book that’s really dear to my heart. Liesel and Rudi already have a really special relationship, but I am even more a fan of Liesel and Max. Some wanted them to end up together, but that’s not the point at all. Their bond over books is amazing and I am so glad that they had each other.

6. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

12700353Greg can call Earl his co-worker a gazillion more times, but it doesn’t change the fact that they are best friends and awesome together. ‘Nough said!

7. Love, Rosie/Where Rainbows End by Cecelia Ahern

20706297Over how many years does this book span? A lifetime pretty much and while Rosie’s and Alex’ relationship certainly has it’s ups and downs their friendship survived somehow. This may be more on the romantic side than I’d like to admit, but they were friends first and that ever since they were really little. It has to count for something!

8. The DUFF by Kody Keplinger

23153016Bianca has her best friends Casey and Jessica and they are a good group of friends, but not the one I want to focus on. Only with Wesley Bianca can be herself and they have a sort of friends with benefits thing going on, even though Bianca would probably never admit to being friends with Wes. Still, I think they never were as open and trusting with anyone than they were with each other. Being able to be yourself, that’s what I think is important in a friendship.

9. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

18741152I like all the friendships in this book (and the sequels as well). Anna and Etienne are great, Etienne and Josh, the whole gang pretty much is just amazeballs. I would have loved to go to school with this group!!!

10. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson

2836Jess and Leslie are pretty much inseparable. They create their own fantasy world and really just have the best of times. But I think that Jess’ friendship with Leslie opened his world to so much more than just that. This book is really tragic in so many ways, but I don’t think Jess ever regretted befriending Leslie.

 

 

I hope you’ve learned something and take away some good stories from this class 😉 As always, click on the covers if you want to know more about the books! What are some of you favourite literary friendships?

Opposite Book Tag

Since people seemed to like my Taylor Swift Book Tag, I searched the internet for another one so that I wouldn’t solely talk about TV shows on here. Believe me, I could talk about them 24/7, but it surely doesn’t hurt to change things up every now and then. That’s why I decided on doing the Opposite Book Tag!

So, the tag is very simple. You have to find books on your shelf for a number of opposing examples. Let’s get started! (And excuse the mediocre photos. I couldn’t find all of the books on the interwebs, so I photographed them myself.)

First book in your collection/Last book you bought

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Hmmm … my first book was probably some sort of picture book, but I have no clue which one, so I’ll go with the first English language book in my collection: I speak English! In many ways I believe that book played a huge role in my ever growing affection for this particular language. And the last book I bought was Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. Over the holidays, I fell in love with the TV show and couldn’t bear waiting until April to dive back into the world, so I ordered it with the TV cover.

A cheap book/An expensive book

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I got myself a French copy of the Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry at a flee market and it cost me like 2 Euros, so that definitely counts as cheap. Finding a really expensive book is difficult though, since I’m always looking for a way to find the cheapest possibility. If you buy as many books as I do, then you just really have to. I suppose my most expensive book is the complete the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis, which cost about 35 Euros and is now used to store my autographs of Ben Barnes and Skandar Keynes.

A book with a male protagonist/One with a female protagonist

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Phew, this is for once a little easier category since I can choose almost any random book I own. Female protagonists most likely prevail in my collection, but I do have books from male perspectives as well. So I choose Bitten by Kelley Armstrong for the female protagonist (click on the title to find out more about the book) and Paper Towns by John Green for the male protagonist. No particular reason for that one, just the first one I saw on my shelf.

A book you read fast/One that took you long to read

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I flew through We Were Liars by E. Lockhart! It was such an easy and unexpectedly gripping read that I could barely stop and was truly sad when it was over. Das Buch (which translates as The Book) by Wolfgang and Heike Hohlbein on the other hand took me forever. It’s not that I didn’t like it though. As of today, it is still one of the most memorable books I’ve ever read, but it took me months to get through it.

Pretty cover/Ugly cover

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I love pretty covers and I get really mad when a series doesn’t match, so I am definitely one of those people who judges a book by its cover. And I doubt that I actually own a really ugly cover, just maybe boring ones. Okay, I own one ugly one, but I need it for a later category and I want to avoid using books twice. So for the pretty cover I choose Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews, because I like the use of colour and the style of the cover in general. And for the ugly one, I’ll go with Colorado Kid by Stephen King, because it’s just nothing interesting.

A national book/An international book

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So for all of you who didn’t know, I am from Vienna, Austria and the book I am choosing is called Gut gegen Nordwind (Love Virtually) by Daniel Glattauer, who – big surprise – is Austrian. I love that book so much! It’s comprised of E-Mails between two strangers, click on the English title to read more about it! Again, I can now pick a random book from my shelf (my English language books outweigh my German ones by far). I’ll go with Where Rainbows End (aka Love, Rosie) by Cecelia Ahern, just because the content of the book is so similar to the one of Love Virtually.

A thin book/A thick book

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So, this “book” (I’m not sure it really deserves the name) would have been my choice for ugliest cover, but I needed it for thinnest book. The Greatest Man in the World by James Thurber was an impulsive buy, because I desperately wanted to read the Secret Life of Walter Mitty after watching the movie and it’s combined with the Greatest Man. I was really disappointed when I got it in the mail though. I’m not sure the Host by Stephenie Meyer is really my thickest volume, but the German version has something shy of 865 pages, so I’d say it’s amongst the largest books I have.

Fiction book/Non-fiction book

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This is such a vague category. I’ll go with My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick for fiction and Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (and other concerns) by Mindy Kaling for non-fiction, just because they are some of my most recent reads.

Very (way too) romantic book/Action book

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I have a large Nicholas Sparks collection, so this one is easy. The Best of Me was the last movie adaptation so I’ll take that for romance and The Maze Runner Series by James Dashner for action. That counts right?

A book that made you happy/One that made you sad

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Having books in general makes me pretty happy … okay, I’ll try to take this serious. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. A Good Year by Peter Mayle just gives me a warm and fuzzy happy feeling inside and The Book Thief by Markus Zusak just really gets to me in a more sad way.

Sorry this got longer than I thought. I hope you still enjoyed this little insight in my reading habits and if you want to do it too, consider yourself tagged! If you want to discuss any of the books or have more questions, I am more than happy to talk in the comments!