> Nº 3 on My 2015 Reading Challenge – A book that became a movie <
Up until senior year, Greg has maintained total social invisibility. He only has one friend, Earl, and together they spend their time—when not playing video games and avoiding Earl’s terrifying brothers— making movies, their own versions of Coppola and Herzog cult classics. Greg would be the first one to tell you his movies are f*@$ing terrible, but he and Earl don’t make them for other people. Until Rachel.
Rachel has leukemia, and Greg’s mom gets the genius idea that Greg should befriend her. Against his better judgment and despite his extreme awkwardness, he does. When Rachel decides to stop treatment, Greg and Earl must abandon invisibility and make a stand. It’s a hilarious, outrageous, and truthful look at death and high school by a prodigiously talented debut author.
This is an interesting book. I laughed so hard while reading this book, I was having fits on the bus and everything… FUN!
*** Warning, there will be MAJOR SPOILERS, you have been warned ***
The story is interesting enough: boy who just wants to be invisible, with his only friend being more of a co-worker, is forced to bond with dying girl. To top it off, Greg and Earl do movies together, and some of the book is written in script form, which is pretty cool.
The story in itself is not groundbreaking, I think this a story about life happening, that exactly specific events in one’s life. Nothing monumental actually happens in neither of their lives… well, Rachel dies, but that’s about it. It’s not a story about friendship, or young love, or achieving your true potential. It goes a bit like this: Greg doesn’t want friends, Greg is forced to be friends with Rachel, Greg thinks that his job it to make Rachel laugh, Earl becomes friends with her and is able to say so, Greg doesn’t understand why he’s sad that Rachel is worst, Rachel loves the videos, Rachel gets sicker, Greg cries – still doesn’t understand, Rachel dies, Earl sets Greg straight, Greg decides to apply to film school. Sure, in the meantime he kind of grows, they kind of become friends.
I absolutely loved the book, the pacing is good, is easy to read, the story is entertaining, though not very deep (from Greg’s point of view). But I think it will work better on film than on the page.
Why? Well, in the book Greg comes off as a highly unlikable character. I could not stand him. Sure, he says several times that Earl is a better person than he is, but it is actually very true. Earl is great, Rachel is amazing, Greg?! Mehhh!! It’s because he’s always reinforcing the idea that it is not a love story… we get it, then he says several times that he’s only there to make her laugh, he says other stuff that just made me want to slap him. And still, even though the book is narrated by a meehh character, I still quite enjoyed it!
So looking forward to the movie! Especially since the reviews have been great!
Rating: 3.8 Stars