SPOILER FREE REVIEW
Synopsis (Taken from Goodreads.com)
Greg Gaines is the last master of high school espionage, able to disappear at will into any social environment. He has only one friend, Earl, and together they spend their time making movies, their own incomprehensible versions of Coppola and Herzog cult classics.
Until Greg’s mother forces him to rekindle his childhood friendship with Rachel.
Rachel has been diagnosed with leukemia—-cue extreme adolescent awkwardness—-but a parental mandate has been issued and must be obeyed. When Rachel stops treatment, Greg and Earl decide the thing to do is to make a film for her, which turns into the Worst Film Ever Made and becomes a turning point in each of their lives.
And all at once Greg must abandon invisibility and stand in the spotlight.
Goodreads Rating: 3.59/5 Stars
My Rating: 4/5 Stars
The blurb quote on the front of my book cover states “Though the novel begs… comparisons to John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars, it stands on its own in inventiveness, humor, and heart” and I both agree and disagree with this statement (Kirkus Reviews). I did feel a John Green-esque style/humor type from the book; however, I also had to remind myself that this book is it’s own separate being from a completely different author, and that was where the true value lies for this book.
I think the most exciting aspect to this book was the pure humor Jesse Andrews used. While the novel talked about many typical themes for a young adult contemporary novel – such as friendship, growing up, the sheer pain that high school is – it was highlighted by the voice and humor that our main character, Greg, had. Throughout the pages of the book I didn’t feel as if I was reading a novel written by a man; rather, I felt that I was truly holding a book written by a seventeen-eighteen year old boy. Having the ability to create such a pure voice like that is not an easy accomplishment.
Besides that, I enjoyed the characters that we regularly met throughout the novel. There was something real about them, and it was as if I could walk past them at any day or time in my own life. Not to mention, there was many aspects to these characters that I can see in the people within my own life. That dimension of realness or reality is an aspect that I love to see in novels, especially within contemporary novels.
The relatability is what really drove me to finish this book rather quickly. Although usually I prefer reading books where I can be transported to a different world, this one drew me in its own way. Even though I am out of high school, I still have a soft-spot for stories set within that setting. It’s always fun to see into different high school settings, even if they are fictional.
Overall, there is not one moment or aspect that I didn’t like within this novel. It was charming and sad tale about life and friendship. Here’s to wishing Greg was real so we could be hang out buddies – but not friends.
“This book probably makes it seem like I hate myself and everything I do. But that’s not totally true. I mostly just hate every person I’ve everbeen. I’m actually fine with myself right now.”
― Jesse Andrews,