Published by Harry N. Abrams on January 1st 2012
Genres: Contemporary, YA, Young Adult
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.
I don’t even know how to describe this book. How do I describe such an awesome novel? I guess I should probably just rant in a fangirly way and hope it turns out for the best.
First and foremost, you all should know that this is a cancer novel. Now I know what you’re probably thinking: “how can a cancer book be awesome?!?!?!” Well, I’LL TELL YOU HOW
I think that we need a little context before we get to the fangirling. First, we have a snarky and funny teenage boy named Greg. Greg and his best friend Earl spend their free time filming movies (in Greg’s house because Earl lives with all of his unsavory brothers). When not filming videos, Greg spends his time in school trying to stay ahead of the social game but pretending to belong in every group so he ends up not belonging in any social circle (if that makes sense). One day, Greg’s mom forces him to rekindle his friendship with Rachel, a girl he went to elementary scbool with, because she has just been diagnosed with Leukemia.
Now here is where you are thinking: “Oh, so this will be an inspirational novel, right?” Well, the answer is yes and no. No, this is not your typical cancer book. Yes, it is inspiring on some level because it is SO REALISTIC. Not all cancer stories end in a big dramatic twist and epic romances. This book is just about Greg trying to deal with a semi-friend’s loss. I don’t know how to accurately review this book so I think I’ll just attempt to get you all to read
#1- It is funny. This book is freakin’ hilarious. Greg was just an awesome character and I remember laughing so hard that I had to leave the room and go somewhere I can laugh without disturbing anyone.
#2- The writing style. I love love LOVE the writing style. This book is written in a way that is addressed to the reader. I wouldn’t call it 2nd person but the book is written in a way that it is like Greg is addressing the readers. It’s so interesting and unique
#3- The chapter titles. Examples are necessary. “Let’s Get This Embarrassing Chapter Out of the Way”, “I Put the ‘Ass’ in ‘Casanova'”, “Earl Betrays Our Entire Creative Partnership When I Am Distracted by The Munchies”.
#4- Earl. You must read to find this out.
#5- Greg. I already talked about this enough, yes?
#6- NO ROMANCE. Guys, there is no romance in this book. Is this a dream come true?! The answer is yes.
#7- Realistic. This book is brutally honest. There is not fluffy clouds or covering up. A girl has cancer and terrible things happen but IT IS HONEST.
#8- Movies. So many movies, it might as well be a cinema. (I tried at puns, ok?!)
Anyway, I got a little side-tracked but my point is: READ THIS BOOK. NOW!