I’ve heard quite a few people rave about this book but honestly I’m kind of torn. The best thing about this book is it’s conversational, constantly breaking 4th wall writing style. It’s just so different from most everything else that I’ve read lately that I found myself really enjoying the first few chapters. The humor and direct nature of the story made it a quick read, but I’m pretty sure that I won’t pick this up for a reread. I’m not even sure I’ll keep my copy.
The problem is that the characters weren’t really relatable or even likable. I get how high school sucks, just as much as anyone who’s survived it, but the characters didn’t really have a strong center or even goals. Part of why the YA genre is so enjoyable to me personally, is the intensity with which people 14-25 live their lives. The main character’s goal in life is to be unnoticed and not have ties to anyone. Which isn’t just unrealistic, it’s also miserable. His best friend, Earl, wasn’t much better. Poorly educated, drug dealer/user, general underachiever, I just didn’t really care about him at all. And to make matters worse, the dying girl Rachel, had no personality. Her main function to the story is to laugh at Greg’s attempts at awkward/gross humor and to die. Even Greg muses on the fact that Rachel hadn’t really done anything with her life, and now she’s to sick and defeated to do anything.
I had high hopes for this book from the beginning, and don’t get me wrong, it was enjoyable, but the ending was a big let down since nothing really happens. The kooky narration was funny, but this story didn’t really have another point.
All that being said, Google just informed me that there’s a film based on the book set to hit theaters this summer, and I will give that a chance. I’m interested in how they’ll pull of the narration style, since the book is so unique.