young adult • contemporary
“So you gotta make it out. You can’t fail. You’ve got the best excuse in the world right now, but you can’t use it.”
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.
This book was hilarious. I loved how the book was written from a teenager perspective and revolved around how teenagers dealt their self around death. It wasn’t the typical book about cancer and dying, because I bet the only tears will came out of you is because of laughing. (This book was so funny that it was so hard to quote a word for this post)
What I loved about this book was the fact that it didn’t try so hard to mature the character. There were so many cancer books out there which its character was an overly matured teenager. I’m not saying that I didn’t enjoy those kind of books, but sometimes it just felt too polished. I mean, if you want to make a dying main character that would left so many inspirational messages to the world, why made it from a teenager’s perspective? And that’s why I thought this book was brilliantly creative and original. If you think that the humor in this book made cancer looked like a small thing, then you’re very wrong. This book perfectly described how teenagers (especially boys) really felt about how to deal with a person about to die, which was nothing they know of. What kind of teenager prepared for that, right?
Well, I did have some issues with the book though. I thought the idea of making this as an eccentric book was way too far. I mean, Earl’s family and The-tattooed-and-cool Mr McCarthy along with having a dying girl as a friend was a bit too much combined together for Gregg and overshadowing the not-so-much-drama-of-a-teenager’s life idea of this story. There were some jokes that didn’t really have the impact at me either. And it would have also been better if there were more of Rachel’s scene, but giving the fact that she was a bit quite and reserved, I bet that wouldn’t make any difference anyway. So, never mind that last part.
Well, If you haven’t read this book, I suggest you find it, borrow it, or buy it and read it as soon as possible. It was a really quick read so don’t think too much and just start reading it because the movie will come out on June 12th which is by the way next month which also means in a COUPLE WEEKS!