This week I read the first part of Mrs. Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and the entirety of Me, Earl and the Dying Girl. My book club is reading Mrs. Peregrine’s Home this week and so far I am having a little trouble getting into. The dark, fantasy-like story line is outside of my comfort zone for sure. The deep family ties holding the plot down are probably what is keeping a hold of me. Well, that and my group members, they would appreciate if I read the book all the way through.
Me, Earl and the Dying Girl was also a dark story, but in a completely different way. The main character, Greg, is your typical misfit. He’s not really especially weird, outstandingly awkward or noticeably there. He’s just… there. His best friend is an outspoken kid from a poor neighborhood and a disconnected family. Unlike Greg, Earl makes his presence known and doesn’t hold much back. Together, the two of them make movies. This is really the only thing the unlikely pair has in common. Their movies are just two kids running around with a video camera and a loose plot jotted down on a script. At one point Greg’s mom guilts him into reconnecting with a part-time childhood friend, Rachel, after it is discovered she has a form of Leukemia. After the three friends get to know each other, the boys decide to make a video for Rachel. The problem is, the video is collection of their classmates’ grievances and get-well wishes. These classmates didn’t say thing nice, or really anything at all, to Rachel while she was a student. Now that she’s hospitalized, hearing her peers say sappy sweet things to a lens when they wouldn’t even look at her in person doesn’t fend well. In the end, Rachel dies and Earl ends up furious at Greg. I know, that is super vague and disappointing, but I am going to let you read the book for yourself to find out what emotions create this compelling story.