Wow. I didn't intend to read this one tonight but I started and realized it was impossible to put down. There's so many ways this book could go wrong, but it manages to stay on the tracks (train metaphor!) without crashing into a mountain (plane metaphor!).
Basically, this book is HILARIOUS and gruff and a little frustrating (but in a way that makes sense and works when I sat back and considered things as a whole). The narrator is imperfect but witty; his friend Earl is phenomenal and smart; Rachel (the titular dying girl) is -- well, I can't say anything without destroying what Andrews has created here.
Suffice to say, I bought this book on a whim: GREAT cover + description that mentions filmmaking HS kids who watch Aguirre, The Wrath of God too much + great voice in the opening = winner.
I am not sorry I succumbed to the whim purchase. and now I will begin to champion this book.