Friday, May 6, 2016

Book Review: The Haters by Jesse Andrews (RocTBF2016)

This author has gotten a lot of press lately because of another one of his books: Me, Earl, and the Dying Girl. Apparently, it is being turned into a movie that I will refuse to see. I actually own that one as it was in one of the Book Riot YA boxes last year. In fact, there are three Teen Rochester Book Festival authors that were featured by Book Riot last year… coincidence? Probably.
Anyway, my plan was to read MEatDG, but I’m on a time crunch now so I downloaded the only Jesse Andrews available via Overdrive. You know how audiobooks can save your life, right?

“For Wes and his best friend, Corey, jazz camp turns out to be lame. It’s pretty much all dudes talking in Jazz Voice. But then they jam with Ash, a charismatic girl with an unusual sound, and the three just click. It’s three and a half hours of pure musical magic, and Ash makes a decision: They need to hit the road. Because the road, not summer camp, is where bands get good. Before Wes and Corey know it, they’re in Ash’s SUV heading south, and The Haters Summer of Hate Tour has begun.

In his second novel, Andrews again brings his brilliant and distinctive voice to YA, in the perfect book for music lovers, fans of The Commitments and High Fidelity, or anyone who has ever loved—and hated—a song or a band. This witty, funny coming-of-age novel is contemporary fiction at its best.”

My own babbling:
This book reminds me of Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist and Exile or maybe Breakout by Kevin Emerson. These similarities are probably mostly related to the music mentions throughout. Those were also good books, by the way.

The point, though, is that this is a book about three teenagers who are looking for their IT thing and want to do IT big and ROCK EVERYONE’s FACE OFF. I mean, who can’t relate to that feeling, right? Along their way, they learn about themselves and each other. Of course, in the end, their parents turn them back into Herbs (people who are lame).

I loved the metaphors in the book. Loved them. Loved. I can’t be too emphatic about this. I will likely read Me, Earl and death or whatever just because I need to see what else Jesse Andrews can do with language. Loved.

The main character, Wes, is Venezuelan adoptee with white American parents. There’s a few places where the non-white status of the youth comes up. And they are places where the issues of what race you are are actually super likely to come up. The descriptions of appearance include diversity without assumptions. Plus, the inner demons of being an adopted kid who worries about your “should have been” life and the realness of your parent’s love were also great, even when mostly drug- addled. There’s also a great confrontation between Corey and Ash about how rich kids and poor kids life perspective might be different. Thusly and therefore, this book soundly earns the #WNDB sticker. There’s a range of emotional and social situations and circumstances represented.

Praise baby Jesus for some condom talk, y’all!

So, this book is excellent as an audiobook, though I get the impression that there might be some unique formatting and whatnot in the print version. I also listen to audiobooks a wee faster than normal so I think some of the funny parts were made funnier by the frantic Wes. Really, though, he’s a little neurotic so it totally works.

One warning: If you don't like the word dick, references to dicks, or just general dick talk, this is not the book for you. But, seriously, don't be a bag of dicks. 

Related Links:

No comments:

Post a Comment