Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Books I've Read: The Haters

I really enjoyed this book.  It was a fun, fast, easy read and the voices were so fresh and authentic it made me cringe.  Because yes, these are teenage boy voices, and like so many teenage boys they're crude and obsessed with their male parts and what they want to do with them.

But that's what makes this book so much fun.

I loved hanging out with Wes and Corey who were just as awkward and mis-fitty as I felt in high school.  Both are musicians, but both know they're not really good enough to do anything with it, even if they did get into a prestigious summer jazz school.

But anyone can dream big, and after being humiliated in their first jazz camp session, Wes, Corey jam with Ash, a girl guitarist who was just as embarrassed in class as they were.  What they create feels like magic, and before long the trio have blown off camp and hit the road with their instruments.

With no idea where they are going, they decide they're a band on tour and they'll play wherever they can along the road.  Their first challenge is choosing a band name that doesn't suck.  But there are many, many more.

This is a book that will have you laughing out loud, especially whenever they're trying to choose a band name and rejecting every one that is offered for the most absurd reasons.  I have had so many of those kinds of conversations over the years….  It feels painfully familiar.

Yet it's not all light and laughter.  These are characters with some real problems and there are times when the bonds of friendship get tested to their limits.

But if you're looking for something fun to read with real, raw teenage boy voices, this one would be a good one to pick up.

But don't just listen to me.  Here's the blurb:

From Jesse Andrews, author of the New York Times bestselling Me and Earl and the Dying Girl and screenwriter of the Sundance award–winning motion picture of the same name, comes a groundbreaking young adult novel about music, love, friendship, and freedom as three young musicians follow a quest to escape the law long enough to play the amazing show they hope (but also doubt) they have in them.

Inspired by the years he spent playing bass in a band himself, The Haters is Jesse Andrews’s road trip adventure about a trio of jazz-camp escapees who, against every realistic expectation, become a band.

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.


  1. I saw this one hitting lots of giveaway and review sites a few months ago. I even plugged it on Foxy's Freebies. I really like the cover!

  2. It sounds really cool. I can't stand it when the characters sound or act in a way that no teenager would. It's...just ugh.