Title: The Haters
Author: Jesse Andrews
Genre: YA Contemporary/ Music/ Realistic Fiction
Publication Date: April 5, 2016
Goodreads Synopsis: 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.
This week I am reviewing Jesse Andrews’ The Haters. Now, like most people, I find an author I like and read all of the books they come out with. This includes Jesse Andrews. I fell in love with Me, Earl, and the Dying Girl when I read it (and the movie was just as good!) So when I came across The Haters on a trip to Barnes and Nobles, I just had to have it.
The cover was full of intrigue. I mean who doesn’t get hooked when a cover says “A Band With No Fans, On The Tour No One Asked For”? Even the back summary of the book made it sound interesting.
The Haters follows Wes and his friend Corey on their journey to band camp where they think they will be meeting girls. However, to them, the camp is lame and the only girl there is Ash, an introvert who sticks to her guitar. When suddenly Wes finds himself in a car traveling away from camp with his best friend and Ash as they go on a tour as a band with no name with no real music to play.
As I began to read The Haters I had very low expectations. Although the book did get better as I got further into the book. Here is what I thought of The Haters:
Things I Like:
Wes, Corey, and Ash all have differing personalities which are clear from the beginning of the book. What they all have in common is their need to fit in. This is typical of high school aged kids, and although none of these characters would ever admit it, they just wanted to belong. Whether it be together as a band or in Gene Krupa at jazz camp. These characters are ones that you love to hate on (but isn’t that the whole point?!)
Although I really struggled to get through the first 50 pages of the book, I was somehow able to get through the entire book. Andrews kept enough intrigue for me to want to know what other crazy situations Wes, Corey, and Ash would get themselves into and whether they would make it back to jazz camp. This compelling storyline helped me to finish the book and find out just what would happen to the characters.
I Don’t Mean To Be A Hater But… (aka Things I Don’t Like):
Too much dick talk
Okay, now I usually do not mind genitalia talk in books, but this was excessive. Just on page 9 alone, dick was mentioned 8 times! And that was just page 9! Consistently throughout the book, various body parts and harm to them is brought up. I think it was supposed to be humorous, but it just felt like a flop.
I know I mentioned the characters as a pro before, but the characters were also irritating. Wes was whiny throughout the majority of the book. Corey was uncontrollably angry for most of the book. And Ash was unemotional and controlling of both Wes and Corey. Although their dynamic did work, everything about them made me not like them.
Different dialog types
The consistency of writing in this book was all over the place. Some parts would be in typical book layout with the storyline and then the “dialogue”. Then other parts would – for people when going over a conversation that had happened. Then there were parts of screenplays where the characters would talk and [there were some stage commands]. Although it did make it somewhat interesting, it was hard to follow just exactly what was going on.
Naming the band at the end
Honestly, this one might just be a pet peeve of mine. I really hate that they finally name the band at the end of the book. They go through the entire book without a real identity for their band and continuously change the name when they run into people throughout their journey.
Overall, if the purpose of the book was to become a hater myself, then I would clearly have to give it 5 stars! But because I do not believe that was honestly the purpose Andrews was trying to aim for; I am giving The Haters…
Do you think it is possible to become a “hater” based on a book? Voice your opinions in the comments below!
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