This is the greatest combination of a musical adventure and the funniest soul-searching/coming of age story of the year!
First, I would like to say a big thank you to Atlantic Books for sending me Jesse Andrews’ latest book – I really loved it! The Haters is about two boys who are best friends, Wes and Corey; they are sent to Jazz Camp for the summer. When they get there, they meet a girl called Ash who is a dark, moody and mysterious girl – so naturally they both have instantaneous crushes on her. She suggests to the boys that they ditch Jazz Camp, form a band and go on tour round America – with no phones!?! So off they trot and the rest you’ll have find out once you read it.
I have not read Jesse Andrews’ first novel Me and Earl and the Dying Girl so I came into this novel without preconceptions, which I think is better. As I was doing my review research and I was looking on Goodreads where a lot of people were disappointed with The Haters because they were expecting something similar to his first novel. As a book lover and reviewer, I can tell you with absolute certainty that that is the worst thing to expect because unless it’s a series, do not expect the same. I think those writers that do write the same sort of plot, characters and style are boring and they soon drop off the radar. I want writers to go out of their comfort zones and try new styles and this is exactly what Jesse Andrews has been done in The Haters.
Another issue that I picked up on was that people didn’t like the sexual exploration part of the novel, especially the dick harming jokes which were hilarious. Maybe we need to have more teenage boys read this novel. For them, it is normal to talk about those silly things. I just wanted to bring up this so-called issue because it is done so often on TV, so why can’t books present those aspects of life as well? For me, talking about sexual exploration made the characters felt like real teenagers.
Forget those people – I just had to “hate” on them a bit (get it: the title). Each of these characters in The Haters touched me deep inside, as they reminded me of my teenage years. In the way they spoke and acted. I think Jesse Andrews has beautifully captured what it is truly like to be an awkward teenager. You really feel a special relationship with Wes and his anxieties which reminds us of the many anxieties we had as a teenager. Ash is complicated but also hilarious – you’ll either hate her or love her by the end of the novel. Corey is like one of those mates you love, who is always there for you, but makes the stupidest decisions ever. But no matter what, you still love them – they are such a loveable character.
I thought the plot was hands down hilarious and thrilling. Jesse Andrews always kept you guessing about what is going to happen next. I loved the fact that Wes was the narrator, as you could really see in his exploration of life, his progress from good little boy to adult; and I loved the matching continuous change in the style of dialogue from Wes.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was a great laugh. It may not suit everyone but I think it will resonate a lot with Londoners and anyone who has comes from a musical family like me because it talks about lots of different bands and groups; it’s quite a cultural read. Definitely one for the books!
As usual comment below and let me know your thoughts! Also this book is released today in the UK and Waterstones is selling it for £2 cheaper online so here is the link:
© 2016 Emily Claire Cannings