Wednesday, June 7, 2017

I Hate Everyone But You, A Review

I Hate Everyone But You: A Novel by [Dunn, Gaby, Raskin, Allison]
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Book Description
Dear Best Friend,
I can already tell that I will hate everyone but you.
Ava Helmer
(that brunette who won’t leave you alone)
We're still in the same room, you weirdo.
Stop crying.

So begins a series of texts and emails sent between two best friends, Ava and Gen, as they head off to their first semesters of college on opposite sides of the country. From first loves to weird roommates, heartbreak, self-discovery, coming out and mental health, the two best friends will document every moment to each other. But as each changes and grows into her new life, will their friendship be able to survive the distance?
I Hate Everyone But You, the debut novel by two emerging major talents in YA, Allison Raskin and Gaby Dunn, is a story about new beginnings, love and heartbreak, and ultimately about the power of friendship.


I received an eARC copy of this book from the publisher. Here is my honest review.

I've gone around and around on what rating to give this book; on the one hand, I enjoyed it and think the authors did an incredible job telling the story of Ava and Gen using emails and text messages. I enjoy the epistolary format and the title was certainly intriguing. On the other hand, the book has elements that I find questionable. There is language which I find bothersome but doesn't turn me off.
As a mother, I enjoy reading what 'kids these days' are reading. I think it's important to know what they are reading and it is my belief that literature opens the doors to conversation. This book explores topics that are relevant to young people today and that is where it's value lies. While I don't agree with the choices that the characters make, I think it portrays the culture and morals that our young people are facing. Sometimes it is just easier to talk about issues when it's someone else than yourself. The setting is college and drinking is a part of college life. For instance, it's easy as a parent to tell your kids not to drink; it's not as easy to talk to them about how they might encounter those situations and how they think they would handle them. But you can have a discussion about Ava and the choices she was faced with. 

Personally, I could only recommend this book with caution based on the content and how it is written and handled. I would not let my teenager read this book; I would let my child headed off to college read this in the months before leaving for college. 

Ava and Gen's story is told through a very worldly, anything goes, viewpoint. I know that works for many people. Based on the content* and story details, I would rate this book a 2 or 3. Based on the writing and the authors ability to tell a story in such a difficult format, I'd rate this book a 5. Acknowledging that the content of this book does address issues that young people encounter today, I'm rating it a 4. 

I gave this book: 

*Content included in this book: drinking, drug use, sex, homosexuality/bisexuality, mental health, cutting, personal relationships with professors

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