Monday, April 4, 2016

The Haters by Jesse Andrews

Wes and Corey are high school kids from Pittsburgh going  to jazz camp in New Jersey for 2 weeks.  Upon arrival, it's not turning out to be all that great.  It's 99.9% boys (really really annoying boys), and after a try-out, they get put in the least talented jazz group.

During a brutal rehearsal, a scene erupts, leaving the pair sticking up for Ash- one of the only girls in the camp.  The three feel like outcasts, and after an inspired jam-session, they decide to ditch the camp and go on their own adventure.... a road trip and an impromptu tour!!

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl was one of the funniest books I've read.  It was one of those books that captivated me from the first page and had me laughing out loud in public places.  To say that I was excited to read another book by Mr. Andrews is a severe understatement.  I was DYING to read something else from him!!

First things: The cover!!  I love it!  It's so simple and eye-catching and cute.  I also think the color is good for standing out.  I also love a road trip book.  This one follows 3 teenagers who form a spontaneous band and go on an unscheduled tour.  Basically just driving to random cities and begging people to let them play... even if it's in backyards.  There's something so fun about the idea of not having any responsibilities or technology (they turned off their phones).  Just driving with friends and making memories without even being aware how awesome these memories are.  Just living in the moment.

What I loved:  I loved that even though the characters in this book were different from the characters in Me and Earl, the humor was similar.  Now, I don't want you thinking that I was LOLing all over the place like I was with Earl.  No, this book had it's moments, but I didn't think the humor was as off-the-wall as his first book was.  Either that, or I've started to grow immune to immature teenage boy humor.... but I highly doubt that.

The three main characters are very hard to get to know.  At first it seems like they all mesh and that they're all just your run-of-the-mill teenagers, but quite soon it's clear that they've got all kind of twisty issues within them.  Wes is our main character, and his story-telling abilities are a bit out-there.  There's major over-sharing and word vomit going on.  But I found that's what is fun about Jesse Andrew's books.  His characters over-share.  They like to talk about their dicks (this character likes to talk about harming his dick).  They like to have freak outs over things that wouldn't bother normal people.

What I didn't love:  The humor was not as strong as I had hoped for.  The LOL moments were minimal compared to my other experience with this author (although maybe it isn't all that fair to be comparing SO hard).  Beyond that, there were some parts that got overly gross for me.  And yeah, we get you like to joke about your nether regions, but after a while it's like no more please.  Also, it was frustrating to read about people who didn't know what the heck was going on.  Were they really a band?  Were they any good?  Did they suck?  Were they friends?  More than friends?  What was the plan?  Was the plan to have no plan?  None of them knew.  Which is FINE if that's the point... but I don't think it was.  I think they wanted to know what they were doing, but could literally just not get it together enough to actually plan.  At least that's the what Wes had going on, and he's our narrator, so.....

What I've learned after 2 of Jesse Andrews' books:  This author is not going to write characters that you can put in a box with a bow around it.  They aren't going to have massive "coming of age" moments and make HUGE realizations about life.  They are prickly on the outside and you aren't going to pull back the layers and find that they have this glorious shining heart of gold underneath.  That's just NOT what he does.  His characters aren't here to teach you lessons, act the way you expect them to, or change.  They are who they are, and I kind of love that about them.

OVERALL:  I enjoyed this road trip book!!  I liked the strong voice, the adventure, and the awkward teenage feel.  Not as strong as the author's debut novel, but still worth reading if you liked that book.

This Books Contains:
  • Crude humor
  • Awkward sexy times
  • Music
  • Tons and tons of modern and classic band references
  • Family issues
  • Friendship
  • Swearing
  • Alcohol/drug use

My Rating: 3/4

Date Published: 4/5/2016
How I got this book: Thanks to Netgalley and Amulet Books for allowing me to read and honestly review this book.
Publisher: Amulet Books

Character: Ash
Book: High on Arrival by Mackenzie Phillips

  • I think Ash would enjoy this bio-book about the daughter of a rock legend.  Ash's life was MUCH more stable than Mackenzie's, but there are similarities of growing up in a world of excess.

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  1. I've never read anything by this author, but I know a lot of people love him! I actually didn't realize that Me, Earl, and the Dying Girl was humor! I'm glad you enjoyed this one even though it wasn't perfect! :D

    Tracy @ Cornerfolds

    1. Me and Earl really is funny!! I didn't think it was either, but it's definitely not a "The Fault in Our Stars" book. I totally recommend it!

  2. I'm reading this right now and enjoying it. I haven't read Me, Earl, and the Dying Girl but I need to. If I like this one then I'm sure I'll like that one even more. I'm not a big fan of road trips but this one is working for me and so is the crude teenage boy humor.
    Cassi @ My Thoughts Literally

    1. I love teenage boy humor!! I thought this road trip really worked and didn't feel forced at all. I hope you keep liking it (it does get a little weird towards the end) and you should totally read Earl!!

  3. I like your addition of what the characters are reading; how fun! I have this one to read/review. Gah, I'm so behind on things. I still haven't read EARL, though I want too, but I guess it might be good to go backwards since you liked this one a little bit less.

    p.s. follower giveaway if you want to enter!

    1. I am SO behind on review stuff, so I totally know what you mean. I hate getting behind, but I'm a mood reader :(

  4. Great review! I still need to read Earl as well. Both books look really good. :D

  5. Okay there is never getting used to teenage boy humor. It will never make sense to me. I liked me earl and the dying girl. I liked the story but it was a bit too crude at times for me. I guess that is what I get for reading a teenage boy narrative. I did like it enough and I like that his characters are real. It entertains me and makes me a little teary eyed so that is good. I do need to check this book out. for sure.

    1. If you were able to get through the teenage boy humor in Me and Earl, you should be good with this one. I don't think it's any worse... but it's definitely there.

  6. Eeeep, I have this to read and it makes me a bit more excited for it! I am a bit nervous though?! XD hehe, I loved Me & Earl (omg I couldn't stop laughing) but I'm not a fan of super crude humour and I tend to just find teenage boys kind of irritating. Buuuuut, for the sake of Me & Earl I will be trying it at least. ;D It sounds really quirky and spontaneous roadtrips are AWESOME to read about.

    Thanks for stopping by @ Paper Fury!

    1. If you loved Me and Earl, you should be fine with this one. The crudeness is really not at a different level. But there are definitely irritating boys in this one... sort of just like Earl and Greg were.

  7. I have read Me and Earl because for some reason I really think it's going to offend me. I don't know why but this sounds pretty decent. Maybe, I will reconsider.