May 26, 2016
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 title was provided to us by the Publisher/Author. We were in no way compensated for our review(s).
I’ve been meaning to read author Jesse Andrews’s Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, but alas, I’ve just had no time. However, I have heard nothing but good things about the novel and I was excited to read Andrews’s The Haters (I had to find out what all the hype was about, you know?). I’m actually fairly surprised by how much I loved this novel. It was one that I just couldn’t set down! You know those books that you start and are just compelled to get through, from start to finish? That is exactly the kind of novel that The Haters is.
Agonizing over their current experience at jazz camp, Wes and his best friend Corey are eager for escape. Their jazz camp is filled with people who are, for lack of a better term, lame. Totally lame. Enter Ash, a girl whose music sounds different than anything Wes has ever heard before. When the three notice that their music doesn’t sound half bad when they play together, the trio decides to make an impromptu road trip into a band tour. Life on the open road isn’t anything that Wes, Corey, and Ash could have ever expected, and nobody can say what might happen next.
The Haters is written with a very unique voice. Some authors fail when it comes to writing in the first person as the narrative lacks a sense of personality. Andrews is not one of these authors. Everything about The Haters is presented clearly from Wes’s perspective. The story that Wes tells and the way that he thinks and speaks is just hilarious. Andrews is successful in creating a lighthearted story that comes off as barely serious, but still manages to grow intense when the time calls for it.
The Haters storyline, I found, did verge on campy from time to time, but I did enjoy that there was a constant struggle and conflict present. When Wes, Corey, and Ash decide to go on a band tour, things don’t go as planned (and that is a definite understatement). Nothing about the novel’s storyline is easy. The characters have to work for the small opportunities that they receive and I loved that about the novel. The Haters is (for a novel about three kids deciding to make a band and live out their dreams) a surprisingly realistic story that I think all readers will enjoy.
The characters in The Haters are all unforgettable. As the trio experiences unexpected hijinks, they are met with new faces that add to the tone of the novel. I had my fair share of favorite side characters and I’m certain that every reader will find somebody that they can relate to.
My only issue with The Haters was the pacing. The novel starts out in a way that had me excited and flipping pages like there was no tomorrow. It wasn’t until the end of the novel that the pacing grew uneven for me, and the plot began to stretch itself thin. The ending certainly wasn’t what I expected nor what I wanted for The Haters, but c’est la vie.
I would recommend The Haters to all teen readers, especially that of teen boys who want a novel that they can relate to a little more closely (considering Wes as a narrator). My only caution would be for readers to bear in mind that there is a fair amount of immaturity in the novel. I would also recommend The Haters to readers who want a lighthearted story that is as exciting as it is funny.