The Haters

Finished The Haters by Jesse Andrews.  I received a copy from the publisher for review.

Summary (from Goodreads):

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.”

I very much enjoyed Jesse Andrews’ first book, Me & Earl & The Dying Girl.  This is much different than that one.

Well, let me dial that back.  It’s got the same sense of humor (try and read this without laughing, I dare you) but it doesn’t have the book’s underlying current of…can I say “a good heart” without getting booed?

The Haters kept my attention from start to finish, and the comparison to High Fidelity is incredibly apt. It’s absolutely a book for people who love music, and there are so many music references that I think would just delight readers.

I have to admit, though, that this book felt a little flat for me.  I enjoyed it, but I didn’t love it the way I did his first novel.  I’m not sure what kept me at a disconnect, but reading the reviews, it seems like I’m not the only one who felt that way.  (Maybe if I knew more about music? Maybe if I were a boy?)

Still, Jesse Andrews has so much talent, and I cannot wait for his next book.


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