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Monday, March 21, 2016

Jesse Andrews Returns With The Haters

If you know Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, you know Jesse Andrews work. I was eager to read The Haters and now that I have. I'm still trying to decide what to think.



Music-centric, that's the first thing that pops to mind about The Haters. There's a bit of a band geek gone wrong aspect. Wes and Corey, best friends for a long time, come from completely different backgrounds. Corey's parents are protective, perhaps overly so. Wes's parents are so focused in themselves that they barely notice he exists. The pair apply and are accepted into a jazz camp, despite their questioning if they're truly good enough.

It's at this camp that they meet Ash, the only girl in the camp. Ash hates being told how to play. She, Wes, and Corey end up jamming and think they're pretty good. In fact, Ash suggests they take their act on the road and travel across the U.S. playing in any establishment that will let them.

That's the plot in a nutshell, and here come the issues I had. Overall, I liked the characters. Some of, especially in the beginning, the discussion of music bored me. Don't get me wrong, I love music, but I don't feel that it needed to be mentioned at every moment. I wanted to get into the kids' minds and see what really made them tick. Eventually that does happen but not as quickly as I wanted.

There are some mildly sexual scenes, all appropriate for the age of the characters, especially in this coming of age tale. I do have friends who would be shocked if they knew their child was reading about masturbation, etc., so I'm throwing the warning out there, even though I reiterate that at this age, that does happen and ignoring it gets you nowhere.

The Haters is available for sale on April 5, 2016. Look for this release from Amulet Books at online and brick and mortar booksellers.


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