Saturday, December 30, 2017

Book review: I Hate Everyone But You by Gaby Dunn and Allison Raskin

Book Summary
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?

Flo's Review
This book was simply adorable. It's composed entirely of emails and text messages. That, plus the ease of Ava and Gen's banter, made it a quick and simple read. I finished it in two sittings. 

Writers are always being coached to, "Show, Don't Tell." Gaby Dunn and Allison Raskin did a great job establishing the relationship between their characters through the chosen electronic media. I felt the deep bond and love between the friends from the very beginning and throughout the book. 

I also felt that I Hate Everyone But You did a great job of talking about a variety of timely and important social issues in a way that they would come up for a young adult reader. There was no making a point one way or another, honestly, that I took away -- even though Gen and Ava often had different experiences and points of view on these issues. Instead, it was just these two girls talking about mental health, transphobia, and other things as they came up for them.

My only one thing with the book was that I felt it could have been a little shorter. The email/texting format is a hard one to hold attention for an extended number of pages. I Hate Everyone But You succeeded, but I don't think it would have had it been any longer. 

If you are lucky enough to have a friend who has been with you through many years of your life -- as you have left home, experienced new things, changed and adapted accordingly -- then you are blessed indeed. I am lucky enough to have relationships like this, and this book celebrates them. I love it. Romance is nice, but it's so nice, honest, and refreshing to read a book where the most important relationship is between besties.

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