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Hate You Hardcover – March 9, 1999

4.0 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Alice Silvers has a lot of reasons to hate her life. Her abusive father left the family long ago and hasn't been in contact with her since. Her mother is a flighty stage designer who treats Alice more like a chummy girlfriend than a daughter. And while she is a talented songwriter, Alice is constantly frustrated by the fact that she has a "Frankenstein voice, all cracked, scratched and broken," and can't sing her own lyrics--all because of the abuse she suffered at the hands of her father when she was a child. But when Alice discovers that her hated father is dying in a hospital only two hours away, she is forced to look forgiveness in the face for the first time and decide whether she has the power within herself to turn the other cheek.

A cynical 17-year-old of the '90s, Alice holds many strongly negative opinions about both her parents and her world in general. But teens will learn from Alice's struggle that hatred always ends up hurting the hater the most. Young adults will also admire Alice's independence in coming to this realization on her own by using her songwriting as a tool to work through her anger. Graham McNamee's novel is an engaging read that speaks plainly to teens about forgiveness and acceptance, offering them a gift to take back to their own realities. (Ages 13 and older) --Jennifer Hubert

From Publishers Weekly

Alice has not seen her father since the day her mother threw him out several years ago?but her hatred for him is as permanent as the damage he did to her vocal cords during his last angry rampage. ("Dad wasn't a hitter?he was a squeezer, a grabber and a shaker"). Now Alice's voice, "all cracked, scratched and broken," is a painful reminder of her past. She cannot sing the songs she composes in her head; nor can she feel sorrow when she learns that her father is dying of cancer. Alice, who narrates, talks tough a lot of the time, yet, like many protagonists of the YA genre, reveals a sensitive side (through her song lyrics, included here). She undergoes a rite of passage?confronting her father in the hospital?and, with the support of her kind and stalwart boyfriend, comes to accept what she cannot change: "I have a voice! An ugly, ragged, dragged-through-the-dirt voice. But it's real. It's mine." First-novelist McNamee offers a biting account of domestic violence, but he never moves out of the problem-novel arena. Ages 12-up.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 600L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers (March 9, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385325932
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385325936
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.8 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,433,648 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on June 24, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I was both relieved and irritated to read the reviews of this book. Relieved that people were reading and appreciating it; irritated that some people were reading it and not understanding it. I am referring to those reviewers who either see this as a book about forgiveness or wish it was. HATE YOU is about closure. That is what the (seemingly) infamous confrontation between Alice and her father was about. Anyone seeking a book in which past hurts are forgotten and both sides become friends again, I would ask you to look elsewhere. I would, however, reccomend this book to anyone who enjoys realistic books, or who wants to read a so-called 'young adult' book that does'nt drown you in sap and condescending assumptions. McNamee has written a highly original book and his characters (except for Frank and his girlfriend) are very sympathetic. Alice is one of the greatest characters I've met in a while and she is very easy to identify with,especially since my outlook towards life is very similar to hers.The only criticism Ihave of this book was that it was too short.The story was well paced, but I certainly would'nt have objected to spending a couple of hundred pages with Alice.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Hate You is a compelling novel about Alice Silver, sixteen-year old poet, composer, and victim of abuse. At age ten, Alice's vocal chords are permanently damaged by her father. Her mother then kicks him out. Six years later, Alice learns that her father is dying and wants to see her. Visiting him allows Alice to come to terms with her past and see her future more positively-funny voice and all.
Alice is talented, normally optimistic, but handicapped by her "Frankenstein" voice. Her fortyish mother struggles to maintain herself and Alice as a single parent. Eric, Alice's boyfriend, is off-beat, plays the guitar (badly), and challenges Alice to "be all she can be. "
There's a bit of "implied sex" in Hate You, though it is handled tastefully and amusingly. I think many kids would get a laugh from Alice's observations about adolescent male sexuality.
Summing up, I really like this book. Though it deals with a serious topic, it is light-hearted and amusing in many respects. Strong characterization and dialogue. I hope Vancouverite Graham McNamee publishes more novels like this one soon.
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By A Customer on June 24, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I was both relieved and irritated to read the reviews of this book. Relieved that people were reading and appreciating it; irritated that some people were reading it and not understanding it. I am referring to those reviewers who either see this as a book about forgiveness or wish it was. HATE YOU is about closure. That is what the (seemingly) infamous confrontation between Alice and her father was about. Anyone seeking a book in which past hurts are forgotten and both sides become friends again, I would ask you to look elsewhere. I would, however, reccomend this book to anyone who enjoys realistic books, or who wants to read a so-called 'young adult' book that does'nt drown you in sap and condescending assumptions. McNamee has written a highly original book and his characters (except for Frank and his girlfriend) are very sympathetic. Alice is one of the greatest characters I've met in a while and she is very easy to identify with,especially since my outlook towards life is very similar to hers.The only criticism Ihave of this book was that it was too short.The story was well paced, but I certainly would'nt have objected to spending a couple of hundred pages with Alice.
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Format: Hardcover
Since when does hate heal? In an othewise outstanding book, the climax is shallow and shocking. Alice confronts her dying father in his self-created hell, struggling to breathe and connected to an assortment of machines. The relief she feels after her cruel outburst would have been more meaningful if it inspired true healing in the form of forgiveness or even a move toward understanding. Meanness heaped upon meanness just makes for more meanness. The premise is interesting. The characters are well developed, and Alice is especially compelling, raw and honest. She deals constructively with her impairment and learns to deal with it more so. The short chapters are appealing and rife with hipness and humor. Unfortunately, the resolution is disappointing.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book is a great one for young adults. It deals with sticky issues covered by one girls's struggle with her own self identity. Alice, the main character, comes to many realizations, and goes through many trials in her life, and they make her a stronger person in the end. The writing style is very descriptive, and the way in which scenes are described really puts you right in the middle of the story. I definitely recommend this book.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Alice is a pretty typical high school student in most ways. The one main difference between her and others is her voice. When she was ten, she got in the middle of a fight between her parents, and her father grabbed her so hard by the throat that he left her permanently damaged. As a result, her parents divorced and she hasn't heard from her father since then. Alice writes songs but can't sing them. Most are about how much she hates her father for what he did to her.

One day out of the blue, Alice gets a phone call from her father's girlfriend. Her father is dying of lung cancer and wants to see his daughter before he dies. Alice has to make the difficult decision of whether to see him or not.

I liked the fact that none of the characters in this story were perfect. Alice and those with whom she interacted all had their flaws, and all needed each other's support in order to succeed in life.

I would have liked to have seen a bit of Alice's father's story. Had he changed since abusing his daughter as a child? Was he worthy of forgiveness?
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