Gr 10 Up—The author demonstrates his unique voice in his follow-up to the popular Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. Like that debut, this work features a similar trio: a narrator, his somewhat clueless friend, and a girl who changes them both. Wes and Corey are "jazz-nerd chaff" at Bill Garabedian's Jazz Giants of Tomorrow Intensive Summer Workshop. They don't know that, of course, until they discover that this highly selective camp accepted more drummers and bassists to support other, better musicians. They're not hopeful about the next two weeks until they meet Ash, a guitarist in their ensemble who seems uninterested in playing jazz. Inevitably, the three misfits form a band and escape from camp to launch their world tour. As with most road trips, tensions rise, rivalries form, and jealousy blossoms. Ash is clearly the alpha in the group, making Wes a passive narrator. This works occasionally for the story, especially in the more surreal encounters; however, it also creates a meandering feeling that may wear out some readers. Although not every journey needs a purpose, the characters are not hugely different after what would be a life-altering event for most people. Wes learns to appreciate music rather than simply hating on it; he's a better listener. It's a subtle shift, but perhaps that's Andrews's point. VERDICT Teens who are music nerds or fans of Me and Earl and the Dying Girl will appreciate this novel's sharp wit and playful style.—Joy Piedmont, LREI, New York
". . . hilarious. . . I laughed so hard I scared my cat off the couch multiple times. What The Haters excels at is describing music."
(The New York Times
"Jesse Andrews’ follow-up to Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is an extremely entertaining number that focuses on a couple of jazz-camp rejects. It’s also downright hilarious when they riff on band names, new songs or just living life."
“The Haters is terrific. Shocking and funny, unsettling and charming”
(Roddy Doyle, author of The Commitments
"...What follows is both a classic road trip novel and a contemporary and inventive teen adventure: they play (horribly) at a Chinese food buffet, hang at a commune, and almost get shot (twice!)... Issues of race, family, and socioeconomics (Wes was adopted from Venezuela as a baby; Ash’s mom is French and her dad is a Brazilian billionaire/serial philanderer) play subtly throughout the book."
(The Horn Book
“an uproariously funny addition to the teen-road-trip canon...readers will be sucked into this story, a raunchy bromance in the vein of Superbad, which celebrates friendship and adventure... Effortlessly readable, deeply enjoyable, and, given the years since Andrews’ fantastic debut, well worth the wait.”
"Fortunately for readers, Wes has a lively voice that moves smoothly betwen laugh-out-loud, self-conscious snark and candid, moving observations... The trio's road trip thus has all the requisite coming-of-age moments, with virginities and illustions lost and friendships, courage, and self-awarness found."
(Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
“The Haters reads like a perfect jam session between the different voices in Jesse Andrews’s head. And thank God for that. It’s hilarious, emotionally pure without being pretentious or cliché, and it makes me want to be a teenager again so I can tell everyone in class to read it. Try to hate on this one. You’ll fail.”
(John Corey Whaley
"as a love letter to music and following one’s dreams, it’s just right."
“The author demonstrates his unique voice…Teens who are music nerds or fans of Me and Earl and the Dying Girl will appreciate this novel’s sharp wit and playful style.”
(School Library Journal
"truly hilarious….a teen road trip packed with music and drama."