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.
THE HATERS is literally laugh-out-loud hilarious. Incredibly well written with well-developed characters, this is a fantastic stand-alone novel. The main characters, Wes, Corey, and Ash, are super fun and really relatable. Their dialogue is cringe-worthy and laughable in a very authentic way. I really felt for the trio, all throughout the book. Their character development and changing relationships were so dramatic and interesting that it kept me turning the pages.
The musical aspects of THE HATERS are so complex! There are references to about a million bands and musicians, the detailed jam sessions are really fun, and the crazy band names they come up with are just absurdly fun. This is THE young adult book for music fans.
As an aside, I listened to the audiobook and I HIGHLY recommend it. Each of the characters has a unique and distinct voice that is easy to recognize. The narrator portrays emotion so well that I felt like the characters were in the car with me! I highly recommend getting the audiobook of THE HATERS!
Verdict: If you're looking for an amazing contemporary read and you love music, this is your new favorite book. Pick up THE HATERS and you'll end up loving it!