September 4, 2017 | Posted by Victoria in Book Reviews | 5 Comments

Genres: Coming of Age, LGBTQ+, Mental Illness, Young Adult
Publication Date: September 5, 2017 by Wednesday Books
Format: eARC
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
4.5 Stars
Source: Publisher via Netgalley

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?

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Oh my god, I LOVED this book. My emotions were all over the place while reading – I was laughing one minute, worrying the next, and at one point almost crying. I Hate Everyone But You is a novel by Gaby Dunn and Allison Raskin (Youtube comedy duo “Just Between Us”). The book is an epistolary, that consists of texts and emails between two best friends, Ava and Gen, who go to college on opposite sides of the country.

“Everyone always talks about the effort you have to put into a romantic relationship or a marriage, but why would a friendship be any different?”

Initially I wasn’t sure how invested I would be in the book since the format isn’t like your typical novel, but holy wow I was. The messages and friendship sounded authentic, they told secrets, made jokes, got into fights, and overall sounded like actual eighteen year olds. It was clear to see how much each friend meant to the other. And since the book was in epistolary format, it was a very quick read.

Ava and Gen are two best friends hundreds of miles apart, and trying to keep their friendship intact. It was nice that even though the two girls are very different, they’re still so close and always have each other’s backs. Gen is outgoing and not afraid to call people out, and Ava is introverted and has a difficult time putting herself out there because of her anxiety.

I love how Ava’s anxiety is portrayed, it’s something I can really relate to. She’s constantly overthinking, and freaks herself out when her negative thoughts spiral out of control. I really appreciate how Ava talks about her anxiety, and isn’t ashamed of it. Not only does she talk openly about anxiety, she also talks about seeing a therapist and taking medication. I think it is so important that seeing a therapist was normalized in this book, and is a positive thing. Unlike most books, Ava wants to see a therapist, she knows how helpful seeing a therapist is for her and she talked openly and realistically about medication. I’ve never read a book where the character actually talks about what you can do to live with your mental illness.

“People love to open up to me about their problems. I think it’s because I’m so relatable. I’m like the Sandra Bullock of mental illness.”

During the girls’ first semester at college, Gen begins exploring her sexuality. I like how open Gen was with talking about her sexuality, and wasn’t afraid to call Ava out when she said something homophobic or transphobic.

The ending crushed me, this was the part where I almost cried. I wish there had been more closure, but I understand why it was left a little open ended because I don’t think the story would have been as impactful if it had ended so neatly. Overall I think this book is very realistic, and talked about important issues teens face. I think fans of YA contemporary, and incoming college students will enjoy this book.

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  1. I’m really torn on whether or not I should pick this one up. I’ve read some mixed reviews on it, but I can’t say no to an MC with anxiety. I love that I’ve been seeing more and more books dealing with MCs with anxiety. I have anxiety issues so it’s nice to be able to relate to some of the character’s struggles. I’m torn because I really hate open ended endings…hahaha! They drive me crazy. I’m the type of girl that loves things wrapped up neatly with a little bow on top. lol. I’m glad you were able to enjoy this one. Great review!

  2. I’ve been really looking forward to this one (Gaby Dunn is one of my faves), but yours is the first full review I’ve seen! I’m so glad you loved it. I think the epistolary format is really effective for stories like this one that focus on the relationships between characters. And I can’t even express how happy it makes me to see therapy and medication expressly talked about on the page! Taking medication to treat mental illnesses especially is so often stigmatized, and as someone who relies on medication to be a functional human, I LOVE seeing it discussed explicitly in YA. I also love that the book has bi (? not sure if the character uses a label) representation! I didn’t realize I wasn’t straight until my freshman year of college, so that would be awesome to read about. Awesome review, Victoria! Now I know I definitely need to pick this up!

  3. I haven’t heard of this book before but it sounds pretty interesting. I’m kind of like and don’t think a book written this way would suit me much but the fact that you loved it has me rethinking. I was one of those people that went to school far away from home while all my friends stayed close to where we grew up. I fell out of contact with a lot of them because it IS hard. I’m really intrigued by this book now because it seems super relateable and I’m curious to see how it plays out. Will have to read this one. Great review!

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