Genres: Coming of Age, LGBTQ+, Mental Illness, Young Adult
Publication Date: September 5, 2017 by Wednesday Books
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Source: Publisher via Netgalley
Dear Best Friend,
I can already tell that I will hate everyone but you.
(that brunette who won’t leave you alone)
We're still in the same room, you weirdo.
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.