I feel like I’ve been reading a lot of either deep, somber contemporary novels and a lot of fantasy lately, so when I picked up I Hate Everyone But You, I got exactly what I was hoping for – a lighthearted, funny story about friendship and what it means to stay close to the person you love more than anyone else.
I Hate Everyone But You is not your traditional novel, and I think that’s one of the reasons I enjoyed it so much. It’s told through text messages and e-mails between two best friends, Gen and Ava. They are going to college on opposite ends of the country, and they are going to miss each other – especially since they are pretty much inseparable before they leave. Ava is going to college for screenwriting, while Gen is going for journalism, and they are determined to stay in touch, no matter what.
This book takes the girls from right before they leave for college through until their holiday break. Over the time span of those few months, they both change, but are able to retain their close friendship through daily e-mails and texts so they can see what is going on with each other. However, as everyone knows, friendships hit snags here and there, and the girls are eventually faced with a bit of their own.
I had a feeling that I was going to love this book based on the writing style alone. It’s so different than other books because it is told entirely in text messages and e-mails, instead of your usual contemporary novel that is just told in chapters with alternating points of view. Because of the format, it didn’t even take me very long to read this one – I got through it in a single day because I was unable to put it down.
Gen’s character is outspoken, honest, loud, and funny, while Ava is more down to earth, shy, and has a hard time making friends. This book goes through one character discovering her self by dating many people (including a member of her college’s staff – yikes!), and another character dealing with her wish to join a sorority and her own emotional insecurities. We get a good look into their lives when it comes to their families, and see that they are more or less the polar opposites of each other – making you wonder how they are really even friends at all.
Reading their e-mails and text messages was so much fun, and I found myself loving both of these fictional characters and wishing that they were my actual friends. This is one of those books that I honestly did not want to end because it was just so much fun.
The only real problem that I had with this is that the conflict doesn’t really happen until almost the end of the book, and it’s resolved very quickly. I was kind of hoping there would be more after it, but it ended kind of abruptly (however, I’m not at all complaining with the way it ended – it was so heartwarming and you know me – I love books with happy endings). It’s really easy to overlook this, although because of that the pacing of the book was a little slower than I usually like. As I pointed out, though – so easy to get over because the rest of the book was awesome.
This book deals with some serious issues (such as discussing one character’s sexuality and family drama), but is able to do so in a more lighthearted tone that makes the book easy to stay interested in. There are some topics that are touched upon that I felt could have been elaborated on or handled differently, such as the self-harming of one character in the book. I felt that this should have been elaborated on past that initial introduction of the topic, but it wasn’t discussed much more than that. It wasn’t a big part of the novel or anything, but I think that it should have been more important.
Out of the two girls, I found myself really loving Gen’s character the most, as her e-mails were more funny and full of the darker humor that I tend to gravitate toward personally. Ava, on the other hand, is more of the sweeter, more innocent of the two of them, and most of her e-mails and texts are more upbeat. Their clashing personalities work together to bring about such a fantastic story and friendship, and I thought that they were both written perfectly.
This was probably one of the best books that I’ve read this fall so far. It was written so cleverly and is the kind of book that you will find yourself staying up way too late reading. It’s full of friendship, love, and finding yourself while not letting go of the things that are most important.