Thursday, August 22, 2013

Confessions of a Hater

Confessions of a Hater
Caprice Crane
$17.95, Hardcover
Feiwel & Friends, 2013

Genre: Realistic, Humor 

Age: 14+

Description: Sixteen-year-old Hailey Harper is stuck moving to Hollywood. While packing up all her stuff she discovers a box of stuff belonging to her older sister who is in college. Inside this box are a bunch of old clothes that would now fit Hailey (and we’re talking name brand, high fashion popular girl stuff) and a journal. Hailey, at first, can’t believe her sister would have a secret journal and she’s shocked to discover that it isn’t an ordinary journal. Called “Confessions of a Hater” it essentially is a bible her sister wrote on how to be cool and one of the popular girls. Hailey decides to use her sister’s journal and clothes to become popular herself at her new school. Lucky for her, she encounters the Queen Bee, Skylar, on the first day and because of some of the coolness tips she’s been following she is invited into the clique. Soon, she discovers that being one of those popular girls isn’t all it’s cracked up to be so she decides to throw it all away to hang out with some girls who call themselves the Invisibles. Can Hailey and her new friends use her sister’s journal to dethrone Skyer and her minions?

Opinion:  Confessions of a Hater is a long book. While the concept seems cool, it isn’t anything new to the genre. The highlight of the book was Hailey’s voice as a character. She is a nerdy girl with a mind for snappy and cynical jabs at life. Her snarky humor is what kept me reading. However, the book fails in the fact that it really is nothing more than Mean Girls in book form—and not as good. Hailey moves to a new town, she gets in with the popular crowd, realizes they are evil, makes friends with the nobodies, decides to enact revenge on the bitches that rule the school. The book itself is full of so many bad teen movie clichés—the boy next door who is the perfect boyfriend, the Queen Bee and her minions, the smart student who is secretly on drugs to try and stay on top, the girl who is an outcast for getting pregnant, a cheating parent, etc. The other thing that I really didn’t like about this book is that Hailey hates the way that Skyler treats everyone and in the girls’ revenge plan they start a prank war that escalates to some huge stuff and Hailey and her friends come off looking just as bad as the other girls. The other annoying thing is that the book ends with a major act of vandalism (the act itself was very cool and would be epic if it really did happen in a school) but the fact of the matter is (and the reality of the situation) Hailey should have (in real life) been arrested for what she did and prosecuted and instead she basically gets a slap on the wrist. The other annoying thing was how the author “solved” the Hailey/Skyler feud—oh, guess who Hailey’s dad was having an affair with and who is going to be Hailey’s new stepsister? Yeah, it went there. While the book does end there does seem to be some wiggle room for a potential sequel. If you are a fan of Mean Girls or just plan like fluff books then this book is probably worth your time.

Thanks to the people at Feiwel & Friends for the ARC for the YALSA YA Galley Group!

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