The Haters

With his universally lauded debut novel Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, Jesse Andrews showed he clearly understands the psyche of the late-teen male and that awkward transitioning phase that helps cement an identity and purpose. With The Haters, he crafts a unique young-adult take of jazz-camp escapees who form a band and hit the road to find themselves. Corey, Wes and their new friend, Ash, the “guitar-shredding” mystery girl, leave behind their cellphones and a world of rules and hit the road to embrace being a rock ’n’ roll band. Ash declares that truly great bands are born on the road playing live—anywhere and everywhere, them against the world. Narrowly avoiding calling the band Air Horse, The Haters christen the “Summer of Hate” tour with an ill-fated gig at a Chinese restaurant. Andrews’ skills are paramount in the realistic, and savagely funny, voice he bestows upon his young protagonists and in the sensitivity he demonstrates in identifying each young person’s background and the gifts or burdens parents pass on to their children.