I hate everyone but you by Gaby Dunn and Allison Raskin
Allen and Unwin, 2017. ISBN 9781760631482
(Age: 16+) Highly recommended. A modern coming-of-age novel written through a series of emails and text messages, I hate everyone but you tells the story of best friends Ava and Gen, who are starting their first year of college on opposite sides of the country. Humorous, relatable and quirky, this book, authored by best friends Gaby Dunn and Allison Raskin, previous writers at Buzzfeed Video and currently featuring on their largely popular Youtube channel Just Between Us, delivers an important glimpse into the modern teenager, raising diverse themes from first loves, long-distance friendships and family relationships to mental illness, sexual orientation and discovering who you are. This novel is innovative and insightful in its inclusion of diverse themes, including some which are still quite controversial, ensuring that any reader is able to relate to Ava, Gen or their experiences. Although this novel is riddled with hilarious quips, a fantastic storyline and relatable characters, there are some sexually explicit elements that are inappropriate for younger readers. Further, due to the fragmented structure of this book, expressed through text messages and emails, readers may have a hard time keeping up with the simultaneous experiences and milestones of Ava and Gen. Nevertheless, this novel provides a wonderful exploration of the bonds of friendship and family, and an insight into the unpredictable nature of life. Through Ava and Gen, the reader is brought on a whirlwind of a journey, and is given the opportunity to perceive the world through two vastly different perspectives. These contrasting yet complementary protagonists provide every reader with something to relate to, and a vital message to take away; change isn't always a bad thing.
Daniella Chiarolli (university student)