Monday, August 31, 2009

Book Review: Everything Sucks by Hannah Friedman

Hannah Friedman’s life has been stranger than fiction. Raised by a struggling musician and a monkey trainer and with an actual monkey as an older “sister”, Hannah felt she was destined to be a freak. Instead of embracing the unconventional though, Hannah enrolls in one of the most prestigious high schools in the US and tries her best to fit in, falling in with the popular crowd, running for class president, and setting her sights on Yale. But fitting in comes at a price: a drug habit, an eating disorder, and an attitude that alienates her from her family.

The best thing about this teen memoir is Hannah’s fresh, funny, and brutally honest voice. Whether she’s writing about a mother-daughter confrontation she witnesses worthy of an episode of “My Super Sweet 16”, her romance with a rich boy, or her struggles with binging and purging, Hannah manages to find just the right tone.

I have to admit though, that I found her highly unique family stories way more interesting than her rather clichĂ©d life at boarding school. Thanks to Gossip Girl and the like, teens aren’t really shocked anymore by the excesses of the rich and snobby. It is no major revelation to read that teens pop prescription drugs to study for tests, drop hundreds of dollars on a pair of glasses on a whim, or even overdose and die far before their time.

Hannah repeatedly bemoans being upstaged by the monkey, but the monkey is also her biggest hook. I feel a little bad for saying this, but give us more monkey Hannah!

EVERYTHING SUCKS is out in paperback now. Find out more about the book at the author’s website. Or watch the trailer I’ve embedded below. You can also check out other reviews that were part of this TLC book tour.


11 comments:

Tina said...

Everything Sucks was so freakin' awsome I loved it. I know what you mean though about more monkey- hopefully there will be more monkey in another book maybe!

bermudaonion said...

I'm really looking forward to reading this - Hannah has had such an interesting life already!

...MY NAME IS ELENI AND I AM A BOOKAHOLIC... said...

Great review, I enjoyed her book as well, it was pretty damn entertaining! :P

The Mapless Traveler said...

Sounds very entertaining! I loved watching the trailer -- I think it's so cool that there are trailers and actual commercials for books

Melanie said...

This book really does sound entertaining. A monkey... Oh my goodness!

avisannschild said...

Somehow, I nearly missed the whole TLC tour for this book. It sounds great and I love Hannah's songs (which you can listen to on her site or on YouTube). Very witty and smart!

Zibilee said...

I really want to read this book after having read your review! It sounds like a very unique story. Great review, I am definitely looking forward to it!

ANovelMenagerie said...

I have a copy for review... I'm looking forward to it.

trish said...

LOL "more monkey". I wonder if she plans to write more fiction or non-fiction? I don't know if I'd be interested in another memoir from her, but it sounds like she has a talent for writing, so maybe she should try her hand at fiction? Though, honestly, it sounds like she couldn't make up a crazier home life. :)

Ladytink_534 said...

Yes, the monkey in the plot seems to be the most interesting thing going for the memoir. Sad but true, that the rich and snobby lifestyle just doesn't really shock like it used to.

Anna said...

This sounded like such a unique memoir that I couldn't turn it down. I'll be reading it soon.

--Anna
Diary of an Eccentric