Friday, August 14, 2009
Everything Sucks: Losing My Mind and Finding Myself in a High School Quest for Cool is the debut memoir by Yale Graduate, 22-year-old Hannah Friedman. It is a Young Adult book published by HCI Teens. This review is part of a TLC Blog Tour.
I am the first born human.
Hannah Friedman bares her soul in this raw, but refreshing memoir. Playing second fiddle to your mom's adopted monkey is one thing. But becoming known as the "Monkey Girl Freak" in middle school because of said monkey is another thing all together. Hannah has always dreamed of being popular. But in middle school she becomes the target of some horrible "mean girl" bullies. Taking time out of school to tour around the UK with her father's band turns out to be disastrous. And when she comes back to school, the bullies are utterly relentless. If at all possible, Hannah has fallen to an even lower level in the eyes of her classmates.
But with a lot of hard work and fantastic grades, Hannah is accepted into one of the country's most prestigious boarding schools, Danforth Academy. This is her chance to reinvent herself in high school. And with a little boldness, Hannah finds that she has been admitted to one of the most popular cliques in school. But being popular has downfalls that she never even considered, especially as a scholarship student in a school full of rich kids. The competition was always there: whether it was to be the prettiest or the thinnest or to get into an Ivy League college. And there was always someone there just waiting for you to slip up and make a mistake.
This book is at times hilarious. And other times, it's heartbreaking. Friedman comes to realize that popularity isn't all that it's cracked up to be. All the years of abuse from the middle school bullies results in self-esteem issues for Hannah, which in turn leads to an eating disorder and drug problems in high school. Raw and brutally honest, Friedman lays it all out for the world to see. I find this admirable, especially for someone as young as Hannah. You don't see many 22-year-olds with enough guts to write about themselves with such frankness.
This is one book all girls should read. Even with stark references to sex and drug abuse, this book will resonate with anyone who has ever felt that they didn't quite live up to the world's standards. Or for anyone that has ever been bullied. Or for anyone that has ever felt they weren't thin enough or pretty enough or smart enough. This book will at once make any young girl feel like they aren't alone. And that is truly a gift. I expect great things in the future from this very talented writer! 4.5/5
Please visit Hannah at her website.