Friday, August 14, 2009

Blog Tour: Everything Sucks by Hannah Friedman

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.


trish said...

Great review Stephanie! I think this sounds like a great book, because who *doesn't* dream of being with the cool girls (or guys)? You don't realize, though, the price that comes with acceptance by the girls who are perfect.

Also, the whole monkey thing? Hilarious. :)

Booklogged said...

Sounds like a great pick for my daughter.

christina said...

I have this book coming to me. I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed it. I hope I do too!

S. Krishna said...

Sounds like a great book. Thanks for the review!

Ana said...

I have seen this book and I love the cover. I will give this a try, me thinks!

Debi said...

This was a wonderful review, Stephanie. Hadn't heard of this book before, but I can see it as a read both Annie and I might enjoy. Thanks.

Tatiana said...

Just got the book and was sorry when it was over. Laughed a lot out loud. I thought it was so refreshing to read an honest portrayal about teen social life, first time sex, pot smoking and body image and this girl is high functioning and productive throughout. She tells it like it is and how I experienced it.
I am getting this for my 2 nieces who are 14 and 16. This is a must read for coming of age books and great for adults too.
Bravo Hannah for being so honest. I wish I had you as a friend back in high school.
I also checked out her youtube channel at:
. Its hilarious!!!! Great songs, interviews, rants etc. What a talent, cant wait to see what she does next.