The Complete History of Why I Hate Her

Jennifer Richard Jacobson, Author
Jennifer Richard Jacobson, Author . S&S/Atheneum/Jackson $16.99 (181p) ISBN 978-0-689-87800-8
Reviewed on: 04/19/2010
Release date: 04/01/2010
Open Ebook - 192 pages - 978-1-4169-9925-6
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Seventeen-year-old Nola Werth puts aside guilt about leaving her cancer-stricken younger sister at home as she boards a bus intent on having “a scrapbook teen experience in just one summer,” with a job waiting tables at a Maine resort. Sarah Dessen fans seem the natural audience for what ensues—two months of learning about boys, friends, and where to place the fish fork. Friction is provided in the form of Carly, a girl Nola meets on the bus who quickly worms her way into a job at the same hotel and becomes Nola's roommate. Nola's first-person, present-tense narration is a bit too writerly to be believable: she describes herself as “thinly present”; she and her sister speak to each other in haiku throughout. And though Nola discusses her lack of confidence at length, she easily nails the lead in the end-of-the-summer play that is staged for the guests. Despite these minor flaws, the story has undeniable appeal, in large part because of the tension provided by Carly, who may or may not be a psychopath. Ages 12–up. (Apr.)

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