Everything Sucks: Losing My Mind and Finding Myself in a High School Quest for Cool
Hannah Friedman, Author . HCI $12.95 (256p) ISBN 978-0-7573-0775-1
Debut writer Friedman recounts her unconventional childhood with her musician father, animal-loving mother and a monkey named Amelia (later, a brother is born). As high school approaches, Hannah earns a scholarship to the prestigious Danforth Academy, where she is befriended by a group of wealthy, popular girls, who alternatively love each other and stab each other in the back. In conversational prose, Friedman details her quest to fit in, including her experimentation with drugs and binge eating (“How do I expect to be successful in life if I can't do something as simple as stop eating so damn much?”). Moments of self-loathing are juxtaposed with a frank account of the author's first love, which is tender without being too sentimental, as well as sexually explicit. She includes copious details from her adolescence; as a result, the impact of certain events, e.g., the death of a friend, is not fully explored. Nevertheless, Friedman is a talented storyteller, and her hopeful ending (“I know that if I want to create something amazing, I can't pour so much time and energy into hating my calves”) should inspire. Ages 14–up.
Reviewed on: 08/31/2009
Release date: 08/01/2009