I Hate Everyone But You by Gaby Dunn & Allison Raskin Book Review

Title: I Hate Everyone But You by Gaby Dunn and Allison Raskin I HATE EVERYONE
Genre: YA
Pages: 352

*Review copy received from Wednesday Books in exchange for an honest review*

Synopsis
Dear Best Friend,
I can already tell that I will hate everyone but you.
Sincerely,
Ava Helmer
(that brunette who won’t leave you alone)

We’re still in the same room, you weirdo.
Stop crying.
G

So begins a series of texts and emails sent between two best friends, Ava and Gen, as they head off to their first semesters of college on opposite sides of the country. From first loves to weird roommates, heartbreak, self-discovery, coming out and mental health, the two best friends will document every moment to each other. But as each changes and grows into her new life, will their friendship be able to survive the distance?

Review

I hate everyone but you is a book I received and had serious cover love. I adore the look of the book but the story within whilst being somewhat unique fell rather flat for me.

Firstly I want to start this review by mentioning that this book could be triggering for some people, it talks about Self Harm, Drug Use, OCD, Anxiety and there is a rape joke. Keep reading I get to that.

I Hate Everyone But You is written by Gaby Dunn and Allison Raskin, you may be familiar with them as they previously worked for BuzzFeed and they now have their own YouTube channel. Personally I have never watched their YouTube videos but I have seen fans of this book and their channel mention that the characters within the book encompass Allison and Gaby personally. Of course having not watched their videos I cannot comment on that aspect.

The book itself is a unique format and it is told via a series of Texts and Emails between the two girls as they embark on their first months of college. Having been best friends for the majority of their lives, they are now separated and experiencing two different courses at two different colleges therefore the book deals with taking on new life experiences. The format of the book is very easy to get into and to digest, it’s something I liked as it stands out uniquely against other books. I haven’t read a book wholly focused on the dialogue being from text messages and emails.

In terms of characters the book features 2 own voices, Ava and Gen. Ava herself is a character who has Mental Illness representation and her character deals with Anxiety and OCD. Gen herself represents LGBTQ+. Between the two characters they really touch upon a lot of diversity which is great to see. As characters they also touch upon prejudice towards LGBTQ+ communities and also Transphobia.

Whilst I have to applaud this book for its diversity and the issues it dealt with, a portion of the book left me feeling somewhat angry. For example the book features Gen and Ava as they start college, they take two different routes with how they experience the first months, Gen herself went a way of being more outgoing, trying new things but these new things were drugs. A lot of the first moments of the book featured heavy drug references, of course it happens, people try drugs. But there was constant talk of meth, weed or trying cocaine for the first 20/30 pages at least, the comments were constantly there and for me that didn’t really work. The weed references I would have been fine with, it’s becoming legal in a lot of places in America now, it is still illegal here in the UK but I know a lot of people who have tried weed. The numerous references to Meth and Cocaine were just too much for me.

I’ve read reviews where people found the book hilarious, I didn’t really find it funny but we all have different senses of humour. Another moment I wasn’t a fan of was the following quote;

‘the party had a jungle theme and probably at least one case of date rape. (I’m joking. I hope)

I literally cringed when I saw this, is it meant to be funny? Are we joking about date rape now or trying to ]ighten up the idea on the fact it happens? Maybe I am too serious a person but a joke like this on date rape is a big no for me and for me it plays into rape culture. Rape jokes aren’t funny, joking that a party probably has at least one case of date rape is not funny in any way. How it even made it into the book I don’t know. 

Let’s carry on talking about the characters for a little bit longer, Gen was a character who really frustrated me. There were moments she talked about how Ava was being manipulated but for me she was just as manipulating as the character she was referring to. Ava and Gen have been best friends for years, when Gen goes to college she experiments with her sexuality more than she did in High School, Ava wasn’t aware of her previous ‘relationships’ with girls or her bi-sexuality in High School so you can imagine she is a little surprised in the sense of she didn’t know. These are meant to be bestfriends so here she was finding out something new that her bestfriend had kept hidden from her?

Ava is a character who is rather in the dark about LGBTQ+ and questions Gen regarding her sleeping with her female tutor and other moments which Gen often finds offensive and would ignore her or go off on her. Ava was misguided in a-lot of her comments but you can sense that they came from a place of miss understanding, she just simply wished to have it explained to her but Gen didn’t speak to her friend and explain or try to educate her. She ignored her or was rude to her just expecting her to know, yes in this day and age we all pretty much know about LGBTQ+ but personally if I hadn’t told my bestfriend any of my experiences with Bi-sexuality or anything then I wouldn’t ignore them for questioning me. I would try to talk it out with them, I wouldn’t try to manipulate them into apologizing for asking me questions.

Ava is a character who represents Mental Illness, as previously mentioned she suffers from OCD and Anxiety, she has also had experience with Self Harm and goes to therapy. Now the Self Harm element is one which makes me not a fan of Gen even more. I think it is important to mention this element in my review. You know I don’t like to reveal spoilers or anything but it is potentially triggering. Ava mentions how she scratches her stomach, to release her anger/anxiety and mentions how ‘no razor’s were involved.’  Gen goes and tells her parents which made me angry. Yes she is trying to protect her, she obviously has self harmed in the past to a very serious degree but rather than truly speaking to Ava about it she tells her parents who put Ava into an even bigger anxiety bubble. Ava then has to try to convince her parents into letting her stay in her dorm at college. Ava told Gen as a bestfriend, in confidence and whilst I understand the idea of Gen’s behaviour coming from a place of protection making sure her parents know, it felt like Gen was pushing it onto her parents. Like you deal with it instead, not me. Personally I have thought about self harm before and have self harmed in the past. If I told my best-friend something then them telling my parents would set off my anxiety to an even bigger level, it would make me scared to tell them anything. She scratched her stomach instead of using razors which was a big step for her, she stopped herself from reaching for something bigger. Yes parents need to know especially if it can be life threatening but there are times when it can make it even worse. Everybody will think about this differently, when I put it onto my own mental health experience it just didn’t sit right for me and felt like she was simply pushing it onto Ava’s parents.

rating

So what do I want to rate this book? It’s going to have to be 2 stars, whilst there are aspects of the book I liked  such as how much diversity it features and I am so glad it features two own voices and deals with so many important LGBTQ+ Issues. It just fell flat for me in the way it dealt with some of the issues and the date rape joke wasn’t something I appreciated at all. It’s an easy read and I think fans of the YouTube channel might love it more because they’ll know the humor and the backstory of the writers themselves and may be able to draw comparisons to the characters in the book.

Goodreads | Where To Buy Me |  Gaby Dunn |  Allison Raskin

Let me know your thoughts below. Have you read this book? Are you fan of Gaby and Allison?


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14 thoughts on “I Hate Everyone But You by Gaby Dunn & Allison Raskin Book Review

  1. Interesting review! I don’t know if that’s good or bad that the book is told in texts and emails, but if it’s easy to get into then I guess it’s pretty cool. I’m always sceptical about YouTube books, though these girls do seem funny from their videos. That date rape joke, I agree, is not funny.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for reading Charlotte! I liked how it was told through texts and emails, it added to the whole idea that these girls are in separate places now but trying to keep in touch, it does take some of the personal aspects of it away. It’s the first Youtube book I have read.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, damn. I started reading your review and thought, okay, that would be kind of fun, the text messages and everything else, but then… ugh, no. I’m so sorry this ended up being a book like this, and that date rape joke?! Was that supposed to be a joke? In that case, I’m just as serious as you are here because it is not funny at all?! It makes me a little mad to be honest, ahah. That’s really too bad, that and the other issues you pointed out about mental health and self harm, I guite agree with you. That would have triggered even more anxiety on my part as well. Too bad this book ended up being such a disappointment. Thank you so much for sharing this review 🙂

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    1. I rated it two stars because there are bits I liked but honestly I feel like I should lower it thinking about it. I’ve seen more reviews today for 5 stars and other people reading it and they don’t even mention the date rape joke? It’s kind of scary that nobody else draws on it as a bad thing? I’m so glad you agree with me and it’s definitely not just me! x

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Great and informative review, Hannah 💖
    I don’t know either if the two girls and haven’t watched any of their videos, but their friendship just sounds really toxic. That joke was seriously inappropriate and not funny at all! Also as someone who has also self harmed in the past, I would feel so anxious, scared and uncomfortable if a friend took it upon themselves to tell people. So sorry it had this many problems 🌸

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I thought I would rate it two stars to be fair because there are bits I liked, but thinking about it since then I’m like the bad does somewhat outshine the good? Yes I like the uniqueness of how it is told but the whole rape joke is still so evident in my mind. I’ve barely seen it mentioned in anyone elses reviews? The one’s who have rated it 5 stars don’t call upon it at all and I’m like surely they don’t read it as all ok? Thank you for reading my review lovely x

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I hate when I see something in a book and I’m like the only one or I’m in the minority; it almost feels like I’m wrong…
        I just think people are sometimes too scared to say what they feel especially when its a popular book, I still think that joke was in really bad taste and you did an amazing job by pointing it out ♥️

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Though I do disagree with you, I totally see your points! This book is quite offensive and I think that’s what it’s meant to be. Correct me if I’m wrong but maybe this book is meant to brush upon a sense of humor shared between two people. I have watched their YouTube channel and relate to their sense of humor myself I can see how it might have gone a bit too far for someone who might not share it. I’m not trying to hate on you or anything btw if it seems like I am. I feel like once you watch a few sketches they’ve put out it kind of makes sense what they’re putting out content wise. However I do agree with the whole date rape thing. Joking about it was not the best thing that happened in this book, but I also felt that they used it as a stereotype that is most commonly affiliated with college parties. As well as them downplaying huge topics such as self-harm and parental issues was not ok, but it’s also something people deal with differently. Idk, I just felt like sharing (ok maybe a bit too much).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for sharing Lea! I always love to hear other people’s point of views, I haven’t seen their youtube sketches other than times they were in Buzzfeed and I did think that people who are fans of there’s would relate to this book differently because they will connect with the authors having known more about them? If that makes sense. I agree completely how other people deal with things differently. The whole date rape thing I can see how they may have used it to draw attention to the fact that date rape happens and so often I just feel like it could have been executed better.

      So glad you decided to comment! I love hearing other people’s opinions. I’m glad that we shared some opinions and also thank you for sharing how you took moments from their book 🙂 Perhaps this is a book where people might want to check out their sketches prior to reading so they can get a feeling for the authors and how they joke etc 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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