*We recently did a chat on Alisa Vades-Rodriguez’s Haters.
Book Synopsis: 16 year old Paski moves from the sleepy town of Taos, New Mexico to flashy southern California. She must adjust to her father’s mid-life crisis as well as the over-achieving rich kids at her new high school. (The book takes place Aliso Niguel High, check out the heated discussion from real students on amazon.com.)
Jolene: Yeah I liked it. Very hip.
Trisha: I have mixed feelings about it. Liked some parts, didn’t like others.
Gayle: I thought it was a fun read
Gayle: Not exactly earth shattering with a social message but fun for the most part
Jolene: Yes a fast fun read. I liked the idea of race not being an issue.
Trisha: Me too! That’s probably what I liked best.
Gayle: I liked the humor about the dad’s car and his friends.
Jolene: Yeah that was interesting.
Trisha: It’s been, like, six months or so since I read it, so I’m not sure how much I remember.
Jolene: Kinda stereotypical though.
Gayle: Jessica Nguyen was the best nemesis.
Gayle: I liked how her house was a shrine to her
Jolene: She was hella crazy yo.
Jolene: She reminded me of a crazed Korean soap opera character.
Gayle: I could totally see Haters: the movie.
Jolene: Yes definately. Just like Bratz the movie.
Gayle: Instead of High School Musical 2, it could have been Haters with the same cast of characters replacing Ashley Tisdale with Brenda Song.
Jolene: Haters the musical? Hmm very interesting.
Trisha: That would be interesting.
Trisha: Instead of singing on the basketball court, singing on the motocross…uh, whatever you call it.
Gayle: In general I think Haters is a pretty cliched story but with a multi-cultural cast of characters.
Gayle: Though race wasn’t a real issue it was sort of around to propel Haters into the realm of multi-cultural literature.
Gayle: You know what bugged me right?
Trisha: But that’s what I liked about it.
Trisha: The Japanese neighbor?
Gayle: I’m such a hater, but I hated the stuff about the Japanese American neighbor.
Gayle: I was like wtf?
Trisha: Yeah, I wondered how she knew Japanese.
Gayle: or wth?
Trisha: But her romance with Paski’s father was cute.
Gayle: I speak conversational Japanese. So I was like yeah grandma’s ghost isn’t making any sense Paski, it’s not only you who doesn’t understand her.
Jolene: Yeah I was wondering if the translation was correct.
Jolene: The whole tie in was a little strange. It felt like it was put there to show how diverse California is.
Trisha: Especially with the hapa [Hawaiian slang; used to mean half Caucasian-half Asian, but now generally refers to mixed race] sons.
Jolene: Yes good point.
Gayle: So I guess Haters fills a niche of fluffy multi-cultural literature but it’s not going to win any awards for diversity.
Jolene: Yeah the diversity wasn’t really authentic for me.
Gayle: Will either of you put it on your favorites list?
Trisha: It’s not a favorite, but I would probably recommend it to a teen.
Jolene: Yeah I would recommend it to teens.
Jolene: But not on my ultimate favorites list.
Trisha: And I’d also list it on a multicultural booklist. I liked it better than some other, less fluffy, books out there.
Gayle: Fair enough, good as an option.
Jolene: I agree it’s fluffy with an edge.
Gayle: I don’t think I could booktalk it too well.
Trisha: Hmm, how about something along the lines of: A lot of people want to move to LA. Not Paski. She loves living in Taos, New Mexico, but unfortunately, the choice is not up to her…