“I Hate Everyone But You” is a New York Times Best Selling young-adult novel by Gaby Dunn and Allison Raskin which reads as a series of texts and emails between two best friends, Gen and Ava.
Ava begins the series of texts to Gen over the course of their time away from one another, while Ava attends the University of Southern California (USC) in Los Angeles, and Gen attends Emerson College in Boston. Being on completely different sides of the country, the girls correspond daily discussing their roommates, writing, and realizations about themselves over the course of four months.
The book’s format is something to admire. The way you read the book is quick little tidbits explained through a text or an email. This only gives part of the world away to you as a reader and to each of the characters.
Two topics that this novel very heavily hits on are coming-out as LGBTQ+ and mental illness. “I Hate Everyone But You” describes, from a woman’s point of view, the sexual encounters between her and other women and men her age over the course of her first semester in college.
In fact, most of the texts and emails are about this realization and this major turn in Gen’s and Ava’s life. Within that, there is misunderstanding between the two friends, as Ava does not understand the LGBTQ+ world as much as Gen, which becomes a large portion of both their lives.
On the other side of the country in USC, Ava is dealing with mental illnesses. The book spans mental illnesses, such as anxiety, OCD, and self-harm, and trying to cope with them in a positive manner, but sometimes not being able to helps break another stigma associated with mental illness and its portrayal in the media. Ava is blunt about her illnesses to Gen and is a strong, proud character throughout the novel. Instead of hiding them away like skeletons in the closet, Ava chooses to deal with them upfront with boys, and the friends she tries to make as USC.
The characters have flaws, but that just makes them more real. Tackling relationships between guys, girls, women, men, and mental illnesses, in the midst of two changing worlds, “I Hate Everyone But You” is a thought-provoking and fun read that you will not want to end. “I Hate Everyone But You” is available on Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, BAM!, IndieBound, and Apple iBooks, listed as $18.99.