Thursday, August 03, 2006

Review: Haters by Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez

Also by me from Not Your Mother's Bookclub.


Haters is the first young adult book by Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez, but anyone who reads this book (me included) is sure to hope it's not her last! In the novel, readers are introduced to Paski (her full name is Pasquala Rumalda Quintana de Archuleta, but that's way too much of a mouthful). She's a New Mexico teenager who, because of her father's new job, moves to Orange County, California. Yeah, the O.C. And it seems a lot like the TV show. Paski misses the mountains around her old home of Taos (she's a mountain biker), her psychic grandmother (whose talents she has inherited), her best friends, and tons more, but maybe the O.C. isn't so bad. After all, there's super-hot Chris Cabrera in the O.C.! It's not like Paski is a social leper, either. She quickly makes friends with Tina, a girl who has a slight obsession with anthropology.

Things aren't all fun and games, though. At her new school, Aliso Niguel High, certain things are very important. Looks and money, for the most part. And gorgeous, rich (and evil) Jessica Nguyen has both. She and her friends (some of the Haters the book is named for), confident as they may seem in their place at the top, are a little threatened by Paski, who is just as pretty as they are. At first, they're able to dismiss her as just an "apartment girl," but then they find out her dad is going to be really well paid for the movie (about a superhero named Squeegee Man) that he's animating. Apparently, Paski has what it takes to get to the top. But with the Haters there, is that where she wants to be?

Haters was an entertaining, fun read that kept be hooked up until the very last word! Maybe it's not a hugely original idea--there are tons of YA books about rich, popular teenagers in California. Or Florida. But this is more than that. Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez tells the story in Paski's fresh, original voice that will have readers craving more. I hope there's more about Paski in the future, or at least more YA fiction from Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez, and anyone who reads this book will most definitely feel the same!

Rating: 8/10

Also posted on TeensReadToo.com

39 comments:

Anonymous said...

this is so sad... i go to aliso niguel and its so stupid that we're getting a reputation like this. rich, spoiled oc kids. i wonder if the author used to go to aliso...i havent read the book but i heard she uses the street names in the area and also that she makes reference (or even mentions) this one teacher. but i guess i'll have to read it to find out. i'm pretty curious. but im not really expecting any brilliance

Renata said...

i read it and it was great! the only thing i have to say is that i thought she sort of rushed through the last part of it...idk why it seemed that way to me. regardless, i enjoyed it quite a lot!

Anonymous said...

I go to aliso im not by any means rich...this girl is craaaaazy

Anonymous said...

IT IS NOT TRUE! ALISO NIGUEL IS NOT HOW SHE DESCRIBES IT!

Anonymous said...

I go to aliso and its not true. she doesnt know what she is talking about.

were not brats, or rich.

Anonymous said...

Her writing is poor, characters are weak and her facts are false. This book is hateful and spiteful. There is not one good thing written about California in there.

Anonymous said...

MESSAGE FROM A STUDENT OF ALISO NIGUEL:

freedom of speech

smart people will know that it can't possibly be true because not everyone at a certain place or from a certain family is bad

everyone is prejudice, students from aliso niguel will be sterotyped as the bad sort but don't let that put you down

you know that you're not like that, i know that i'm not like that, and we both many people who aren't like that

we all need to show how our school isn't what everyone thinks it's like

be the change and let people know not everyone is like that

the books a work of fiction from the mind of the author
don't let it offend you

the author sets it in a real place but it could've been any town or school

Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez said...

I am the author of this book, and I continue to be amazed that kids from this school ONLY seem to identify with the "bad" kids in the novel. Note to angry students: ALL THE GOOD KIDS IN THE NOVEL ALSO GO TO THE SAME SCHOOL! Maybe it is the condition of the teenage mind to relate oneself ONLY to the "popular" clique? Otherwise, these kids would realize Paski, Haley, Tina, Chris, the twins and the entire school newspaper staff in the book ARE STUDENTS AT THE SAME SCHOOL. The good people go there; the bad people go there. It is a microcosm of the REAL WORLD. No one is saying the school is bad, or the people who go there are bad. It's a novel, with a spectrum of fictional characters, some of whom are nice and some of whom are not.

Kenny said...

(First time @ this site!) I'm currently reading the book and it's okay. I've read better and I've read worse. But I'd like to stick up for the author by saying that every school has the "rich", the "snobs", the "jocks", the "nice", the THAT "KID" -who defines who we are in the society anyway?-... and she isn't showing all the groups (other books shead some light on the other groups) AND this book is marked in my local library that this book is ADULT FICTION so it's not (completly) true. And I know that they're aren't just rich people in the O.C. but that's the impression I get by TV shows, magazines, games and books. Maybe someone should write about the O.C. with the people who aren't rich...

Anonymous said...

this book isnt perfect but its really good...i mean its just a fiction book...y r people getting so mad about it?

Anonymous said...

she should have changed the name of the town and school. it would have saved a lot of trouble. plus, all places have both good and bad. it didn't have to sound like aliso was just SO much worse from every other place. cliques, drugs, sex--it's EVERYWHERE, not just the oc. THAT'S why people are freaking. they are getting a giant finger pointed at them saying "There's the scum." and it's not fun.

SUZi3 said...

i think this book was very interesting it made you keep on reading i liked it very much....one of the first books i ever finished reading...it was great!

Anonymous said...

I just finished to read the book, and i just can say that i love it!! it was really good, i also read The Dirty Girls Social Club, but Haters was so much better. It was something similar with the movie Mean Girls.

Anonymous said...

FYI The teacher that is portrayed in such a negative light in this horrendous novel, is one of the best teachers at Aliso Niguel High School. He serves as a mentor and friend to all of his students, and as a former student I can attest to the fact, that NEVER did he make me or any of my fellow peers feel in the least bit uncomfortable, nor did he ever do anything that transcended the boundaries of propriety. I would appreciate it if so called "modern writers of teen fiction" would not incorporate slander into their repertoire just to make a buck.

Anonymous said...

i love the book i read it in two days it was great, and things happen like that. SO right on, i hope to read more from ALisa Valdes-Rodriguez.

Anonymous said...

I read this book and i think it's one of the best! I've NEVER read a book so fast!!! It has a great theme, hilarious characters, and if i could getr the book back in my hands I'd read it over and over again! I recommend this book to anyone who likes to have a good laugh.
-Suzette Guzman

Anonymous said...

I've read the book and it seems pretty good. I never knew that this was a real school, which makes it more interesting. She makes it seem like a horrible school with snotty, rich, drug- addicted, drinking, children who need to go to rehab. But the book itself is pretty good. some parts are a bit cheesy, but other parts are very true about how a teenage girl feels at times. I like how she slowly separates the good children from the bad. I lived in the OC before, and I know it's not horrible. Sure not everyone is rich and such, but this book is suppose to entertain teens not tell you the truth (unless...). So to all the kids that go to Aliso Niguel Highschool; Don't get pissy about this book. It's just something to enjoy and read. When you know it's not true, you obviously don't need to make a fuss about this, yeah sure it gives your school a shitty reputation but it's not like she's saying>> " It's a screwed up school, don't go there or you will get killed, blah,blah,blah, crap" OKAY? ALL RIGHT THEN. And to the author: Why couldn't you just make the settings up? Now all these pissed kids are giving you negative comments. Whatever, anyways fantastic job.
I give it a 7/10. =]

Anonymous said...

the school in this book is Padre Loma High not the school you guys are talking about!

Anonymous said...

this book was amazing i loved it and it kept me reading and wanting more! =] this is a FICTION book so not everything in it is going to be real!! and thats the beauty of it the author made it so interesting i don't know why people are getting so offended

Anonymous said...

I love this book its the first book I actually read without skiping pages, I actually payed attention to every part of it. I hope theres a second part...:)

kiwi said...

i HATE jessica it's good that she crashed btu brianna needs a brian n i wonder how chris looks like he sounds cute n just 2 let you know i do want another book of HATERS =]

Anonymous said...

I loove this boook i wish there was a movie for it! =] i finished the book in 4 days lol i was really into it!!!!

nessa77 said...

i loved this book it was soo good and made me want to keep reading it, and i hope that she makes a sequel...

Anonymous said...

Well, I like Haters A LOT this is the first book that i have ever payed attention to and is the first book that i dont want to stop reading it really grabs your attention i really like it..OH and for those kid s that r being b!+chy about the book just b/c she wrote the name of yall school doesnt mean anything..REMEMBER IS A FICTION BOOK A NOVEL...SO get over yuorself..anyways is her book she could have had writing whatever she wants...sO plp if u go 2 dat is school dont get offended she wrote good things and bad thing...it is based on real life event but is fiction.....i love this book i hope you van make a second part..i will rate you a 9/10..

Anonymous said...

it doesnt matter if things were true or not its a book and its meant to be read. fact is if rich kinds all of a sudden lost wat they had they wouldnt last in the real world

Anonymous said...

For all the aliso students (with all respect of course)... you should go back to the book and read the very first pages, like where the publishing information is. There it says that the characters are FAKE. It's not towards anyone...If you didn't like the book, leave it and move on. As for me, I loved the book and really hope she makes a sequel; I want to know what happens next!!

Anonymous said...

i luveeee this book! that would be awesome if it became a series!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i've read it bout 4 times and i cant put it down!

Anonymous said...

I read this book it was good but graphic when it came to the topics on sex. That is only my opinion and I know it is human nature to do it but i have younger ones in the household and one of them got a hold of my book and asked me about it and im not ready to explain this to a twelve yearold. Over all I absolutely loved this book to the MAX!!!

Anonymous said...

this is a really good book i dot know what half you people are talking about the athure said thay were makebelive so dont take it the bad way

LOVE THIS BOOK

alison said...

This book is super i hope everyone gets a chance to read it because it something that happens alot about popular girls having the power just because there rich and get what they want but only the good people who stand up to them are the ones who are the best. and like in the book jessica didn't get what she wanted even with money or with all the bad things she did to hurt others.

Anonymous said...

this book is legit!:)

jenny said...

no this book is gayy its too fake!

Anonymous said...

its a FICTION book! hello people? its not real..get over it :) me and my best friend both read it and from the very beginning we were hooked..yea it seemed rushed but that's only because we wanted there to be more..get over yourselves..i love the book and i think that alisa valdes-rodriguez is an amazing author :))

Anonymous said...

this book really stunk. i hates paski's perspective- it was selfish and mean. She was one of the mean girls like Jessica from the start. didnt anyone else notice how she was so incredibly bi-polar? loving someone one moment and then the next talking about how annoying they were... i was intrigued by the book at first, but Paski's dialogue and narrative make me cringe.

teachball said...

I'm a teacher and use the summer to find books that my students will read. With all the comments I just read, I will start the year off with this book. As an adult, I have read and listened to other Alisa Valdez-Rodriquez books and have enjoyed them very much! Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

I understand that the characters are not actually real people, but the book is listed as REALISTIC fiction. Personally, I found this book completely fake. Filled to the brink with cliches, predictable endings, and boring content, this book has absolutely nothing real about it. Teens aren't evil to the point of injuring others in a serious way (When Jessica loosened the bolts on the person filling in for her's bike). Also, the real mean girl is Paski herself. She immediately tries to take on the personality of the popular girls by putting on make up, buying sparkly clothes that show a lot of skin, and buying perfume, rather than trying to be herself and meet nice people. Alisa also added in some completely unnecessary sections to the book, such as that whole Japanese thing with the twins next door. Seems to me the author was trying to fit in an excuse for Paski to accept the fact that her father was going out with the twins' mother; still, the reason their grandmother's voice was of when she was at the concentration camp seems unknown and ridiculous. The author, in my opinion, is trying too hard to make the story interesting by using meaningless "That's So Raven" visions on Paski. Bottom line, this book, to me, is AWFUL.

Also, I just want to say that the blunt comment the author posted was ridiculous, and I think she could have written it in a nicer tone at the very least.

Sydney M. said...

You guys are ridiculous, this was a really good book! Just because you go to Aliso doesnt mean she's targeting you? Its a book, chill out? Besides the book is FICTIONAL!! its fake.(-__-)And people like reading about stuff they see or hear about on tv.. REal houswives of Orange county? yeah blame that show for making you look bad, not this book. ANYWAYS i absoultely loved this book, and i hope you write another one!! :)

lee woo said...

Haters never win. I just think that's true about life, because negative energy always costs in the end. See the link below for more info.

#haters
www.matreyastudios.com

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