Saturday, March 04, 2017

The Haters, by Jesse Andrews

Wes and Corey can't believe that they were good enough to get a spot at Jazz Summer Camp, but then, that's probably because they actually aren't.  They find themselves relegated to the losers track, where they meet free-spirited rebel Ash who refuses to play in key with the ensemble.  Faced with the dismal possibility of two weeks of camp suckage, the three of them decide to blow off the camp and take their threesome on the road. 

That they can't really play isn't as important as getting their chops giving it a try.  And that they can't find a place to place (even when Ash tries to offer the venues money to let them play) is just a complication.  Persistence, dumb luck, and some close calls follow them on an exodus from Western Pennsylvania to New Orleans.

It's a boy book with a lot of spot-on language (i.e., the two boys spend a lot of time talking about their penises).  That can get really old fast, but Andrews seems to have the sense to pull back before it goes too far.  He also has the good sense to not try to do much with Ash's character (except to make her parrot the boys' crudeness).  That works, but leaves her a bit of a cipher.  What the story has in spades is humor and from the situations themselves (which are often scary freaky, but recalled with such levity that you can't help but chuckle) to the amazing snarky observations about music and musicians, there's a lot to enjoy in the book.

No comments: