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i hate everyone but you

“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”

I feel like readers past a certain age aren’t going to fully grasp the artful dance of this book. If you grew up with or began using the internet as a young adult, the nuance and emotion of text conversations are probably second nature to you, while older generations sometimes struggle with the complex relationships their children are able to form and keep through words on a screen. Which is a shame, because I think some people could learn a lot about their kids’ college experiences and inner emotional journeys through reading this.

i hate everyone but you is a joint effort by Youtube sensations Gaby Dunn and Allison Raskin written entirely through email and texting.

Unlikely childhood best friends, Gen and Ava, are parting ways to begin two very different college experiences. They vow to communicate each day in order to maintain their friendship and not drift apart. What follows is a moving, hilarious, painful tapestry of what it feels like to spread your wings, sometimes soaring and sometimes crash landing, as well as how it feels to outgrow your dearest friend and somehow grow right back into them again.

Ava is the more conservative of the two, shy and reserved, introspective, germaphobic, prone to mental illness that might cripple someone twice her age- but she handles it with an acerbic wit and brutal honesty. Gen is the more rebellious friend, off to a liberal college with plans to change the world or possibly burn it down. Trying new drugs, personas and sexual partners at a dizzying pace, she discovers her queer identity.

A tangle of emotions ensues, as Ava, still tentatively experimenting with first kisses, first boyfriends and first sexual experiences feels left behind and unable to navigate Gen’s new world and Gen in turn feels stifled and judged by Ava.

The real soul of this book, though, is the layered friendship we have the pleasure of excavating; the glue of years of shared moments that binds these young women, the easy shorthand that draws them back together after petty fights and raging blowouts.

I’m reminded of something my own best friend once said to me: “The more time I spend around other people, the more I appreciate you.” That’s this book. You will laugh, you will cry, and if you’ve never had one, you will be wishing jealously for an us-against-the-world friend like these two.

i hate everyone but you will be available from Wednesday Books in September 2017.