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Everything Sucks: Losing My Mind and Finding Myself in a High School Quest for Cool

3.50  ·  Rating Details  ·  164 Ratings  ·  48 Reviews
When everything sucks,
change everything . . . And that's exactly what Hannah Friedman set out to do in an ambitious attempt to bust out of a life of obscurity and absurdity and into an alternate world of glamour, wealth, and popularity.

Being dubbed 'That Monkey Girl' by middle school bullies and being pulled out of sixth grade to live on a tour bus with her agoraphobic mo
...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published August 3rd 2009 by HCI Teens
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 382)
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Jade Chau
Dec 19, 2013 Jade Chau rated it really liked it
Hannah Friedmen's Everything Sucks tells the story of her life experience in high school, a weird nerdy looking teenager, who believes that fitting in will make her life better than it is before. The book is set to her high school years, a dull place that many girls set their quest to become "popular." Wanting nothing more to be less than a freak, Hannah changes her clothing, morals, and mind set to be accepted by the girls, who claim to be popular and rich. The book examines on how no matter ho ...more
Joyce Baker
Apr 07, 2012 Joyce Baker rated it did not like it
Joyce Baker
Humor

While trying to find a book to read for humor, I ran across this book on Amazon. It received nothing but praises: four and five stars. So I took the leap and purchased the book.

The book is about the author, Hannah Friedman, who was trying to become cool in high school. She had a hard time in middle school. She was dubbed the monkey girl along with other euphemisms. After her “chocolate milk misdemeanor”, her mother decided she can go to a private school if she can get a scholarsh
...more
Alea
Aug 01, 2009 Alea rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-for-review
I really liked Hannah's voice. She comes off as very relatable. Just a girl trying to get through childhood and her teen years without being picked on and having some friends to hang out with. Instantly when Hannah starts telling her tale you know she doesn't come from your average family, a mother that trained monkeys for a living and one just so happens to be part of her family, for longer than Hannah has been part of it! And a musician father who takes them on tour with him. She also has a li ...more
Vicki Jaeger
Jun 04, 2010 Vicki Jaeger rated it did not like it
This book is about a young woman who desperately wants to be popular and have a feeling of belonging. In order to do so, she does everything--anorexia/bulimia, smoking pot, eventually becoming addicted to cocaine. Someone should have told her to become comfortable in her own skin and the rest would have worked out.
This was an advance reading copy that didn't include the end of the book. By the time I finished this piece of it, I was pretty disgusted with this self-centered spoiled little girl,
...more
Strawberry
Jun 20, 2016 Strawberry rated it really liked it
3 1/2 stars

This should be required reading for any author who wants to nail down the angst and insecurities of many American teenage girls. Yes, sometimes something as insignificant and ridiculous as tiny red bumps on arms can cause a girl massive anxiety and make her utterly delusional as it did with Hannah in one scene. I often feel that in most YA novels I read, the characters have been so sanitized and airbrushed that they are barely human, Hannah is a nice change from that.

Of course, that m
...more
adrienna
Feb 29, 2012 adrienna rated it did not like it
Shelves: abandoned
Seems like the author got done watching Mean Girls and decided to write her memoir. It didn't feel authentic at all.
Katrina
Sep 19, 2009 Katrina rated it it was amazing
As I began this book, I found Hannah's problems trivial and silly. That of a typical young woman grouping up with a monkey as a sister. I could relate to the need to fit in and be adored. As the book progressed though, Hannah's life spirals. Her need to fit in leads her down very destructive paths. As an author she is able to build the momentum of the book without a blink of an eye. On one page she is getting her period for the first time and the next minute cocaine is involved. It was like jogg ...more
Arminzerella
Hannah Friedman was sick of being “that monkey girl,” and decided to reinvent herself when her parents sent her to a private high school (after her terrible trials and tribulations in middle school). Hannah almost immediately makes a name for herself and becomes one of the Great 8 – a clique of the most popular girls in school. It’s a heady transformation and she’s pretty overwhelmed by it. After awhile, though, she discovers that that’s not really who she is either – the obsessive dieting, self ...more
Christine Zegelis
Sep 22, 2009 Christine Zegelis rated it it was amazing
Everything Sucks: Losing My Mind and Finding Myself in a High School Quest for Cool was certainly a delightful romp through the angst-ridden teen years of Hannah Friedman and her dreams of being popular. Actually, normal would be a vast improvement from her social standing when she enters middle-school. The fact that her sister is a monkey, her mom considers wearing a scarf in a car is an “invitation for decapitation”, her father builds a shoe car to take her and her little brother to school in ...more
Mishel Zabala
Oct 03, 2009 Mishel Zabala rated it it was amazing
Shelves: for-review, favies
Being called "that monkey girl" gets old very, very quickly. Having a monkey for a sister and eccentric parents isn't the worst thing in Hannah's life. Throw in a smelly little brother and you got yourself a party though. Hannah's middle school years are filled with a multitude of embarrassing moments and constant teasing. Then her parents pull her out of school for a UK tour for her musician father - who's last hit was sometime in the 1970s. She's dragged along on a great big disappointment but ...more
Trupti Dorge
Dec 22, 2009 Trupti Dorge rated it really liked it
Shelves: i-own
Rating: 4.25 out of 5

If I have to use just one word to describe this book, it would be “Honest”. Hannah Friedman is very upfront about everything-sex, drugs, peer pressure and so much more that teenagers deal with. What I mean by honest is that she doesn’t say I did drugs and sex at a young age and found out that it’s really bad and you shouldn’t do it and wait to find real love and all that stuff. She puts it the way it is. She delves into things that most of us would like to forget and never t
...more
Steph Bowe
Apr 30, 2014 Steph Bowe rated it liked it
I can honestly say that Hannah Friedman is incredibly brave to write such an honest and intimate memoir about her teenage years; most of the things in this book you can probably file under Things People Don't Talk About. Sex, drugs, eating disorders - all are dealt with in a way that's unflinchingly honest, and I think teenaged readers will really appreciate that. From reading the back cover blurb, this novel sounds like a pot luck of teen issues, and you might think that it's going to be the ki ...more
Bianca
May 17, 2010 Bianca rated it really liked it
After watching Hannah Friedman's YouTube videos, I knew I had to read her memoir! I thought Everything Sucks was fantastic! Hannah Friedman writes about her life with a monkey as an older sister and being teased about it in elementary, and how she missed the first year of middle school to go on a band tour with her family. When she finally gets back to the States, Hannah is determine to not be the "monkey girl" in middle school. Only, things don't exactly go her way and she is taunted even more ...more
Kathy (Bermudaonion)
Nov 13, 2009 Kathy (Bermudaonion) rated it really liked it
Hannah Friedman’s parents are what I like to call free spirits. Her dad is a not quite successful hippie musician and her mom is a former animal trainer who has taken in a monkey that is treated like a member of the family. They did off-beat things like build a car to resemble a shoe and take Hannah and her brother out of school for a year to join them on a band tour of England.

Hannah is very bright and hard working, but had a lot of trouble fitting in socially in middle school. Thinking that sh
...more
Eleni ( La Femme Readers )
Aug 22, 2009 Eleni ( La Femme Readers ) rated it really liked it
Hannah Friedman, is hilariously witty and isn't afraid to admit her embarrassing moments growing up. Her life is definitely eccentric, she grew up in a home with her parents, her brother Sam and Amelia, which is a monkey. Yes, I did say monkey. Is that even legal? She always felt like an outcast in high school, however she did eventually find some people to click with. It's a fast paced book and I sometimes forgot that it was a memoir, I connected with all the characters and understood their per ...more
Kristi
Aug 02, 2009 Kristi rated it liked it
Wow. And I thought my high school experience sucked. Hannah is insane, and I mean that is the most endearing way possible. I loved her voice in this story. There were moments where, I found myself screaming “yes” in agreement. Like the irrational fear of that stupid spider story from Scary Stories, that one still bothers me to this day!

Hannah's honest, brutally honest at times, but it only adds to the overall appeal of the novel. She doesn't bs around the issues, she addresses them head on, des
...more
Blog on Books
Mar 29, 2010 Blog on Books rated it liked it
Hannah speaks to every girl I know from the very first pages of her memoir titled `Everything Sucks.' From beginning to end, the book speaks loudly to adolescent girls with a wit that only a Yale graduate (later to become a blogger extraordinaire) could achieve.
That Hannah's writing is extremely catchy, funny and smart is an understatement. The book highlights familiar childhood and teen years that are equally applicable to today's generation. She begins her story alluding to the fact that "You
...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Amber Gibson for TeensReadToo.com

EVERYTHING SUCKS is the blase and brazen memoir of Yale graduate Hannah Friedman, recounting those awkward childhood and teenage years when everything truly does suck.

Imagine being a first-born human child only to live in the shadows of a monkey. Thus begins Hannah's life, with Amelia the monkey as an older sibling of sorts who can get away with anything. Hannah's mother saved Amelia from an opium withdrawal death and adopted her into the family. Amel
...more
Jamie To
Dec 20, 2013 Jamie To rated it really liked it
Hannah Friedmen's Everything Sucks tells the story of her younger self trying to grow up, a teenager wanting nothing more than popularity. The book is set to her high school years, a place where cliches and social standing are everything. Wanting nothing more to be popular and to fit in, she changes herself, in a way, for the worst. The book examines on how no matter what you pretend to be, your true self will always appear.

The most memorable scene in the book was when she gets over her drug add
...more
Michelle
Jan 01, 2010 Michelle rated it it was ok
"I am beginning to question whether I should give up on memoirs altogether. It seems that almost every one that I read lately has not really grabbed me. Maybe my issue is the fact that I had such high expectations for Everything Sucks. The title alone gave me hope - that and the fact that a fellow blogger recommended this book earlier this year. Unfortunately, I am left feeling rather meh about it, and I am not happy with that. [return][return][return]At first, I found this book painful in a goo ...more
Lisa Mcbroom
Mar 03, 2014 Lisa Mcbroom rated it really liked it
Hannah Friedman is known as the freaky monkey girl. Yes her eccentric parents have a monkey as a pet. After she is sent to boarding school , Friedman reinvents herself and becomes popular. Yet she trades in for another set of problems... trying to fir in with girls whose names are Cashmere and Swan, buying Louie Vuitton bags, and the drug overdose of her friend Ian. Told with pathos and humour, Friedman finally finds her true identitiy.
Lynne Knaze
Feb 23, 2016 Lynne Knaze rated it really liked it
The author is engaging and has a very funny voice throughout. There are many parts of the book that are difficult- she relates her experiences with drugs, sex, eating disorders etc. -but very genuine. Overall, she does a great job of relating her adolescent experience and her quest to figure out who she really is, not who she thinks everyone wants her to be.
Kristiina Pohjolainen
Dec 30, 2010 Kristiina Pohjolainen rated it liked it
Shelves: own
Well, I thought about reading this book when it was published, and now that I did, I do have to say that I had high expectations for this book. Not that it was a bad one, though, but still...

This whole high school-thing made me laugh and curse those little selfish characters that were in this book. Still, Hannah has wrote a great book that was honest and felt real, to me. It was easy for me to jump into her shoes (not that I've been like that..) and just wander through the whole book.

After closi
...more
Carson
Sep 07, 2014 Carson rated it it was amazing
This sucked. Just kidding, it was actually pretty good. The insight of Hannah on common problems dealt with during high school was different and refreshing while also managing to be heart-wrenching and utterly real. Definitely would recommend it to anyone, and it's a really quick read (3 hours).
Liralen
Mar 06, 2014 Liralen rated it liked it
Great writing, but the story feels incomplete. Most of the book takes place while the author is in high school, navigating a new world of wealthy classmates and academic value. Friedman is simultaneously desperate to make a name for herself and desperate to fit in, but her high school represents to her a chance to start over, to recreate herself.

But so does college. By the end of the books she seems to have, well, reconciled herself with herself (or herself with her self?) and views college as a
...more
Donna Lyn
May 12, 2010 Donna Lyn rated it liked it
This Young Adult/Memoir is not for the genteel. However, with my crazy past, I found I could really identify with her. I laughed and I cried and I didn't want the book to end so that is a triple-treat in my opinion. I guess I only gave it a few of stars because it was too graphic for me (the genteel sort) but hey, it's real and some people are way more comfortable discussing body parts than I am so I sorta knocked a star off for my own embarrassment...and then knocked another star off for the fa ...more
Sarah
Got this at BEA.
I liked latter part of this a lot more than the beginning. No wait. I liked the middle the best. The beginning was cute, but it didn't add a whole lot to the story. The end, and I think it was because it was an ARC just sort of ended with buy the book in August to see the rest of what happens. Um...there were 200 some pages already. Why not give me an ending? Apparenlty, I need an ending sucked shelf, because I seem to get a lot where I go huh? at the end.
Clint Heitz
Jun 26, 2010 Clint Heitz rated it liked it
Shelves: ya-lit, non-fiction
Though the book was interesting and could really grab your attention, I was disturbed by how nonchalant the author was about chronicling her rampant drug use and sexual exploits. In a sense, she seems as though she is advocating experimenting with anything from cigarettes, to pot, to cocaine and acid.

This book is definitely intended for at least high school readers, but even then I'd only feel comfortable to a very mature (not easily influenced) reader.
André
Aug 31, 2009 André rated it it was ok
I guess I can't blame the author, because the book was autobiographic, but it was EXTREMELY cliche. All those people she met at her boarding school seems like those kids from Gossip Girl-style novels and she herself, although coming from a unique family, is quite typical. I was expecting for something more outstanding and revealing since it's a true story and Hannah is a very accomplished young woman. I was disappointed.
Anna
Oct 20, 2009 Anna rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviews, non-fiction
This is one of the most brutally honest memoirs I've read. We all know that High School sucks, and Hannah really tells it like it is. I loved the fact how honest this book was. Hannah has a wonderful writing voice. She is honest, funny and holds nothing back. She talks about everything she went through from Drugs, her eating disorder to having to deal with a monkey for a sister. I look forward to read more of her writing.
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