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Hate is Such a Strong Word

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  656 ratings  ·  107 reviews
I hate being invisible.

I hate that I still can′t fight my own battles.

I hate that I can′t keep up with the demands of high school.

Sophie Kazzi is in Year 12 at an all-Lebanese, all-Catholic school where she is invisible, uncool and bored out of her brain. While she′s grown up surrounded by Lebanese friends, Lebanese neighbours and Lebanese shops, she knows there′s more to
Paperback, 249 pages
Published September 1st 2013 by HarperCollins Australia
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Thank you HarperCollins Australia for sending me this copy. No compensation was given or taken to alter this review.

The same and I are sworn enemies.

Hate: to dislike intensely or passionately; feel extreme aversion for or extreme hostility toward; detest: to hate the enemy; to hate bigotry. Example sentence: I didn’t hate this book but I didn’t love it.

Hate Is Such A Strong Word was a book I heard very little about; but hype doesn’t say everything about a
Lara (Bookish_turtle)
This book is really good! It dealt with some serious issues, but it was fairly light, and the characters felt real, and I loved them all except for the ones I didn't, and I wish that I could eat the food in this book because it sounds so good, especially hummus because I love it, and the cover is pretty, and the blurb was intriguing, and it was just a really nice read!

Also, AUSTRALIAN AUTHORS! I need more of Aussie culture in my book because I live there and everything I read is set in America m
Wendy F
Nov 12, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014
It is no secret, to anyone who knows me, that I love Australian authors that are more obscure here where I live in the US. I’ve read enough now that I’ve even gotten a pretty decent grasp of the terminology for certain things. Like, I know what a punch up is. Or pashing. Or Uni… I suppose it’s pretty self-explanatory, but don’t burst my bubble. I feel like a pro.

When I joined an online book tour for Hate is Such a Strong Word it was because it was an AUS author, and because it was cultural. Not
Hate is Such a Strong Word is Sarah Ayoub’s debut novel. It’s New Year’s Eve and seventeen year old Sophie Kazzi is spending another night at home in Bankstown, baby-sitting her five year old siter Marie, thirteen year old sister Angela, and her fifteen year old brother, Andrew. Despite the fact that she’s about to start her final year of high school, Sophie is rarely allowed to leave the house unaccompanied, even just to walk down the street to the local shops. Sophie is Lebanese Australian and ...more
Ryan Buckby
Jun 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book it was a quick and easy read but it also dealt with many real issues that are current in todays society with different cultures living in Australia .

I love Sarah's writing style and the way she writes characters that feel so real and relatable because if you didn't have these types of characters in books it would become boring and uninteresting to read. I love how each character in the book had their own voice and story to tell throughout the book from the main charac
Zemira (Kylo Ren fangirl) Warner
I decided to read Hate is Such a Strong Word after finishing Ayoub's other book, The Yearbook Committee.

Sadly, I didn't love it as much as the other one. Probably should've skipped it altogether because I get extremely frustrated whenever I'm faced with sexism and double standard. I'm glad Sarah Ayoub addressed it.

Romance was rather disappointing. There were far less characters in this book than Ayoub's TYC so there was more space left to maneuver but it didn't work for me. There was something
C.G. Drews
Being my first physical ARC, I was doomed to love this book. Doomed, I tell you. (But, if you want to be logical and Vulcan, you can also assume I was doomed to love this book because of the epic cover, the intriguing blurb, and the mention of hummus. I’m not Lebanese, but hummus could very well be the dip all crackers worship.)

But enough about hummus! The book! AWESOME. I loved it! I was totally hooked from page one, where Sophie was strategizing how to convince her dad to let her go out with
I can totally see the comparisons to Looking for Alibrandi (though it's also funny because Sophie's issues with her cultural identity are almost the opposite of Josie's) but in terms of friendship, and maybe even the romance a little, this is much closer to Saving Francesca. Actually, I feel like a few of the scenarios Sophie had to deal with is what would happen if Josie had to handle some of the things that happened to Francesca. (Sorry for being so vague, but Marchetta fans: just read the dam ...more
Sep 09, 2015 marked it as to-read

I just found out about this book from this article. TY to WNDB for linking to this article! And this is why I should NOT get behind on bookish rounds posts!
Mar 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
I hate the fact that I rarely read any Australian books, fiction or not. And I hate that I rarely read anything that explores themes of racism and patriotism.
But what I most certainly did not hate was this book.

I am half Indian, Half Australian. And whilst that is not Lebanese, I can say without any doubt, that both traditional Indian and Lebanese cultures are startlingly similar. The double standards between the sexes, the gossiping, the high importance placed on family honor, reputation and l
Heidi (Yup. Still here.)
This one had flashes of brilliance followed by forced conversations/situations so I could never really get 100% into it. It was still a decent read and had good messages about being true to yourself but I am not sure it will be all that memorable to me in a few days/weeks. I was also never clearly behind the protagonist and her actions, which is important in a book such as this one IMO. If this was the authors first work (I think it was?) it was definitely a good start and I would be willing to ...more
Julian Leatherdale
Nov 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Sarah Ayoub was such a wonderful supporter of my first novel Palace of Tears that I felt I owed her the compliment of reading her debut work. And I am so glad I did! It is an insightful, compassionate and beautifully written story from the point of view of a 17-year-old Lebanese-Australian dutiful daughter, Sophie Kazzi. In her final year at an all-Lebanese Catholic high school, Sophie is going through a crisis of cultural identity as she faces her oldest school friendship coming to an end and n ...more
Steph Cuthbert
I became a big fan of Sarah Ayoub after reading The Yearbook Committee and meeting her several times (really she's so lovely). It's a strange thing to read an author's books out of chronological order, and I sort of wish I'd read them the other way around.
Although I can retrospectively see how much Sarah's writing has matured from Hate to TYC, I really do love Hate because it feels like it was written from her soul.
Hate Is Such A Strong Word tackles so many huge themes- family, racism , religion
Eugenia (Genie In A Book)
*This review also appears on the blog Genie In A Book*

This is a book that caught my eye at BTCYA - and it certainly didn't disappoint! In Hate Is Such A Strong Word, Sarah Ayoub has created a fantastic and memorable novel where the main character is challenging cultural stereotypes, sticking to morals and values which she has for herself and taking the big step out of her comfort zone to ascertain her true identity within the broader Australian community. This novel is one in which I applaud the
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
This novel came highly recommended by other bloggers, and I sincerely wanted to like it more than I did in the end. It is a coming-of-age story about seventeen-year-old Sophie who comes from a Lebanese-Australian family, living in Sydney. She attends a private Lebanese Catholic school which is so insular, when a half-Australian Lebanese boy joins at the start of Sophie's final year, he is ostracised and harrassed as an outsider, his mother insulted.

At home, Sophie too experiences oppression: as
Jun 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: aussie-ya, kindle
Sarah Ayoub is a stand-out new Aussie YA talent with her debut Hate is Such a Strong Word.

The teenagers in this book are smart and articulate and brave and honest and ache-y. Full of hope yet enticingly tentative -- sometimes things seem more muddled than clear. I love when teenagers are portrayed this way -- even more so here as they had this genuine vibe that made them relate-able and fun and true and 100% compelling.

Also, how open and gorgeously conflicted is Sophie in this quote (I really
I hate that I immediately want to compare this to 'Looking for Alibrandi' and 'Does my head look big in this?'. But I guess it gives others readers an idea of what to expect.

We need more of these types of books. Especially ones like this that are basically a great YA story that just happens to be about a girl trying to live in two different worlds - a traditional Lebanese Catholic one her father insists on, and the teenage Australian one she wants to embrace.

What is great about the main characte
Pamela Jarrouj
Sep 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
It was like reading a book of my life. It was awesome!! Absolutely recommend!! Well done to Sarah Ayoub, she really made a top seller with this one. The identity crisis of a typical teenager meshed with the identity crisis of being a Lebanese Australian/ Australian Lebanese.
Very chuffed to have been thanked in the acknowledgments of this terrific debut young adult novel.
Mar 22, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: diverse-reads
This is the first review I have ever written. And I’m not entirely sure what made me want to start off my review writing with Hate is Such a Strong Word by Sarah Ayoub, considering I was disappointed with it, but here we are.

I’m from Australia and I have seen this book around a lot (most likely because it’s an Australian book). The cover is really cool and eye-catching, and the blurb actually sounds intriguing and different. This year I’ve been trying to broaden my reading horizons and read more
Claire O'Brien
This book, filled with teen angst, was somewhat of an insight into the lives of the Lebanese community in Australia, but I didn't feel that I learned anything very new or ground-breaking. I certainly didn't grasp some new insight into the lives of an immigrant family, despite or perhaps because of the author's determination to explain how conflicted she felt - the father's explanations were far better. I listened to the audiobook, which was narrated by the author, who unfortunately did not have ...more
Ghostly  Writer
Jan 13, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019-reads
The complex nature of the ideas that were explored in this novel were captivating!
Jan 21, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya, non-white-pov
This book is more of a 2.5.

Though the topic seemed interesting, the beginning was very weak. The characters felt forced and the writing was very "telling, not showing." The story became a bit more engaging as it progressed, but it ran very hot and cold. I couldn't get a grasp on the main character, nor could I fathom why the love interest thought she was worth his time.

Sophie is a "good girl" born in Australia, but of Lebanese decent. Smart, loyal, dedicated to her schoolwork and her family. He
May 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
Hate is Such a Strong Word is really great! I love reading about different cultures, so I was completely fascinated by Sophie's story. She's Lebanese, lives in Australia, goes to an all Lebanese Catholic school, and her father is very strict and traditional. Sophie feels invisible at school and is determined to change that in her final year, but there's also some tension in her community and she has to find her place and her voice in all of that. Of course, it's a boy who doesn't fit in that hel ...more
Apr 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Kiera by: Katelyn
Shelves: favorites
Yes, It may be the same as just any other contemporary book. But, it conveys such a big message and one that I think we should all take into account. The sexism and racism in this book plays such a big part in our society but we live inside a bubble therefore we have no experience of it. This book has a way of opening your eyes up to the outside world and I thought that was amazing. I think another reason why I loved this book so much was because I relate to the main character so much. I bury my ...more
When I heard the author had a new book releasing next year, it was the push I needed to sit down and finally read her debut. With life being life, I read it within 3 sitting, but it took me 10 days to finish. But I liked it! Normally I'd lose interest not having read it for days, but that wasn't the case with Hate. I did have some problems and I didn't completely love Sophie, but it was easy to read, had me turning the pages and I really enjoyed Shehadie's character. Looking forward to Sarah Ayo ...more
Jun 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Fresh and relatable. Now that the book is out, have finally gotten around to changing it from my 'to read' to 'read' shelf - especially when I was lucky enough to read this back in June
Bree T
Oct 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Sophie is 17 and as the eldest and a girl of a Lebanese Australian family she experiences her father’s attempt to adjust to no longer living in his ultra conservative village – something that he’s not at all successful at. Sophie is tired of asking, begging and pleading if she can do the simplest of things, like go down to the shops for lunch with one of her friends. As for parties or events that are not school sanctioned with teachers chaperoning? Forget it.

Entering year 12 in her conservative
Read3r’z Re-Vu
Sep 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book tells the story of Sophie. Australian born to Lebanese parents, she felt trapped between to cultures and boggled with expectations. Although I am not of the same culture or faith as Sophie, I saw so much of myself in her – her beliefs, how she felt about cultural identity, her apprehension about cultural community involvement and her passion to be independent – not just from friends and community but from her family and their expectations of her. We are both advocates of having your ow ...more
i dont drink food and i dont eat water
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Sarah Ayoub is a freelance journalist and author based in Sydney.
Her work has appeared in Marie-Claire, Sunday Style, Cosmopolitan, CLEO, Girlfriend and more, and she has spoken at numerous industry events with The Walkley Foundation, Emerging Writer's Festival, Vibewire, NSW Writer's Centre and more.
Sarah conducts writing workshops at secondary schools around NSW and blogs about her writing, ins
“I hate that the actions of a minority can influence the opinions of a majority.” 7 likes
“Hate is such a strong word ... But I LOVE the fact that I'm going to find myself, so that someday I'll stop using it.” 2 likes
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