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The History of Hilary Hambrushina

3.11  ·  Rating details ·  35 ratings  ·  27 reviews
Hilary has one goal for her first year in junior high: to become popular. But her plans are turned upside down when her best friend leaves for the summer and a quirky girl named Kallie moves in next door. Kallie paints constellations on her ceiling, sleeps in a hammock, and enacts fantastical plays in front of cute boys on the beach. Yet despite Kallie’s lack of interest i ...more
Paperback, 206 pages
Published May 31st 2017 by Iguana Books
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Always Pouting
Jun 10, 2017 rated it liked it
It's the summer before Junior High and Hilary's best friend Lynn has gone on vacation to California, leaving her to spend her summer alone. When Hilary's new neighbors move in though she meets Kallie, who seems strange with her hand painted walls and hammock instead of a bed. Despite Kallie's weirdness, Hilary finds herself liking Kallie more and more and the two's friendship becomes cemented by the end of the summer. When Lynn gets back from California though, Hilary is torn between who to hang ...more
Sarah Joint
May 30, 2017 rated it liked it
This YA novel is definitely geared toward the younger end of the spectrum. Though sometimes narrated by Hilary as an older teenager, it most often comes from the perspective of her twelve year old self. Was I this awful as an almost teenager? I don't think so, but maybe it's just been so long I don't remember! I'd say story is suited for pre-teens, but it does have some semi-strong language at the end so keep that in mind if purchasing for a child. I've grown to appreciate YA when I need a light ...more
Lynda Dickson
Jun 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Ages 11+
Shelves: middle-grade
At the age of seventeen, Hilary is persuaded to write her autobiography. She writes about the life-changing events in her life when she was twelve. That summer, her best friend Lynn goes to California, leaving Hilary on her own. Until Kallie moves in next door, someone so different to Lynn that Hilary doesn't think they can ever be friends. The girls slowly grow closer, but what will happen when summer ends, Lynn returns, and Hilary once again worries about what the "cool" girls think?

This is a
PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Wendi Lee
Jun 19, 2017 rated it it was ok
*I received a copy of this from Netgalley in exchange for a honest review*

Last night, I stopped reading this with 10% of the novel left to go. I had planned to rate "The History of Hilary Hambrushina" a weak three stars, and even had the outline of a review sketched out in my mind. And then I read the remainder of the book, and had to change my rating to two stars instead.

Let's discuss what this middle grade novel is about first. It's about Hilary, who's determined to be part of the cool crowd
Paula  Phillips
Jul 09, 2017 rated it liked it
Do you remember what it was like to be heading into High School? Did you ever dream about being one of the popular girls or at least sitting in the popular group? Just being acknowledged by the popular group pushed you up on the High School food chain list. The History of Hilary Hambrushina is Hilary's version of an autobiography. She is now seventeen years old and decides to write her own story. This part got me thinking what would I write if I was to go back and look at my past. What events wo ...more
The first time I heard of The History of Hilary Hambrushina was when the author approached me in regards to a possible review. After reading the small excerpt I knew I had to know more about the characters.

The book begins with an introduction off Hilary, as she tells us where she decided to start her story, the most life-altering thing that happened to her. Hilary's friend Lynn is going to California for the summer holidays, and Hilary is left behind to amuse herself. But soon a new neighbour ca
Teagan Cook
May 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a book that every girl should be made to read once they leave primary school. Hilary is a girl who starting grade 7 after the school holidays and is facing a lot of problems that I believe young girls face in their early years of high school - weight, friends and boys. Her best friend has gone away for the summer and she is forced to make form new friendships. Hilary believes that this is the worst luck in the world however, it might just be the best.

Lamb leads us though the "autobiograp
May 21, 2017 rated it it was ok
I DNFed this one at just over halfway through because I was so bored with it. It's a book that I think my 10 or 12-year-old self would have loved, but now it's just not my thing. This book follows a girl who is 17, but is recounting a story from when she was 12. It's a classic "realizing that being popular does not mean being happy" and since I got over that stage when I was so much younger, I didn't find it to be relatable or intriguing. I'd recommend this book to a middle-grade audience but no ...more
Jahanzaib Asim
Apr 25, 2017 rated it it was ok
Thanks to NetGalley for providing me with an ARC. :)

Sadly, I had to
DNF... it at 12%!

The 2 stars are for the parts I read so far (obvi).

I was prettttyyyyyyy excited to receive an ARC for this considering it was my first. So I dropped all my books and got on with it. The beginning chapter seemed mundane but I forged on, hoping it would get better.

Sadly, it didn't.

It was funny at times but too middle grade-ish for me. The writing was pretty funny in my opinion. I actually snickered especiall
T.H. Hernandez
This was a well-told tale of bullying and acceptance in middle school/junior high. Hilary has always wanted to be part of the in crowd, and now that she and her best friend, Lynn, are off to junior high, she feels as if this is her chance to get in with Chanel and the cool kids. But when Lynn takes off on vacation with her family for the summer and a weird girl, Kallie, moves in next door, Hilary's path to popularity may be in jeopardy. Hilary's story is one of personal introspection as much as ...more
Katie Hurse
Jan 01, 2018 rated it did not like it
Right, so this book was REALLY not for me, clearly. I don't think I've ever read such a selfish, shallow, cowardly narrative perspective before!! Hilary literally only becomes a decent person for the final 10% of the story, when she herself becomes a victim. Also, that doesn't really make her a redeemable character, because when I say she becomes a "decent person" I mean she literally grasps basic human decency and behaves like a good friend & person - HARDLY a huge achievement!! Besides that, b ...more
KayCee K
First, I have to say I enjoyed the author's writing style, and how she builds her characters. But this book didn't feel young adult, it's felt middle grade. With that said, if it was pitched as a middle grade I would have like it that much more because I went in thinking it was a YA and expecting things more YA feel.

With that said, I did enjoy this book. I like how it's a book written by the main character herself when she was old. I like how the arts play a huge part in this story. There are
Lisa Bentley
Aug 05, 2017 rated it it was ok
The History is Hilary Hambrushina is a coming of age story about figuring out who you are and embracing it. It is a story that has been told many times before and unfortunately for me the story wasn’t told very well.

Actually, that is probably a bit harsh. The writing is good. Marnie Lamb’s writing is not the issue. I think for me the issue is that this same story has been told better. It is told in a too twee fashion. I also think that because I work with young adults that the presentation of fr
Melanie McGregor
Jul 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I found this book a breath of fresh air compared to much of the YA novels out there. It is a wholesome, relevant story that explores fears and feelings that I think are relatable to many adolescent girls - they certainly reminded me of our own teen self. It is easy to read and goes beyond what may seem on the surface to be the obvious question: Will Hilary be friends with Lynn or Kallie? It comes down to more than that for Hilary, and there are life lessons about values and tough choices that I ...more
Brittany (The Crafty Engineer's Bookshelf)
The History of Hilary Hambrushina takes place the summer before Hilary starts junior high. It starts with her saying she is writing her memoir and it had a feel to it that it was written by someone of that age. It made it a little hard to read and this book is definitely geared toward the younger side of the young adult genre. I think it would have been better to put in the middle grade genre. It would be great for preteens to read as they struggle with starting a new school and popularity. I di ...more
May 06, 2017 rated it it was ok
I received a free copy from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.

To be completely honest, I DNFed this book pretty early on. The book is said to be a YA book but tells the exploits of the protagonist when she is in seventh-grade a.k.a, not a teenager. The writing style to the book started out good, but eventually, it grew kinda meh. Also, the plot, or where it seemed to be heading seemed really trite and didn’t bring anything new to the table. I wish I could like
Aug 10, 2017 rated it liked it
I really liked this book, even though it's a little young for me. I think the overall premise and intention of the book is to bring to light bullying and how your actions affect others. I think it was really well written and would encourage any young readers to seek this book out. It's not meant to solve your problems, but it's a nice read, especially since most of us can relate to mean girls at one time in our lives. ...more
Chelsea Baute
May 30, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: did-not-finish
This book was labeled YA but it is about a 7th grade girl. As a 26 year old who loves a good YA novel, I couldn't bring myself to be interested in reading about a 12 year old. I had to put it on my DNF shelf. I'm sure if it was marketed as a middle grade book it would be great. But it's not, and there lies my problem. ...more
Oct 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
I absolutely loved this. All the characters are so very vivid and you really feel as though you are there. Kallie is quite amazing, but yes she does come across as a bit too weird and immature at first, so the reader can really feel for Hilary and her dilemma. She's a 12 year old who just wants to be friends with the cool girls but unlike them she does have a heart. ...more
Jul 03, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017
When I first read the synopsis of this book I wanted to read it. This is a book that I wish I had read when I was younger. This book is considered young adult but to me, it seemed more geared toward middle grade. Overall I liked the book. The writing was good and I enjoyed reading it.
Sep 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017, netgalley
Hilary, like most girls getting ready to start middle school, longs to be popular and belong to the popular group. Throughout the book she seems to learn that “cool” like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.

After giving up on the book before this one, I was glad for an easy read. The story is well written and told by Hilary, who is writing her autobiography. The story begins at the beginning of summer after sixth grade and ends at Christmas Break for her seventh grade year.

The characters, even
Eyqa  Zaque (The Hundred Pages)
May 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I just give this book a second chance and I like it so much!

THIS WERE THE BOOK THAT I"VE GIVEN SECOND CHANCE AFTER DNF it for real! Because it was worth it. :'D

Wait, let me rearrange this words (on my mind) to explain this book that made me rates them 5/5 star.

Well, it has a moral value (checked),

it was real as intimate in real life (checked)

and IT MADE ME CRY AND WANT TO SWALLOW IT (super checked!)

I was actually DNF the book after like reading first 10 chapters of it because it was too childish
Apr 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
3.5 Stars

My number one opinion on this book that stands out above all the others is that I think it should have just been the story. I did not feel any need for the character to be telling the story from her current state five years later. I felt like the book should have just been in first person, and had an epilogue set five years later. Instead it was written as though it was a chunk of an autobiography. While I would understand that had multiple stories from parts of the main charters life
rated it it was ok
Sep 11, 2018
rated it did not like it
Jun 04, 2019
Apr 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley, five
This is the summer before Hilary Boles starts junior high. Hilary and her best friend Lynn dream of becoming popular and being besties with the most popular girl of all Chanel Winters. But things don't go as planned for Hilary when Lynn leaves for the summer and Kallie moves in next door. She's very quirky - her room is black with constellations painted on her ceiling, she sleeps in a hammock in her room instead of a bed and she enacts fantastical plays in front of cute boys on the beach much to ...more
Nancy Mijangos
rated it really liked it
May 08, 2017
rated it it was amazing
Dec 22, 2017
Tanya Kuzmanovic
rated it it was amazing
Jul 31, 2017
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Though she once dreamt of heading to Hollywood, Marnie Lamb decided that writing, not acting, was the better outlet for her creative impulses. She earned a master’s degree in creative writing from the University of Windsor before embarking on a short but glorious career as a globe-trotting ESL teacher. Her short stories have appeared in Journey Prize Stories 25 and various Canadian literary journa ...more

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