The book is divided into five parts: Part 1 - age 7 to beginning High School, Part 2 - Freshman Year, Part 3 - Sophomore and Junior Year, Part 4 - Junior Year, Part 5 - Senior Year. In each part Friedman focuses on both home and school with more emphasis on school as the year progresses.
In this Young Adult memoir we get a glimpse into Hannah Friedman's life starting in Part One where we meet Amelia - her mom's pet monkey. We continue with Hannah giving us the goods on various mean girls, failed road trips, and being deferred at her first choice college.
Friedman's writing is frank and spares no one's feelings, not even her own. She talks about her battles with keeping up with the "Jones" even though she didn't have the money or the background as well as her struggles with her weight.
"Carbs are for the weak. Coffee has become it's own food group. Curiously enough though, nobody ever dares discuss dieting difficulties, only success stories; you are skinny and pretty or you're a fat failure, and there's nothing in between." (104 - 105)Hannah tells all. It's not pretty but it sounds pretty accurate. Fortunately, it's not the whole story, this is just a small part of Hannah. The writing flows smoothly with the exception of Part 4 when Hannah attends school in the city for a semester. The timing was difficult for me to follow and I found myself re-reading to help the pieces fall into place. It was also questionable whether the graphic details of Hannah's love life contributed anything additional to the writing. Overall, the book was entertaining and could be useful in a high school English and/or journalism class. The immediacy of the memoir could serve as a valuable lesson on writing what you know. I will be picking up part two as soon as it's released!
About the Author
Hannah Friedman (Peekskill, NY) is a recent Yale University graduate. She is the daughter of gold-record singer/songwriter Dean Friedman. An article titled, “When Your Friends Become the Enemy” about her experiences applying to an Ivy League University was published in Newsweek in 2004. Ms. Friedman is the winner of the Yale 2007 Playwright’s Festival, as well as the New York Television Festival’s 2008 “Flying Solo” Pilot Contest. Her pilot about transitioning from college student to author will debut at the Festival in September 2008.
Places to Find Hannah Friedman
Hannah's Lifetime Show Flying Solo
Hannah's Social Media life
Hannah's Wikipedia page
Everything Sucks book trailer from youtube
Hannah on Twitter