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This Is Why They Hate Us

By Aaron H. Aceves
This Is Why They Hate Us by Aaron H. Aceves digital book - Fable

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Publisher Description

This “hilariously chaotic and profound” (Adam Silvera, #1 New York Times bestselling author of They Both Die at the End) summer romp is Netflix’s Never Have I Ever meets What If It’s Us about a high school senior determined to get over his unrequited feelings for his best friend by getting under someone else.

Enrique “Quique” Luna has one goal this summer—get over his crush on Saleem Kanazi by pursuing his other romantic prospects. Never mind that he’s only out to his best friend, Fabiola. Never mind that he has absolutely zero game. And definitely forget the fact that good and kind and, not to mention, beautiful Saleem is leaving LA for the summer to reunite with a girl his parents are trying to set him up with.

Luckily, Quique’s prospects are each intriguing in their own ways. There’s stoner-jock Tyler Montana, who might be just as interested in Fabiola as he is in Quique; straitlaced senior class president, Ziggy Jackson; and Manny Zuniga, who keeps looking at Quique like he’s carne asada fresh off the grill. With all these choices, Quique is sure to forget about Saleem in no time.

But as the summer heats up and his deep-seated fears and anxieties boil over, Quique soon realizes that getting over one guy by getting under a bunch of others may not have been the best laid plan and living his truth can come at a high cost.

16 Reviews

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Believable charactersDiverse charactersEasy to readFunny writing
Slightly Smiling Face
Diverse charactersEasy to readFast-pacedComing of age
“Ugh 4.5, love this, totally going to be recommending this as an updated, funner, more inclusive Holden Caulfield kind of comp. Quique is soooooo messy as a main character and it's so compelling to read. We learn so much about his life, past the point of comfort probably, and his thoughts, hopes (read: mostly sexual or at least romantic), and struggles over the course of the summer after junior year. He's in love with his best friend Salim, but he doesn't think Salim is interested in him, in part due to Salim's Muslim religion and its general views on homosexuality, so he decides to spend the summer moving on from Salim and trying his hand with a few other boys. Quique is bisexual, but he has some very interesting thoughts on why he is so determined to get with a boy over the summer specifically. He, due to internalized biphobia, wants to sort of have his fun with boys while he can until he finally grows up and settles down with a woman. Of course, this thought pattern is challenged, but it's just an interesting view into a bisexual person's brain. He has three main prospects: white wannabe gangster stoner jock Tyler, rough around the edges cholo Manny, and biracial track star class president Ziggy. I love the difference in all the boys Quique is interested in, it's sooooo high school of him to be interested in just anyone hot and I love that for him. He is literally boy-crazy and it's so fun to watch such a messy character with so much to give flirt with all these boys lol There's discussion of biphobia, racism, xenophobia, suicidal ideation, good depiction of therapy, a somewhat concerning but realistic representation of someone being kind of new to mental illness and slow to accept that part of themselves (Quique refers to himself as 'crazy' a lot but like, it's definitely a more of coming to self acceptance situation rather than it being what he thinks about other people with mental illness? idk i can see how some people wouldn't like this aspect but I think it's reflective of some people's experience) The parents in this book are GREAT and very fun, Quique sometimes resents how hands-off they are but is grateful at the same time and that's just so true to being a teenager and just wanting something, anything to be different to spice your life up a little lol The sexual content is heavy in this book but most of it is described in an informative and factual way rather than trying to be like a "~spicy~ book", it's more of self-discovery than real romance and like, sexy sex scenes. There's found family, found guardians and mentors, found literature, found romance?? Basically Quique is just the king of finding stuff I think older teens would have a ton of fun with this book and feel super seen. I think us adults whose inner child could use some healing need this book too. It's like the definition of a coming-of-age story but so raw, real, and messy, and FUN!!! Couldn't recommend it more tbh”
“um. that’s all i have to say”
“I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about this book, so when I was offered to chance to review this I was elated. Quique is struggling with his bisexuality along with his crush on his best friend Saleem, and your typical YA pandemonium ensues. Where this finds it’s strife though, is it doesn’t shy away from actual teenage encounters and how awkward and uncomfortable it can be when you’re inside of yourself. Quique juggles a multitude of boys in this, and I wasn’t super sold on his reasoning. Saleem is an angel and should be protected at all costs. The other boys in this really are not great, but I guess they’re meant to not be to make Saleem the obvious choice. That said, this is an important book, not only because its emphasis on mental health and the damaging effect coming out can have, but also the coming out experience for the Latinx community.”

About Aaron H. Aceves

Aaron H. Aceves is a bisexual, Mexican American writer born and raised in East Los Angeles. He graduated from Harvard College and received his MFA from Columbia University. His fiction has appeared in jmwwEpiphany, and them., among other places. He currently lives in Texas, where he serves as an Early Career Provost Fellow at UT Austin. He can be found at AaronHAceves.com or @AaronAceves on Instagram or @AaronHAceves on Twitter and TikTok.

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