Also by me from Not Your Mother’s Bookclub.

Haters is the first young adult book by Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez, but anyone who reads this book (me included) is sure to hope it’s not her last! In the novel, readers are introduced to Paski (her full name is Pasquala Rumalda Quintana de Archuleta, but that’s way too much of a mouthful). She’s a New Mexico teenager who, because of her father’s new job, moves to Orange County, California. Yeah, the O.C. And it seems a lot like the TV show. Paski misses the mountains around her old home of Taos (she’s a mountain biker), her psychic grandmother (whose talents she has inherited), her best friends, and tons more, but maybe the O.C. isn’t so bad. After all, there’s super-hot Chris Cabrera in the O.C.! It’s not like Paski is a social leper, either. She quickly makes friends with Tina, a girl who has a slight obsession with anthropology.

Things aren’t all fun and games, though. At her new school, Aliso Niguel High, certain things are very important. Looks and money, for the most part. And gorgeous, rich (and evil) Jessica Nguyen has both. She and her friends (some of the Haters the book is named for), confident as they may seem in their place at the top, are a little threatened by Paski, who is just as pretty as they are. At first, they’re able to dismiss her as just an “apartment girl,” but then they find out her dad is going to be really well paid for the movie (about a superhero named Squeegee Man) that he’s animating. Apparently, Paski has what it takes to get to the top. But with the Haters there, is that where she wants to be?

Haters was an entertaining, fun read that kept be hooked up until the very last word! Maybe it’s not a hugely original idea–there are tons of YA books about rich, popular teenagers in California. Or Florida. But this is more than that. Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez tells the story in Paski’s fresh, original voice that will have readers craving more. I hope there’s more about Paski in the future, or at least more YA fiction from Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez, and anyone who reads this book will most definitely feel the same!

Rating: 8/10

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