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Hail Caesar
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Hail Caesar

3.7 31
by Thu-Huong Ha

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Winner of the PUSH Novel Contest, a searing portrait of a 17-year-old boy . . . written by a 16-yr-old girl.

Caesar thinks he can't be touched by anything or anyone. Boys idolize him. Girls lust after him. And he has power over them, because he doesn't care about any of them . . . until the new girl comes along, and turns Caesar's world upside down.
A funny,


Winner of the PUSH Novel Contest, a searing portrait of a 17-year-old boy . . . written by a 16-yr-old girl.

Caesar thinks he can't be touched by anything or anyone. Boys idolize him. Girls lust after him. And he has power over them, because he doesn't care about any of them . . . until the new girl comes along, and turns Caesar's world upside down.
A funny, honest, in-your-face portrait of a guy who has to learn to stop being a legend in his own mind.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

The setting for Ha's first novel, which she penned at 15, is a wealthy suburb filled with bored rich kids whose idea of a good time is to party hard and sleep around. Life has been easy for John Miller until now. At 17, his life is a mess; he's about to graduate from high school with no plans for his future, and his 13-year-old sister is getting out-of-control. John acquired the nickname of Caesar for his ability to conquer women, a reputation in which he takes pride. Then a new girl enters Caesar's life, Eva, who seems immune to Caesar's charms. Caesar feels himself sliding into a situation he doesn't know how to handle—both being attracted to and desiring one girl. Eva makes Caesar confront his shallowness and encourages him to express himself, something he's never done. Caesar's first-person narrative contrasts his cool exterior with his inner desperation to find a more meaningful life. Ha presents Eva as John's savior, but, unfortunately, she comes across as shallow and lost as he is. The secondary characters never fully come to life, and at times the dialogue seems to drag. (Eva asks Caesar, "So tell me,... doesn't religion ever come up with your friends?" to which he replies, "For fuck's sake,... we don't exactly sit around and ponder the meaning of life.") Readers may grow weary waiting for Caesar to become a deeper person. Ages 12-up. (Feb.)

Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature - Paula McMillen
This first novel from Thu-Huong Ha, published as a result of winning the publisher's writing contest when she was fourteen, is about people her own age so one can easily believe she knows whereof she speaks. It is a disturbing picture of high school life in the suburbs where adults are absent or ineffectual, and the teenagers are rich and largely irresponsible. Senior John Miller is known by friends, fellow students, and teachers as Caesar, a nod to his elevated social status and seemingly unlimited power over males (physical) and females (sexual). He appears to have no ambitions beyond playing basketball, drinking, driving his car, and having sex with whichever female attracts his attention. The arrival of Eva, a new student at the school who tauntingly asks if his name refers to the famous salad, starts a chain reaction that eventually unseats Caesar from his metaphorical throne. Initially portrayed as the stereotypic jock, Caesar's lack of self-knowledge or genuine interest in others threatens to make him so tedious in the first half of the book that some readers might be dissuaded from finishing. One wonders if this is intentional—showing just how boring such rampant shallowness can be. Caesar's protectiveness toward his younger sisters, and his fondness for spending time alone on an isolated dock at the lake suggest greater complexity of character. In spite of some occasional missteps, creative presentation of internal and external dialog as well as some truly compelling imagery will frequently intrigue and delight the reader who persists. Considerable caution should be exercised in recommending this book; profanity is liberally used and there is abundant description ofdrinking, drug use, and sexual behavior that could offend the values and sensibilities of readers and parents.
VOYA - Matthew Weaver
It is difficult to determine the more appropriate readers for Ha's stunning debut novel-young men or young women. The tale introduces high school big-man-on-campus John "Caesar" Miller, able to seduce just about any female and discard her without even bothering to catch her name. Caesar is on the prowl when he meets new-girl-in-town Eva, who is not swept up by his sex appeal. This lack of enchantment renders Caesar stunned, questioning his own machismo and incapable of getting her out of his head. The trouble is, Eva is already involved, which puts Caesar in the odd position of actually getting to know her better-and of course, he will learn something about himself in the end. A first-year student at Princeton, Ha began writing the book when she was fifteen. It won the PUSH Novel Contest, and she finished when she was seventeen as a PUSH Writing Intern. It is tempting to either declare Ha a wunderkind or enviously poke holes in her plot, when the reality is that she simply has written an excellent book. It is not a romantic tale about Eva's love changing Caesar's life. Through her friendship, Caesar begins to see the impact that his life has upon his loved ones, but Ha avoids the predictable routes and does not bring everything to an easy finish. If anything, Caesar's life at the ending is more complicated than at the beginning, but it carries a message that every teen reader should probably hear.
School Library Journal

Gr 10 & Up - John Miller, aka Caesar, seems to have it all. He is the star senior basketball player who has money, looks, and an amazing way with the ladies. He coasts through the school day, enjoys basketball practice, but lives for the nights, when he hooks up with his female friends and parties. All this changes when Eva moves to town. Unlike the other girls, she is not swept away by his dazzling smile. She even questions his name while laughing, "Are you some kind of salad?" Of course he can't stop thinking about her. When he retreats to his hideout by the lake, he meets Eva there. They begin to talk, and for the first time Caesar lets his guard down and truly begins to express himself. He discovers that he cares for someone other than himself and enjoys just being with her. She makes him think about his life, his relationships, his beliefs, and his goals and dreams. Suddenly he recognizes that he has no plans once he graduates, and that for all his popularity he is truly alone. The ending seems a bit rushed, and readers can only assume that John will change because of his relationship with Eva and (less realistically) a conversation with his 13-year-old sister. The novel has strong, explicit language and constant sexual references. The first-time author holds nothing back and tells it like it is. She confronts issues like drinking, sex, betrayal, friendship, and love, causing readers to think about themselves and the type of person they want to become.-Donna Rosenblum, Nassau Boces School Library System, NY

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information

Product Details

Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
Push Series
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
6.96(w) x 10.88(h) x 0.67(d)
Age Range:
14 Years

Customer Reviews

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Hail Caesar 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 31 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I though this book had a fresh new take for teen readers. I really enjoyed reading it. I love reading books that are realistic and the story line can actually happen, and this book really juss went there and showed how a guy that age or anyone that age really does act. To the author; keep doing what your doing and dont stop there I hope to read more novels from you...
Guest More than 1 year ago
"Hail Caesaer" is absolutely amazing. It is easily one of my favorite books. Readers can't help but like Caesar. This book is really awesome. Read it, and you won't be disappointed.
CaViarLaVar More than 1 year ago
I begin was just like WOW! My imagination ran crazy... This boy was really cool so could be a friend of mine. I wish the story didn't end but it did...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
jjaacckk More than 1 year ago
Hail Caesar I think has been my favorite that I have read so far in my life time. It is in present day and what a "gorgeous" teen has for him. He gets every girl under the sun and every guy envies him. No matter what he does, he has every girl head over heels for him. Eva, the new student, changed Johns world. She showed him that he cant get every girl by sex and sweet talk. Hail Caesar is a great, teen friendly book. Try it sometime!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
hail caesar is a book that i took achance with. as i read it i felt it revolving around this gazebo and a pond or something. guys like caesar are jerks and the author does try to see the point of a person like caesar . i feel that there isnt a lesson ,it confused me . i personally didnt like the book.
Cynn More than 1 year ago
This was the worst book that I have ever read! It was a waste of my seven dollars, and I am so mad that I even wasted my time reading such a horrible story... I didn't even know what was going on half the time because it was so boring; everything and everyone just seemed so pointless! I had to force my eyes to stay open. Take my advice, don't read this book. It'll save you the time, money, and regret.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hail Caesar, I thought, was a very good book. I followed it, compelled, the entire way through. Since it was left with a lot of loose end and unfinished business at the end, I really hope that Thu-Hoang Ha comes out with a sequel. It would defiantly be first on my reading list. Great bool.
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TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
Read the full uncensored review at www.teensreadtoo.com
Guest More than 1 year ago
Many people who pick up this book to read think its going to be such a great book based on the discription on the back cover or even because the guy on the cover is kind of cute,but they are sooo wrong!!!'Hail Caesar' was good only for maybe the first one hundred pages,and then it went downhill.Most of the arguments/conflicts John or 'Caesar' had was never really resolved,and all it ended up was a bunch of yelling,cursing,and him being upset at the end.And sometimes it was hard for me to follow what was going on cause sometimes I didn't even know what they were arguing about!!Even the ending didn't really resolve anything,and I highly doubt Thu-Huong Ha is coming out with a sequel to this book.I'm glad I checked this out from the library and didn't actually buy it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ha definitely embodied the voice of the average teenager. Yes, there is cussing and sex and drinking and everything else that goes on in real teens' lives. But the impact of the story is there nevertheless- Caesar's self-centered world is disrupted by the new girl in town.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this book was not very good. there was tons of cussing and john or 'caesar' was a total ass. no guys i know act like that. there wasnt that much depth and the characters were all pretty shallow. it was like a bad high school cliche. if you really want to read it, check it out from the library.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was so exited to read this book the back made it sound so great but i was so disappointed when i got to i think the second page and every page from then on had a cuss word and alot of inapropriate things. If you are thinking about reading this book i wouldn't. :'
Guest More than 1 year ago
HAIL CAESAR is the story of the big-shot. That one guy everyone knows or knows of and can't help respecting, loving, wanting to be or to be with. PUSH Writing Intern alumna Thu-Huong Ha began writing HAIL CAESAR when she was fifteen years old, winning her internship and finishing her book at seventeen. She is part of a new generation of young writers whose talent exceeds their age by years and years and showcases writing ability and wisdom seldom common in contemporary teenage voices today. John, known to everyone else as Caesar, is the most popular guy around. He can't be touched, he gets what he wants and does what he wants. Life is good for him. He has nothing to worry about. Caesar believes he has everything but realizes everything in his eyes doesn't mean what it once used to. Not since Eva appeared, at least. Eva, the new student who doesn't see Caesar as social royalty. No, to her he's just a normal everyday asshole. Eva is witty, spontaneous, immovable, and outright antagonistic. Through experiences with Eva, Caesar learns to ask himself questions and be more open with himself about his own feelings, leaving one to believe: does Caesar really have feelings after all? Eva changes Caesar. She changes everything. But the question she has him asking himself is: is all of this change really beneficial, or just a detriment in the end? Thu-Huong Ha models a narrative of a guy who is on top of world but doesn't feel it anymore. The voice she creates is funny, methodical, deep, and classically misunderstood. With her debut novel, HAIL CAESAR, Thu-Huong Ha enters the world of a young-adult audience with explosions and purpose and great effect. **Reviewed by: Long Nguyen
Guest More than 1 year ago
OMG I thought this book was gonna be good, I was SOOOOOOOOOO wrong, this book has like no point to it. I keeps going back and worth, with the same thing over and over again, it didnt make any sense at all... This book was a waste of my money, and guys don't even act like that!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was just...wow. It was very different.It strayed away from the typical teen fiction novel in a way that kept the reader wanting more. Ha doesn't give any reason to Caesar's behavior, and no initial introduction to his personality. She leaves it for you to figure out on your own, which gives you the chance to grow with Caesar. The ending leaves you wanting more, but I think thats the idea... like life, you don't always get what you want. It was refreshing.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I liked this book in a way. It was kind of confusing and the ending offered no resolution at all. In parts the dialogue made no sense and I had to read it a couple of times to fully grasp what the characters were saying and who was talking. The characters were shallow except for Eva. And the author never explained the reason for the main characters bitterness and emptiness. The author just made the main character not care and offered no explanation besides for his mother's death but she never explained his feelings for that tragedy except for a couple of lines. Contrary to my cons I did like this book because it was a fast read and offered something fresh and differet. Overall it was just OKAY!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ok so i don't read much, but only because i never find books that i really like and i always seem to lose intrest. Well i loved this Book i have 2 or 3 favorite books and Hail Caesar is for sure one of them. I couldent put it down and turned it on to a few of my friends. I love the way she just put you in Johns head. Although the dialog did get a bit confusing just take the time to go back and re-read and it will be fine. I thought this book would be Nothing intersting same old same old but it was very diffrent and new... One other thing... Bad ending, it was ok... But the book is worth it lol
Guest More than 1 year ago
At first glance, this book's concept would seem typical and overdone- popular boy doesn't quite grasp the meaning of life, then along comes a girl who changes everything, blah blah blah...you get the idea. Fortunately, Thu-Huong Ha manages to mold a totally generic concept into something new, something fresh. With a voice that's truly her own, this is a good read...quite thought- provoking. The only downside is the book is mostly composed of dialogue and sometimes it gets confusing- and sometimes it just gets repetitious. This book reminds me of the film 'Garden State'.