Hate You

Hate You

4.2 4
by Graham McNamee

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A young adult novel explores the path from hatred of an abusive father to healing as Alice learns to sing with her own true voice.

Alice Silvers writes songs she can never sing, because she has a broken, "Frankenstein" voice. Her father choked her years before when she got in his way while he was fighting with her mother. After that night, her mother threw him


A young adult novel explores the path from hatred of an abusive father to healing as Alice learns to sing with her own true voice.

Alice Silvers writes songs she can never sing, because she has a broken, "Frankenstein" voice. Her father choked her years before when she got in his way while he was fighting with her mother. After that night, her mother threw him out. Alice has never seen him again. Now she's 17. Alice has her songs, her words, her mother, her boyfriend, her life. Everything but her voice. Years have passed since that terrifying night, but Alice burns with a hate stronger than anything she's ever known.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Alice has not seen her father since the day her mother threw him out several years ago--but her hatred for him is as permanent as the damage he did to her vocal cords during his last angry rampage. ("Dad wasn't a hitter--he was a squeezer, a grabber and a shaker"). Now Alice's voice, "all cracked, scratched and broken," is a painful reminder of her past. She cannot sing the songs she composes in her head; nor can she feel sorrow when she learns that her father is dying of cancer. Alice, who narrates, talks tough a lot of the time, yet, like many protagonists of the YA genre, reveals a sensitive side (through her song lyrics, included here). She undergoes a rite of passage--confronting her father in the hospital--and, with the support of her kind and stalwart boyfriend, comes to accept what she cannot change: "I have a voice! An ugly, ragged, dragged-through-the-dirt voice. But it's real. It's mine." First-novelist McNamee offers a biting account of domestic violence, but he never moves out of the problem-novel arena. Ages 12-up. (Mar.)
VOYA - Susan H. Levine
Alice, age seventeen, writes songs that nobody-including herself-ever sings. She has a "Frankenstein voice, all cracked, scratched and broken." When Alice was ten, she intervened in a fight between her parents when her father squeezed her mother's neck. He then grabbed Alice and nearly strangled her. Her mother threw him out of the house, and Alice has not seen him since. Out of the blue, Alice gets a long-distance phone call from a strange woman who tells her that her father is dying. Confused, yet sure of her hatred, Alice decides to see her father. She finds him drifting in and out of consciousness, learns from his girlfriend that he had been abused as a child, and hears him call her his pet name-"Alley Cat." Alice returns a second time, briefly shedding tears and then screaming in a rage about what her father did to her voice. Back in school, she intuitively feels the moment he dies, and begins to free herself of her hatred and accept herself. With the help of her boyfriend, Eric, and his cousin, Rachel, Alice realizes that she can sing her songs, the rawness adding strength to their emotions.

The characters are well drawn and easy to empathize with, the story flows with good dialogue, and the lyrics to Alice's three songs are moving. The cover is also attractive. However, I wish (and suspect others will also) that the book had been longer to further the story of these interesting people. In addition, the resolution of Alice's hatred is too pat, but is nonetheless satisfying. This title was an Honor Book in the Fifteenth Annual Delacorte Press Contest for a First Young Adult Novel.

VOYA Codes: 4Q 4P J S (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses, Broad general YA appeal, Junior High-defined as grades 7 to 9 and Senior High-defined as grades 10 to 12).

School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up-Alice hates her father. She's only said it out loud once, but she thinks it constantly. As a talented songwriter, the teen blames him for what she believes she'll never be able to do: sing her own lyrics. Years before, during a particularly brutal fight between her parents, Alice stepped in and received the brunt of her father's rage. In just a few seconds, her vocal cords were permanently damaged. She has had no contact with him since that night. Then she learns that he is dying of cancer and goes to the hospital to see him. She wants him to hear her gravelly voice, which is irrevocably infused with pain, but Alice is shocked at his appearance and unable to deliver all of the angry accusations that have been building inside her. It is only after she finds the courage to sing her songs out loud and realizes the power of her unique voice to give meaning to her dark poetry that she is able to return to the hospital and confront her father just days before his death. While there is no happy reconciliation, Alice takes ownership of her voice, her art, and her life. She is a responsible, monogamous, sexually active teen with successful relationships outside of her family. Background characters work well in supporting her journey, and reluctant readers will appreciate her haunting lyrics, the short chapters, and the edgy plot. This deftly written first novel echoes Chris Crutcher's Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes (Greenwillow, 1993), but is told from a more immediate and penetrating first-person point of view.-Katie O'Dell Madison, Multnomah County Library, Portland, OR
Kirkus Reviews
In this bitterly funny debut, a teenager turns the "Frankenstein voice" that is the legacy of her father's brutality from a liability into an asset.

Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
4.23(w) x 6.89(h) x 0.49(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Graham McNamee works in the public library in Vancouver, B.C.

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Hate You 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this is an interesting yet intertaining book that is hard to put down. the issues she has to deal with are hard. this is amust red book bvery intertaining. she can't sing songs but she writes them. she has to deal with alot when she was little and has to overcome alot of things.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Alice Silvers is a seventeen year old girl who writes who own songs, but would never sing them herself. She is haunted by the horrible cracking and scratching of her voice. She hasn't been this way forever. Her father choked her when she got in the way of her parents fighting, and it has scarred her ever since. Now, her father is dying of lung cancer and she doesn't know what her feelings are toward the world. Surely enough, she takes many emotional curves to find herself. Overall, this book was well written and would recommend it to anyone who likes to read books about problems and everyday life of teenagers.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Well I just wanted to say I just got done reading this book and I also thought it was a very good I enjoyed it alot when I picked it up I couldnt stop reading it and guess that just show how much I liked the book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It is a great book because it talks about problems today and ends wonderfully.So to me a awesome because its my type of book to read.thanks.