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Haters

Review

Haters

Paski (short for Pasquala Rumalda Quintana de Archuleta) isn't entirely sure what to think when her dad comes home from a trip to California wearing a velour Juicy Couture tracksuit. But she does know one thing: Dad + velour tracksuit = something, somewhere, is not normal.

Paski's dad, a comic book artist, has just signed a deal to get one of his comic book characters a full-length animated movie. Since he can't serve as head of the animation team from their home in bohemian Taos, New Mexico, he and Paski are moving to Aliso Viejo, California. Paski is less than thrilled, especially because her dad didn't even tell her they were moving before he registered her at the local high school! She'll have to leave her grandmother, a practicing psychic who encourages Paski to nurture her own abilities as a seer, and her best friends Emily and Janet.  Emily and Janet are convinced that Paski's life will be just like "The O.C.," complete with great clothes and cars, but Paski cares more about having to leave her friends and family.

Aliso Niguel High School is home to a lot of expensive cars, a very cute boy named Chris who is into motocross, and a cutthroat popular crowd called "the haters" by those who aren't. One of the queen bees of the junior class is nationally ranked motocross champion Jessica Nguyen, who is also Chris's girlfriend. Jessica makes it clear from the start that she wants Paski, a potential motocross competitor, out of her life. Paski would be happy to keep her distance if it weren't for the disturbing vision she's having: Jessica is in traction, or maybe a body cast, and she can hear ambulance sirens. Paski's grandmother encourages her to use her gift of sight to help Jessica, but why should Paski help someone she hates?

Even though she was popular at her high school in Taos, Paski quickly learns that popularity of the rich and famous is an entirely different ball game. Parties are a test of wits. Clothes and cell phones are status symbols, not just everyday needs. Paski's visions of motorcycle crashes and deadly injuries make her life even more complicated. If she ignores her psychic abilities in order to fit in, people might get hurt. But if she admits them, will she be an outcast for the rest of her high school career?

Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez's first teen novel is charming, dishy chick lit with a side of supernatural. It's a look at how life can be difficult for those not at the top of the popularity food chain. But it's not Carrie; Paski learns from her grandmother that one of her foremost responsibilities as a seer is using her powers to help others. There's some mystery and romance in there, too, and a heartfelt relationship between Paski and her (ever embarrassing) dad. In HATERS, there's a little something for everyone to love.

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Reviewed by Carlie Webber on October 18, 2011

Haters
by Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez

  • Publication Date: October 4, 2006
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Poppy
  • ISBN-10: 0316013072
  • ISBN-13: 9780316013079