Review: Randa Abdel-Fattah – 10 Things I Hate About Me

10 Things I Hate About Me
Randa Abdel-Fattah

Highschool is hard. Being a 16 year old is hard. Losing your mother is hard. And if your heritage happens to be Lebanese-Muslim, then you’ve got little chance of attracting the hottest guy in your grade. Unless you’re Jamie/Jamilah – in which case you need to beat him off with a stick because no-one knows who you really are.Jamilah is a frustrating protagonist, but also a very understandable one. At the same time that I wanted to beat her around the head for being an idiotic, moon-struck teenager, I wanted to hug her and tell her to go get out in the world!

Sometimes I found it hard to believe that Jamilah is 16. She doesn’t seem to have enough responsibility, or enough personality to be that old. That’s even with her father being ultra protective of her. The contrasts between the way siblings are treated holds true across most families. There’s always a favourite – or a ‘perfect child’. And Jamilah is forced into that role of being perfect, but she finds it increasingly hard to keep that.

There are some morals in this novel, which you could easily put aside if they didn’t suit your purposes. Not doing drugs, smoking killing you off, taking an active stance against things, not making out with boys – all these things have value and worth, but aren’t going to appeal to everyone.

This is a very good read, and would resonate with teenagers, regardless of their background. Boy troubles, and being yourself, are something that many teenagers face. If not all. There’s something universal in this book, and it wouldn’t matter if you were in Australia or the US. This novel is specifically set in Sydney, Australia, so that makes it all the much closer to home for me.

The similes and metaphors in this make me wish I was a writer. You’d think they’d be cloying, or cliche and annoying, but really they make a lot of sense! And in the talking book I listened to, the reader never skipped a beat.

I want to get my hands on the other novels by this author, but my library seems to be missing talking book copies. Arg! I’ll just have to wait, particularly with the number of novels waiting for my attention at the moment.

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