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It's been seventy-five days. Amy's sick of her parents suddenly taking an interest in her. And she's really sick of people asking her about Julia. Julia's gone, and Amy doesn't want to talk about it. No one knew Julia like she did. No one gets what life is without her.
No one understands what it's like to know that it's all your fault.
Amy's shrink thinks she should keep a journal but instead, Amy starts writing letters to Julia. And as she writes letter after letter, she begins to realize that the past holds its own secrets--and that the present deserves a chance.
A Cynsations Cynsational Book of 2009
In the spirit of total honesty, this book wasn't available in hardcover in many stores, and then it disappeared after about three months. It broke my heart, and shook my faith in many things. Adele, of the famous Persnickety Snark blog, did track the book down, read it, and wrote a truly and utterly lovely review of the book and why you should get a copy (now MUCH easier to do in paperback!) here
"Reminiscent of both John Green's Looking for Alaska (2005) and Davida Wills Hurwin's A Time for Dancing (1995), Scott examines the complex nature of friendship between teen girls and clearly delineates the fine line between the strong emotions of the title...a satisfying story of an engaging heroine successfully naming and confronting her demons." -- Booklist
"One teen's grief is thoroughly, heart-wrenchingly explored in this affecting novel. Amy--only child, outsider, binge-drinker--also thinks of herself as a murderer. At the start of the book, it's day seventy-five since her best friend, Julia, died in a car accident. Amy is being released from a teen rehab center, and her therapy includes writing in a journal, which she addresses to Julia. Through these diary entries--interspersed with the main text and Amy's curt conversations with her parents, teachers, therapist, and classmates--the story of what happened the night of the accident slowly comes together. Despite Julia's mother's accusations and Amy's own crushing guilt, she's no killer. She is, however, emotionally damaged. In a cathartic scene, she finally allows herself to feel angry at Julia--even, temporarily, to hate her. Scott takes no shortcuts with characterization; everyone from Amy's well-meaning but self-involved parents to her taciturn love interest Patrick to Julia--an outgoing, passionate, loyal enabler--is shaded with nuance. Amy's final diary entry includes the disclaimer "there's no happy ending coming here, no way a story that started on a night that's burned into my heart will end the way I wish it could." What has changed is Amy's understanding of other people's choices and their consequent responsibility for their fates. She's also, gratifyingly, chosen to take ownership of her own." -- Horn Book
"4Q 4P... Scott's writing is clear and spare, almost poetic in the imagery that is created. Amy's sarcasm and insecurity, and her ongoing letters to Julia offers teens an authentic voice. The pain, confusion, insights, and hope that Amy expresses will speak to teen readers. The issue of binge drinking is handled clearly and bluntly, and without preaching: readers understand why Amy drinks and why she stops. This book is not for readers in search of something light and fluffy, but those who are willing to go deeper, who are willing to engage in questions of choice and consequence, family and self, grief, guilt, and hope will find much in these pages." -- VOYA, October 2009
"In the seventy-five days since the accident that claimed her best friend Julia's life, Amy has been at Pinewood, a rehab center, recovering from her dependency on alcohol, trying to live with the absence of the only person who ever truly understood her and her overwhelming guilt concerning the night of the accident. When she gets out of rehab and is back home, her shrink asks her to keep a journal. Instead, Amy writes letters to Julia. Thus begins her tumultuous, painful, and somehow hopeful process of reconciling with the past, and learning to face the present.
Elizabeth Scott has created yet again another beautiful, eye-opening, and magnetic read that will grab readers and take them on a roller coaster ride of pain and suffering, hope and joy. Scott's tight and brisk writing perfectly convey Amy's tidal wave of feelings--regret, guilt, loneliness, and resentment, but also her hope to find a place where she doesn't feel self-conscious. Scott's treatment of Amy's tendency to use alcohol as a crutch is very straightforward and blunt, and she doesn't let it get in the way of the story, nor does she try to preach to readers on the issue, which is a refreshing gesture some readers will appreciate.
One of the main focuses in the novel is friendship, how it affects and molds who we are as people, and how difficult it can be to reach out to someone new. Scott captures all of the embarrassing, awkward, and frustrating aspects of connecting with those who you have misjudged and the complexity of relationships influenced by peer pressure and the need to belong. Another important element of the novel is how Amy's parent's are portrayed rather unconventionally; as parents who are too consumed with each other and are attempting to live the childless life they originally planned on rather than devote their time to being good parents. How they and Amy deal confront these issues and reveal long-withheld feelings is just another mark of Scott's excellent storytelling abilities. Few writers can pull off such emotional, authentic, and truly striking novels as Elizabeth Scott has done with Love You, Hate You, Miss You." -- The Compulsive Reader
"Ohhhh, Elizabeth Scott... She better write a bazillion more books. Every time I read a new book of hers I enjoy it even more than the one before. I saved Love You Hate You Miss You until I moved because I was looking forward to it so much and I knew it'd be a great way to de-stress. I was totally right. I was actually a little disappointed that I didn't have a long wait at the DMV because I didn't get a chance to read. What did I love about this book? Well, Amy's voice, for one. She's been through this terrible tragedy. She feels incredibly guilty. But she still has this razor-sharp sarcastic edge. She hates being labeled and, as much as it hurts her, she sees things that she and Julia would have made fun of or laughed about. She's also a bit of an unreliable narrator, which I didn't think I liked but Elizabeth's crafted it with the perfect amount of tension so that it's really believable. I also just loved the writing. I would get caught up with the characters and the plot and then these really great lines of description would jump out at me, like:
Describing the accident:All around us, the air smelled like burned rubber and cracked metal, and my cigarette still glowed as the world ended.
Amy describing her hair:Mine is short and the color red leaves are right before they rot.
And (one last one) I love her description of the rejects at school as "all pimples and desperation." Not only are these lines poetic and beautiful, but they tell you so much about Amy and how she thinks and how she feels about herself. Brilliant." -- Abby the Librarian
"Amy is out of the "teen treatment center," back at school and home, and in her own personal hell; her stay in treatment was occasioned not simply by her drinking but by a car accident that killed her charismatic best friend, Julia, from whom Amy was inseparable. Now Amy's sliding through senior year in a daze, haunted by Julia and by guilt about her death, which Amy wrongly considers to be her fault; she's additionally confronted by the evident interest of Patrick, a guy she once nearly hooked up with and to whom she feels a strange attraction. Scott is essentially adding a tragic note to the romantic mode she's explored with such skill in Bloom and elsewhere. Amy's relationship with Patrick is enticingly mysterious; they're two wounded figures, drawn together by lusciously described chemistry and finding healing in each other. However, there's also considerable romance in her relationship with Julia, nonsexual thought it was, and the wholehearted dependence on a glamorous peer, whose flaws are simply never acknowledged, is believed explored; there's also a subtle echo of the cost of such exclusive parings in the portrait of Amy's parents, who are so wrapped up in each other that Amy's been the outsider in her own family. A well-written melodrama with both sadness and joy, this will appeal to romance fans and teens who can't imagine going on without their BFFs."-- The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"Elizabeth Scott has created an emotional roller coaster of a story of grief and loss with serious themes of death and substance abuse. Amy's journey is believable as is her character. There were moments of weakness and there were moments of strength. Scott's writing is sharp and clean making it clear as the story bounces between present and past. Also, her handling of Amy's alcoholism is well done -- the story never felt preachy. A wonderful, emotionally moving story." -- LitMuse
"Sixteen-year-old Amy, an honor student returning to school in the fall following a brief stay in an alcohol treatment center, has isolated herself from her friends as punishment for the death of her best friend, Julia. In letters to "J," Amy provides insight into her own character as she reminisces about their shared exploits...it is through these letters, along with Amy's therapy sessions and eventual conversations with family and friends, that the teen acknowledges her role in the fatal car accident. Amy's parents try to overcompensate for their initial ignorance of their daughter's problems but remain clueless as to how to relate to her. All the while, Amy is aware of her need for their attention as she appreciates little things like cooking with her mother. At times slowed by descriptions of school cliques and Amy's rejection of them, the plot is elegantly carried by her honest, clear expression of how she feels about what she is going through." -- School Library Journal
"Amy is the star of Elizabeth Scott's latest, Love You Hate You Miss You. And it's a tough read--though not as tough as Living Dead Girl. She's an alcoholic. And a grieving one at that. Her best friend, Julia, died in a car accident. And Amy blames herself. But no amount of I'm sorry's and why's and if only's will bring her friend back. Life goes on...despite it all. And Amy's return to "normal" life, to school, is anything but easy. Facing the entire high school, knowing that many of Julia's friends despise her, blame her, feeling so alone. But there are a few in her classes who do anything but ignore her. Enter Mel and Patrick. And let's not forget her former friend, Caro, "Corn Syrup." Is there a place for Amy after all? Can she live again? love again? Find a way to smile again?
What did I love about this one? I'll be honest, it's partly all-about-Patrick. Elizabeth Scott has a way of writing irresistable guys. Amy's a troubled narrator--someone who aches down to her soul. The guilt. The shame. The feelings of self-hatred. Feeling like she should never have been born. The feeling that no one wants her, needs her, loves her. Whether Amy likes it or not she's vulnerable. And it is this vulnerability that makes me like her, love her. She's in need of so much. You want her to get it."--Becky's Book Reviews
"Amy used to sleep around, party hard and have a wild time with her best friend Julia--until Julia dies in a car accident. Readers meet 16-year-old Amy fresh out of rehab--a recovering alcoholic who is also trying to recover her will to live. Amy feels lost without Julia: she has no real friends and believes her parents not only don't know her but don't want to.. The events leading up to Julia's death--which give Amy the impression that she killed her--unfold during Amy's post-rehab sessions with her therapist and her parents, and throughout Amy marks time by counting the days since Julia's death. The teenager's initial, severe alienation may account for the flat affect in the first half of the story, though as Amy reawakens to the possibility of moving on and life becoming meaningful again, Scott's (Living Dead Girl) prose becomes layered with emotion, some of it achingly sad. Amy's story stays mainly in guilt, despair and anger throughout, but shifts slightly toward hope as Amy moves through her grief." -- Publishers Weekly
"I was completely blown away by Love You Hate You Miss You. Elizabeth Scott's books are all great (read them if you haven't!), but this one really showcases Scott's writing abilities. At turns dark, witty, and heartbreaking, Love You Hate You Miss You tackles some serious issues in a believable voice. The details surrounding Julia's death are divulged slowly and it becomes easy to see why Amy blames herself. Amy's letters to Julia reveal a girl drowning in self-doubts but still strong at her core. Amy is a sarcastic, unsure heroine and her story is captivating from beginning to end." -- Em's Bookshelf
"I've come to the conclusion that Elizabeth Scott can do no wrong. I love her style of writing--complex and insightful, with just the right amount of romance. I was really curious to read this one because of the cover. At least I can admit it ;) It deals with so many issues--family problems, drinking, death, love, which lend to make the plot more complex and layered, not confusing. Elizabeth Scott has a way of making you feel close to the character, as if you can feel their pain. It's written mostly in diary entries to Julia. It's sad and heartbreaking at times, but I'm glad I read it."--Addicted to Books
"Amy is drowning in guilt. She survived the car accident that took the life of her best friend Julia and she doesn't feel she deserves to live....Love You Hate You Miss You is a story of healing. Between Amy's memories of past times with Julia and her therapy sessions since the accident, the reader gets a clear picture of what Amy is going through. Elizabeth Scott has done it again. She has provided readers with a realistic view of teenage dynamics while at the same time giving a heart-wrenching story about the importance of friendship and family." --Karin the Librarian
"Scott has continually been one of my favorite authors for her incredible writing, and she does not disappoint with Love You Hate You Miss You...Amy is a realistic character, and her grief is compounded by insecurity, stubbornness, and loneliness. Her desires and despairs are surprisingly easy to relate to, because I'm sure everyone of us has visited a part of Amy's life at least once, if not in such extreme a way as she. Amy's struggles are so heartbreaking, and the reader really feels for her because of all she's gone through. I find the human mind so fascinating, so I appreciate how Scott has broken down Amy's head into surprisingly simple elements with such great insight. I like how Love You Hate You Miss You is much more than just a grief story; it's a contemporary psychological novel that explores the effects of our choices through the span of time. I completely fell in love with this novel and commend Scott for her delicate writing and superb storytelling." -- The Book Muncher
"Basically this was amazing, heartfelt, and sarcastic which made it a wonderful novel. The plot was interesting and fast paced while still being detailed. Also, I loved how Love You Hate You Miss You switched between the past and present...The characters were awesome, too, because each was well developed, funny, and extremely real, especially Amy. Since she felt everything that I would think someone who has just lost her best friend would feel: regret, sorrow, guilt; while still being a sarcastic and funny character. Also, the dialogue and situations between each of them flowed smoothly. Another thing I loved about this was Elizabeth Scott's writing. She definitely has talent and Love You Hate You Miss You proves how easily she can make the words flow and develop an interesting plot from one that has been used over and over again. It seems, at times, that Elizabeth is one that you can ALWAYS expect a great and true story from."--Lauren's Crammed Bookshelf
"I also barreled through an ARC of Elizabeth Scott's moody and engaging Love You Hate You Miss You...I'd definitely recommend this one. I love the way she nails the complexities of family life." -- Avenging Sybil
""Few other writers tell stories as heartbreaking, hilarious, complicated, and true as Elizabeth Scott, and Love You Hate You Miss You is probably her very best yet." -- Claudia Gray, New York Times Bestselling author of Evernight and Stargazer
Check out this amazing book trailer that Naomi made! Read an interview I did about the book over at HarperTeen The idea behind Love You Hate You Miss You: This is actually the third novel I ever wrote, and I sat down with only the vaguest of ideas of what it was going to be about. And what I wrote first is still the first chapter of the book--Amy's first letter to Julia--and it was then I knew that Amy's story was one I had to tell. In addition to being the third novel I wrote, Love You Hate You Miss You is the *only* novel I've ever written that's gotten longer during the editing process. Normally, what I write is whittled down quite a bit during the editing process on my end and when I hear from my editor, but this book actually grew in size! This is also one of only two stories ever (and that's from the time I first started writing) that made me cry while writing a scene. ISBN:0061122858 (paperback)/0061122831 (hardcover)
Read an interview I did about the book over at HarperTeen
The idea behind Love You Hate You Miss You: This is actually the third novel I ever wrote, and I sat down with only the vaguest of ideas of what it was going to be about. And what I wrote first is still the first chapter of the book--Amy's first letter to Julia--and it was then I knew that Amy's story was one I had to tell. In addition to being the third novel I wrote, Love You Hate You Miss You is the *only* novel I've ever written that's gotten longer during the editing process. Normally, what I write is whittled down quite a bit during the editing process on my end and when I hear from my editor, but this book actually grew in size! This is also one of only two stories ever (and that's from the time I first started writing) that made me cry while writing a scene.
ISBN:0061122858 (paperback)/0061122831 (hardcover)