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It's Hard Not to Hate You: A Memoir

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | It's Hard Not to Hate You: A Memoir.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Valerie Frankel(Author)

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3.5 out of 4 Stars! "On a touching and hilarious journey, Frankel learns that overt positivity isn't the answer. Instead, owning her toxic emotions actually makes her life better. In a breezy 242 pages, she turns The Secret on its head."--Rennie Dyball, PEOPLE magazine

"A worrisome diagnosis leads Frankel, a self-described grouch, to consider the surprisingly positive implications of a negative personality. Frank, funny, and full of zingy insights."--Good Housekeeping "Book Pick" (October 2011)



From the author of THIN IS THE NEW HAPPY comes a hilarious new memoir about embracing your Inner Hater. In the midst of a health and career crisis, Valerie uncorks years of pent up rage, and discovers you don't have to be happy to be happy. You don't have to love everyone else to like yourself. And that your Bitchy Twin might just be your funniest, most valuable and honest ally."The hate in you has got to come out." After being advised to reduce stress by her doctor, humorist Valerie Frankel realized the biggest source of pressure in her life was maintaining an unflappable easing-going persona. After years of glossing over the negative, Frankel goes on a mission of emotional honesty, vowing to let herself feel and express all the toxic emotions she'd long suppressed or denied: jealousy, rage, greed, envy, impatience, regret. Frankel reveals her personal History of Hate, from mean girls in junior high, selfish boyfriends in her twenties and old professional rivals. Hate stomps through her current life, too, with snobby neighbors, rude cell phone talkers, scary doctors and helicopter moms. Regarding her husband, she asks, "How Do I Hate You? Let Me Count the Ways." (FYI: There are three.) By the end of her authentic emotional experience, Frankel concludes that toxic emotions are actually good for you. The positive thinkers, aka, The Secret crowd, have it backwards. Trying to ward off negativity was what'd been causing Frankel's career stagnation, as well as her health and personal problems. With the guidance of celebrity friends like Joan Rivers and psychic Mary T. Browne, Frankel now uses anger, jealousy and impatience as tools to be a better, balanced and deeper person. IT'S HARD NOT TO HATE YOU sends the message that there are no wrong emotions, only wrong ways of dealing with them.

"It's refreshing to read as Frankel realizes that anger can be cathartic, even entertaining, when expressed, and makes for a fuller, fun life. Fans of her recent memoir, her novels, or her collaborations with Joan Rivers and Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi will especially enjoy learning what makes the funny, warm Frankel tick."--PW"Told by a doctor that she must reduce stress, Frankel decides: "The hate in me just has to come out." Fortunately, it comes out fast and funny, tart and taut, in your face and genuinely helpful for anyone who's felt tense, fat, overmanaged, underloved, or just plain human."--Library Journal"Funny girl Frankel dishes about what there is to love about hatred. The resulting string of essays on negativity and its pursuits includes a number of hilarious moments alongside helpful, hard-won insight."--Kirkus "Valerie Frankel is one of the bravest, boldest, funniest writers on the planet. Her new memoir, It's Hard Not To Hate You, carries a kind of startlingly fresh honesty. Every page feels as if you are sitting across a cafe with her, having coffee, and spilling your soul."--Caroline Leavitt, author of Pictures of You*Book of the Week* "Funny, personal . . . By letting her hater flag fly, Frankel realizes that releasing the aggression is her own recipe for happiness. This lively and entertaining book should be embraced for its honesty and wit."--Jessica Grose, Slate Q&A with It's Hard Not to Hate You author Valerie Frankel What made you decide to write a whole book on toxic emotions?  I was inspired to write It's Hard Not to Hate You in April 2009 while staring down simultaneous health and career crises. I was diagnosed with colon cancer, which led to the discovery of a genetic mutation that could cause cancers in numerous other organs. At the same time, print journalism took a terrible blow due to the Great Recession. A freelance magazine writer, I was having a bitch of a time getting assignments. My checking account dwindled precarious. The double whammy of problems beyond my control was too much. My carefully maintained easy-going persona cracked under the pressure. Negative emotions seeped out of me at an alarming rate. Instead of trying to suppress them (no longer possible), I resolved to stop fighting and just let them come--in real life, and on the page. The hate in me just had to come out. I'd been wearing a poker face since I was a tweenage closeted rageaholic, so there was a lot of it. How has opening the door to negative emotions changed you?I had no idea just how happy being angry would make me. Or, more accurately, how great the relief would be. Women struggle to be perfect in so many ways--having a stellar career, being thin, a great cook, a skilled lover, a wise mother. We expect ourselves be emotionally perfect as well. I blame the positivity movement (The Secret, etc.), but it goes back farther to "sugar, spice and everything nice." Anything less that bursting with joy feels like a personal failure and public shame. Happiness, as opposed to Honesty, has become the ultimate emotional goal. I tried to pull off Happy, and hid my darker sentiments for as long as I can remember. It was a defense mechanism. I vowed never to let anyone see me emote. The result: I stunted myself socially, romantically, professionally and, of course, emotionally.            This memoir's goal, of feeling whatever comes up without guilt or shame, was a humanizing process. As in, I let myself be human. I quickly discovered that I was not alone in the Hater Closet. By outing my jealousy, impatience, envy and anger, my eyes opened to just how much hate swirled around me. More than I dared imagine. This was a joy and comfort to me. Emotional honesty is fun, too, even euphoric. You can look into the eyes of the undeserving dilettante who landed your promotion and say, "Congrats! You totally deserve it!" while joyously, salubriously wishing her dead.  If you can banish the Feelings Police from your mind, you'll have more psychic energy to function at a higher level. All of your emotions--good, bad and fugly--will be more intense. You'll feel angrier, but also happier. Which is better.What advice would you give someone who doesn't want to own (hello, Oprah!) her negative emotions?Some women are genuinely delighted by the successes of their peers, love their children's friends like their own, and smile patiently at slow service and bad manners. Such superhumans do exist. I just don't happen to know any. If I ever meet one, I'd refer them to nearest army base for observation. To the women who fear reviling assholes and jerkoffs: The only thing to fear is the nervous breakdown in your future. Shed the Sally Sunshine skin. It'll feel GREAT. No one actually likes Sally, you know. She's soooooo boring. Her "friends" trash her behind her back. How do your husband and daughters feel about this book?  The husband's blurb: "It's Hard Not to Hate You is funny, smart, fast-paced, provocative, thoughtful-yet-lively entertainment! Totally worth the paper it's printed on! A bit mortifying for me, but I can live with that for the sake of my wife's emotional health, which I have to deal with Every. Single. Day."            When Steve married me seven years ago, he understood that our sex life would be fodder for magazine articles read by millions. Those pieces, however, are edited for length, language and content. There are limits. When I started writing memoirs--without limits, I cut closer to the heart--Steve became philosophical. "If my wife writes a book about me in the forest where no one reads it," he asked, "is it still embarrassing?" Compared to a stadium-filling magazine readership, my book audience is like a dozen clowns in a Honda. This is a great comfort to Steve.             As for my daughters, they haven't read it. They're too busy on facebook, watching LOL catz videos and reading A Shore Thing by Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi. Speaking of which...You were Snooki's ghostwriter! How was that?  Let's rephrase. It's not "ghostwriter." It's "collaborator." Working on A Shore Thing was tremendous. The writing itself was an absolute blast. I adored Nicole and her excellent managers. For research, I spend four days in Seaside Heights, New Jersey, with my family. My daughters and I got full-body spray tans. Yeah, we glowed. I ate a fried Oreo with a fried pickle chaser. And I hit the New York Times bestseller list--"in stealth mode," as my friend Paul described it. I made a lot of new friends, personal and professional.             Pertinently, I learned tons about hate. A Shore Thing detractors compared the frothy, sexy, beach comedy to the coming of Armageddon, the death of publishing and the decay of American culture. I'd never seen so much rage about a book! Even more than Decision Points. For a couple of weeks, I was a wreck about it. I forget one of the It's Hard Not to Hate You epiphanies, and took the avalanche of criticism personally.             Nicole, however, was a Zen master. She let the negativity slide off her shoulders like so much bronzer. Her attitude: "Gotta let the haterz hate." Which was basically the message of this memoir: "Gotta let the hater hate; the hater is me."             If I was free to hate, so was anyone else, as passionately as he or she liked. When this concept penetrated my consciousness, I relaxed and was able to enjoy the novel's success. Next time my confidence is shaken (and there certainly will be a next time), I'll heed Nicole's example of always keeping a sense of humor, not taking things personally and being brave. That's right: Nicole Polizzi is my role model for emotional authenticity. Just saying...

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Book details

  • PDF | 256 pages
  • Valerie Frankel(Author)
  • St. Martin's Press; First edition (September 13, 2011)
  • English
  • 2
  • Biographies & Memoirs

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Review Text

  • By Guest on July 26, 2014

    I find myself reflected in this story. A socially awkward person who is unlikable because she is honest and crass. The insecurities of never being able to be stick thin and beautiful and yet trying nonetheless. It sometimes feel like a novel that needed to be written to excuse past behaviors and it sometimes feels like the author suffers from self pity, but deep down inside who doesn't? It was funny and an emotional roller coaster of laughs, treats, indignation and sometimes dislike toward the author. I found myself hating her and living her at the same time. Very easy to read.

  • By Virginia Eller on February 2, 2013

    A good read, a nice antidote to the happiness craze that's out there. Contrary to what the title might suggest, the tone of the book isn't hateful or angry. Frankel is self-reflective and funny, and one of the major throughlines of the book is her own and her family's coping with a scary health crisis. She contemplates the rather serious question of what harm can come of not being honest with ourselves, of trying to put a happy face on things that really don't deserve ahppy faces, of trying to please others too much. Though she talks about accessing your "inner hater," she's really arguing for honesty. I thought her insights about envy of others' successes particularly insightful.

  • By Avid reader on January 29, 2015

    I liked this but not as well as I'd hoped to. Although it's interesting, I would have liked to se the actual premise more developed than it is.

  • By Deborah on February 27, 2012

    a few bites of brilliance and defintiely some pretty great humour, but overall....it felt rambly and never really pulled together for me. As a woman at the same angry-at-most-things-most-of-the-time age, I was hoping for more. I guess I will just now end up being added to the slips of paper in Val's drawer :(....

  • By Rock 'n Reader on January 6, 2012

    Valerie Frankel is in touch with her anger - and that's a good thing. It's a journey, and one that I could relate to, easily and often. There were a lot of laugh out loud moments, which is really a feat of excellent storytelling. And Frankel's memoir is chock full 'o great stories, about growing up and all of its insults and pains (and good times too), parenting, parents, marriage, sickness, fitness, jealousy, and all the other foibles of modern living. Not to mention the bitch who lives down the block (I have one, too). I think what I loved most about "It's Hard Not to Hate You" is its brutal honesty. I just found myself nodding my head in agreement -- a lot --and relating to her painfully real perspective on feeling like an outsider, grappling with life and death, and finding a way to make peace with it all along the way.

  • By Mandy Moore on December 10, 2011

    Touching and funny and honest. I could relate to so many of her stories, and am impressed she was willing to share them with the world. I, too, have relentlessly pursued men only to be ultimately rejected, then realize I didn't actually even really like them anyway. She's gets big points in my book for the bravery to create humor out of humiliation. I'm off to buy a dozen copies to give my female friends for Christmas.

  • By Melissa A. Palmer on November 7, 2011

    This book was hilarious and refreshingly honest. Frankel reflects on how she tried to hang on to boyfriends who weren't interested, how she shut down when her husband died of cancer and how she embraced the dark side within her and let that anger and negative energy drive her for a while. But the wit with which she details these accounts are so funny and so real. . . readers will relate to her episodes. Her chapters read like succint magazine articles, which probably harkens back to her journalistic start. They are short mini-stories that all connect for the bigger picture--that sometimes it's ok to not always be happy. I enjoyed this book, my first by this author, and I will read more.

  • By mgclancy on December 28, 2012

    This was my first book purchased by the author. I didn't realize she used such strong words. definitely direct and funny.


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