John "Caesar" Miller knows he's the coolest guys around. Guys want to be him. Girls want to be with him--and by that he means they want to have sex with him. Caesar believes that he deserves everything and everyone he gets, and that he doesn't have to care for them in return.
Until he meets the new girl, Eva. From the start he knows there's something different about her. It's not just that she's smart AND beautiful AND doesn't immediately fall for him; he's also able to talk to her in a way he's never been able to talk before. Caesar can't decide what to do. Should he continue on with his old but easy lifestyle of hooking up with dozens of girls? Or should he actually, finally grow a heart and learn to love a little?
Written by a 17-year-old girl, HAIL CAESAR is a realistic portrayal of the mind of a kind of person whose mind usually isn't penetrable. Some might be disappointed with the non-ending but I think that it is just like real life. This is a good book to read if you're in between some more heavy reading.
Reviewed by Long Nguyen for TeensReadToo.com
HAIL CAESAR is the story of the big-shot. That one guy everyone knows or knows of and can't help respecting, loving, wanting to be or to be with. PUSH Writing Intern alumna Thu-Huong Ha began writing HAIL CAESAR when she was fifteen years old, winning her internship and finishing her book at seventeen. She is part of a new generation of young writers whose talent exceeds their age by years and years and showcases writing ability and wisdom seldom common in contemporary teenage voices today.
John, known to everyone else as Caesar, is the most popular guy around. He can't be touched, he gets what he wants and does what he wants. Life is good for him. He has nothing to worry about. Caesar believes he has everything but realizes everything in his eyes doesn't mean what it once used to. Not since Eva appeared, at least.
Eva, the new student who doesn't see Caesar as social royalty. No, to her he's just a normal everyday asshole. Eva is witty, spontaneous, immovable, and outright antagonistic. Through experiences with Eva, Caesar learns to ask himself questions and be more open with himself about his own feelings, leaving one to believe: does Caesar really have feelings after all? Eva changes Caesar. She changes everything. But the question she has him asking himself is: is all of this change really beneficial, or just a detriment in the end?
Thu-Huong Ha models a narrative of a guy who is on top of world but doesn't feel it anymore. The voice she creates is sunny, methodical, deep, and classically misunderstood. With her debut novel, HAIL CAESAR, Thu-Huong Ha enters the world of a young-adult audience with explosions and purpose and great effect.
More of a cerebral, character-driven book than a plotted book. Ending felt unresolved to some extent. It's unclear to what extent the main character actually grew/changed, but, he's 17, so he gets a little leeway. Might be good for a high school English class discussion, but not really a "fun" read.