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Literature / Hating Alison Ashley

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Hating Alison Ashley is an Australian children's / young adult novel written by Robin Klein, later turned into a movie starring Australian pop star Delta Goodrem and a young Saskia Burmeister.

Erica "Yuk" Yurken is a precocious (and slightly snotty) lower-middle class adolescent who belongs to a family she considers to be freaks and goes to what's widely considered to be the worst school in Australia. Dreaming of future stardom and considering herself on a higher level than most of her schoolmates, her parade is quite heavily rained on when new girl Alison Ashley is put in her class. Alison, from a wealthy family, is richer, prettier and more talented and quickly gains more interest from the other students than Erica, who quickly finds herself being consumed with envy and engaged in increasingly desperate attempts to one-up Alison, not realizing that Alison's life isn't as great as Erica thinks it is.

A film version was released in 2005.

Provides examples of:

  • Academic Alpha Bitch: Erica. Probably the only smart student in her ill-famed school, she is an ambitious and extremely arrogant girl who believes herself superior to all her stupid classmates. When Alison is placed in her class, Erica starts hating and antagonizing her because she is jealous of how Alison outshines her academically (not just because she's rich) and is loved by all the teachers.
  • The Ace: Alison is rich, pretty, smart, and good at everything. She also can act very well.
  • All Girls Like Ponies: Erica's little sister Jedda.
  • Always Someone Better: Provides most of the conflict.
  • The Beautiful Elite: Played with; Erica thinks that Alison's one of these, but it's mostly her own jealousy blowing things out of proportion; Alison is actually genuinely nice and only wants to be Erica's friend.
  • The Bully: Barry Hollis is both a bully and a delinquent. Funnily enough, Erica is not remotely afraid of him and has no problem telling him off.
  • Consummate Liar: Erica, though many of her stories are Blatant Lies.
  • The Ditz: Margaret "Margeart" Collins.
  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!: The Freudian Excuse for Erica's pretentious behaviour. She knows that the surrounding communities either look down on or pity the kids in Barringa East and just wants to be admired for something.
    • When Alison sees Erica crying because of homesickness at camp, Alison asks Erica if she's OK. Erica, furious at having her weakness pointed out in front of her classmates, dumps her bowl of salad over Alison's head.
  • Drama Queen: Erica lives and breathes this trope.
  • Dysfunctional Family: What Erica believes her family is - she shares a room with a sister that thinks she's a horse, has an older goth sister and a deadbeat brother to just name a few. To Erica, they are this trope; to everyone else in the family, they are merely a Quirky Household.
  • Embarrassing Last Name: Erica has a chip on her shoulder about being stuck with the surname Yurken.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Erica is consumed by this towards Alison.
  • I Just Want to Be Special: Erica again.
  • Intelligence Equals Isolation: Both Erica and Alison are smarter than their classmates and don't really get along with anyone else.
  • Jerkass: Erica is not a pleasant person. She gets better.
  • Lonely Rich Kid: Although Erica's too blind to see it, Alison's home life really isn't that great.
  • Lower-Class Lout: Many examples.
  • Most Writers Are Writers: At the end of the book, Erica has come to realise that her talent is writing, not acting.
  • Mutual Envy: Erica is jealous because Alison is rich, beautiful and has a mother that is more cultured than her own. She learns at the end that Alison is jealous of Erica's embarrassing, but supportive and kind, family who all attend the camp play to see Erica while Alison's mother can't be bothered to show up.
  • Performance Anxiety: Erica believes she's a talented actress, but when it comes to actually performing in front of people at the school camp, she chokes and is unable to do it.
  • Pyromaniac: Barry Hollis.
  • Proper Lady: Alison.
  • Really Gets Around: Implied with Erica's older sister Valjoy.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Erica's mother, Lennie and Miss Belmont, although Erica doesn't always see it that way.
  • Save Our Students: Played for laughs; Erica's teacher, a new, young, inexperienced teacher gets put in charge of Erica's class, one of the rowdiest in the school, and much to everyone's astonishment manages to turn them around. It's not because she inspires them, however; it's because her surly, sarcastic manner and refusal to take any bullshit from any of the little bastards she's put in charge of ends up with everyone terrified of her.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Erica.
  • Sucky School: Erica's school is widely considered one of the worst in Australia.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Erica, as well as misjudging Alison, tends to overestimate her own wit and popularity.
  • Verbing Nouny: The title.