Tuesday, July 30, 2013

"I Love You, Beth Cooper" by Larry Doyle (2007)

Denis Cooverman didn't want to give a typical graduation speech, cherishing memories and embracing challenges and crap. So, instead, he stood up in front of his 512 classmates and their 3,000 relatives and said something really important: "I love you, Beth Cooper."

It would have been such a sweet, romantic moment. Except that:
Beth, the head cheerleader, has only the vaguest idea who Denis is.
And Denis, the captain of the debate team, is so far out of her league he is barely even the same species.
And then there's Kevin, Beth's remarkably large boyfriend, in town on furlough from the United States Army.
Complications ensue.

Denis comes of age overnight in this exhilarating, endearing novel that reminds us why we can't wait to escape high school but can never leave it behind.

  • HILARIOUS book. Far from poorly written with crude humor, the author's writing style is insouciant, ingenious, subtle, and outright comical with a hint of vulgarity and some intense scenes. Each event gets funnier than the last, due to context and character build-up.
  • The main character is the valedictorian, and so his narration is quirky and nerdy, in a very fun way. He notes out the many laws that Beth has broken as they are narrowly escaping Kevin's wrath, recites the hormone glands that are going crazy in his adolescent body while sweating with anticipation and nervousness, and is, overall, an awkward but loveable dork.
  • Every scene is unforgettable and will stick in your mind, ranging from the tampons instilled in Denis' nose for the purposes of blocking a nosebleed to the alarming downhill ride that Beth's driving is composed of.
  • I also loved how each chapter started out with Denis' face, and it is progressively worse for wear as the book goes, with spilled drinks and large bruises and mosquito bites.
  • Don't expect this to be a deep read about high school! Although it does bring up important life lessons, there's not a particularly strong emphasis on graduating and looking forward to the future. It's just a very light-hearted novel, something good to read for fun.
  • If you like The Simpsons or Big Bang Theory or even anything remotely funny, you'd love this book.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars!

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