i love you, beth cooper

beth cooper.jpg
i love you, beth cooper
, by larry doyle.

josh blogged about this book some time ago, and it sounded like something i might enjoy: a funny novel about teenage life.

he was right. i thought it was a hilarious and insightful book. even though it’s almost-farcical comedy, with intentional absurdities in caricature, there’s reality inbetween the laughs. or, i should say, in-between the pain, since the book is really about a pain-filled 12 hours in the life of a nerdy validictorian. denis cooverman, the everyman of high school nerds, delivers a shocking validictorian speech at his high school graduation in the opening pages, passionately pleading for his classmates to speak the truths they’ve hidden. his own personal example is his now-spoken multi-year love for beth cooper, the captain of the cheedleading squad, and the most other-caste, untouchable girl in the school.

what denis doesn’t know about beth is that she has a still-in-adolescence brute of an army boyfriend, who is present at the ceremony, and not pleased. the next 12 hours include denis, and his movie-quoting drama-geek friend, rich, rampaging through coming of age, getting to know beth cooper, and only somewhat avoiding the wrath of the boyfriend.

it’s a pg-13 book, to say the least. but it’s much more tame than the real-life non-fiction of jeremy iversen’s high school confidential. and it’s hilarious. doyle, the author, is a former writer for the simpsons.

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