by Larry Doyle
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 class-mates and their 3,000 relatives and said some-thing 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.
Denis comes of age overnight in this exhilar-ating, endearing novel that reminds us why we can't wait to escape high school but can never leave it behind.
Honestly, reading this book is like jumping on a roller coaster, forgetting to buckle your seatbelt, and you didn't have enough time to pull the bar down. So now you're flying all over the place, screaming your damn head off, swooping over the hills, feeling like you're going to throw up, ducking your head so you don't get decapitated, and then finally you pull back into the station, look at your partner that rode next to you and say..."Dude, that was one freakin' awesome ride. Let's do it again!!!!!!"
It's a mixture of Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Porky's, American Pie, and whatever coming-of-age movie you can think of. I had a great time reading this book and totally loved the pictures of Denis at the start of each chapter. As you work you're way through the book, his face gets a little bit worse for wear. But in the end he clearly feels that the best time he ever had in high school was this one single night!! If you're looking for a fun YA book to read then I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this to you, but it won't change your world like, say, a John Green book would, but you will laugh and you just might see a trace of your "teen self" in some of these characters and their experiences!!
I leave you with a funny passage that made me laugh:
Denis took a calcaneus to the temple. He staggered backward into a corner, trapped. So this was it: boned to death in his own room. Not exactly the tragedy he had always dreamed about. He thought of his mother finding his bloody pulped remains, and then he thought of that copy of Celebrity Sleuth: Women of Fantasy 15 on the floor, lying open to topless shots of Kristanna Loken, the Terminatrix. Embarrassing. If he had time, he would try to eat the magazine before he died.