Monday, March 02, 2009

I Love You, Beth Cooper

Last night after I finished reading this month's book club book, I figured I'd better get back on the stick with my reading and start a book for the alphabet challenge. I have my 'to be read fiction' shelf upstairs right next to the bed, and for a long time, I've been thinking about reading I Love You, Beth Cooper by Larry Doyle for the letter I.

I had taken a short nap yesterday afternoon, so at 10:00, I wasn't really tired. Good thing, too. I finally forced myself to put it down at 12:30, but I woke back up at 1:15 and gazed at it longingly in the dark before falling back to sleep.

Denis Cooverman is valedictorian of his high school class, and in his valedictory speech, he wants to say something that matters. So he announces for all the world to hear that he is in love with head cheerleader Beth Cooper, who only barely knows he exists and who has a boyfriend who is twice Denis's size and is in the army. This starts Denis and his friend Rich and Beth and her friends Cammy and Treece down the path to the wildest graduation night ever.

Each chapter begins with a humorous illustration of Denis as he becomes more and more beat up by unfolding events and a quote from a famous teen movie--it was fun trying to figure out what movie each of the characters came from. Some were obvious (Napolean Dynomite, Sandy Olsson, Ren McCormick, Cher Horowitz, Lloyd Dobler, Lorraine Baines), some took a little more effort (Stef McKee), and others I had no idea (Debbie Dunham, Roland Faye, Samantha Baker). This tied in nicely to Rich's character who is Denis's movie-quote-spewing pipsqueak sidekick.

I was in grave danger of waking up my husband. This book made me absolutely laugh until I cried. I had to get up and use the bathroom. This almost never happens when I'm reading or watching a movie, but when it does, look out! I have no idea where I got Beth Cooper--I suspect it was at a book sale--but I finished it this morning and totally loved it. It is only the second book I've read this year that I've given a 5 star rating on GoodReads.

The book channels every teen movie you can think of with cliques, sex, alcohol, nerds, graduation, and rock and roll, and moves along so quickly that it only took me a total of 3 hours to read the 253 pages of the story. I also enjoyed the appendix, which included real life stories like Denis's.

This is a must-read on anyone's shelf. Not geared towards men or women, not especially geared for kids, this is more for adults who want to laugh at their angsty selves and cheer for the underdog at the same time. Enjoy!

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