Thursday, July 9, 2009

I Love You, Beth Cooper! by Larry Doyle

Denis Cooverman, valedictorian for his Buffalo Grove High School graduating class has no idea that he is about to experience the night of a lifetime (which in his case would not take much.) Rather than present the usual rabble that goes in one ear and out the other, he takes the opportunity with his graduation speech to single out a few of the people who made his life more difficult during his high school years. He also calls out his best friend to admit that he is gay, but not before announcing to the sweaty mass of humanity filling the gymnasium that he, debate team captain and frequent target of harassment, Denis Cooverman, was in love with the head cheerleader and most popular girl in school, Beth Cooper.

At the post-graduation reception, Denis is anticipating receiving the accolades of his peers; however, as usual, no one pays attention to him, until Beth Cooper herself approaches him. Panicked, he invites her and her 2 friends to an impromptu party at his house later that evening. The chain of events that follow after Beth and her friends actually show up at his "party" consisting of Denis and his possible gay best friend, Rich, are unprecedented in Denis's young life.

This is your typical high school nerd breaks out of his mold story; however, the writing is snappy, the book moves along at a frenetic pace, and the dialogue is clever. It reminded me very much of one of John Hughes' movies from the '80's, such as "Sixteen Candles" or "Weird Science." Be forewarned, however - there is excessive violence, sexual encounters of all sorts, and substance abuse galore so if any of that subject matter offends, this may not be the fun summer read you are looking for. If you plan on seeing the major motion picture of the same title that is currently out, it would be an interesting comparison to read the book before you see the movie!

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