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Grow Upby Ben Brooks
Synopses & Reviews
In this bawdy, raucous, and unabashedly frank novel, youth is certainly not wasted on the young
Hailed as "one of the most hilarious and well-observed accounts of teenage debauchery you are ever likely to read" by the trendsetting British lifestyle magazine Dazed & Confused, Ben Brooks's Grow Up is a shocking, stylish, and very modern coming-of-age story.
As Jasper J. Wolf careens through high school, his list of to-dos includes: get high with friends, seduce the hottest girl in school, and, last but not least, expose his stepfather as a murderer. But as growing up soon teaches him, what he wants and what he gets are often wildly different—and decidedly unexpected.
"Brooks's latest (after Fences) follows British teen and aspiring novelist Jasper James Wolf in his post-ironic and frequently post-literate quest to pass his O-levels, peg his stepfather as a murderer, and have sex with unattainable classmate Georgia Treely. While pining for Georgia, pretty much anyone or anything will do — even, in one unfortunately memorable instance, his stepfather's golf sock. Jasper — so young, so bored, so boring — spends his time pretending to study for his university entrance exams, getting high on various drugs, and having sex with sometimes unwilling women. After he confesses to having drugged and subsequently seduced a classmate, his best friend, Tenaya, gallantly reassures him: 'That sounds like most of the sex most teenage girls ever have.' But Brooks's greatest offense isn't tastelessness; it's dullness. Jasper's antics are funny for the first 30 pages, but there isn't enough plot development to propel us to the realization he comes to on the last page (and which the discerning reader will surmise almost immediately). Toward the end of this slog, Jasper declares, 'I am Holden Caulfield, only less reckless and more attractive.' Holden could spot a phony like this from a mile away. (May)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
DOING DRUGS, DOING SEX, DOING LIFEWho says youth is wasted on the young?Jasper wants to get on in the world, but life is distracting. He's got his A-levels to contend with, his mother pushing him to overachieve, weekly visits to his psychologist, come-downs, YouTube suicides and pregnant one-night-stands. And then there's his step-dad - the murderer.Hilarious and heartbreaking by turns, GROW UP is the ultimate twenty-first-century coming of age novel. Funny, smart and twisted, it is the story of one young man transformed and paints an unashamed and true portrait of the pills and thrills and bellyaches of growing up today.
About the Author
Ben Brooks is the author of Fences, An Island of Fifty, and The Kasahara School of Nihilism. He has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. He was born in 1992 and lives in Gloucestershire, England.
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