Christy Valentine, June 10, 2009 (view all comments by Christy Valentine)
I wasn't quite sure what to expect from a book that features Hayden Panetierre Photoshopped on its cover (for the tie-in edition, anyway), but I think perhaps going in without expectations was the best way to do it.
Simply put, this is one of the funniest books I have ever read. It's a pretty simplistic story found in a million teen comedies: nerdy boy loves popular girl. However, Larry Doyle took a very basic, John Hughes-esque premise and turned it into a very smart, very funny mediation on adolescent love. Some of the hijinks of Denis and Beth's graduation night are ridiculously over-the-top, but the heart of the novel is Denis's realization that he has no real idea who Beth Cooper is, despite his infatuation with her. It's a very common situation, of course, but Doyle makes it poignant, without layering on the schmaltz.
Doyle's prose is simplistic, but his dialogue is fantastic. It's witty in an honest way, untainted by the too-fast style of writers like Diablo Cody. Overall, the tone of the novel- and its dialogue- reminds me of a cross between David Sedaris and Judd Apatow. It's crude, wacky, and ridiculous- but still manages to be realistically emotionally-affecting.
I can't recommend a novel more.
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squiresj, June 1, 2008 (view all comments by squiresj)
I really don't know. I came here to write a review on the book cover. IT catches my eye and led me to read the rest of the synopsis. So it made me interested in the book.
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"Publishers Weekly Review"
by Publishers Weekly,
"Former TV writer and magazine editor Doyle frenetically chronicles in his debut a long night of goofy teenage antics. After concluding he has nothing to lose, geekazoid valedictorian Denis Cooverman declares, during his graduation speech, his love for Beth Cooper, the way hot chief cheerleader. He is amazed to discover Beth is not completely repulsed by his feelings for her, although her army boyfriend, Kevin, is enraged. Beth, implausibly, later shows up at Denis's graduation party with two interchangeable sidekicks, Cammy and Treece. The party comprises exactly two guests, Denis (aka 'The Coove') and his possibly gay best friend, Rich. Once Denis and Rich recover from the shock of being in the presence of pretty girls, they attempt to party, but the awkward celebration is cut short when Kevin arrives with his bruiser friends. Denis and Co. make their first of what will be several escapes, the circumstances of each providing Denis with evidence that Beth isn't the flawless goddess he'd imagined her to be. Overly rapid pacing, unlikely turns of events and quirky, funny dialogue reveal Doyle's TV roots (he has written for The Simpsons and Beavis and Butt-head). Doyle wrings from his typecast crew just enough teenage agony and ecstasy to keep readers interested." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
by Tom Perrotta, bestselling author of Little Children,
"[An] instant classic, right up there with great end-of-school landmarks like American Graffiti and Dazed and Confused."
by Vanity Fair,
"In the flagrantly funny I Love You, Beth Cooper...Larry Doyle gives the coming-of-age novel a swirly."
by Dave Barry,
"If this book doesn't make you laugh out loud, something is wrong with you."
by Kurt Anderson, author of Heyday,
"Larry Doyle has created a perfect literary hot fudge sundae: sweet, naughty, delicious, irresistible."
by New York Times Book Review,
"Larry Doyle gives a 21st-century gloss to this familiar tale....[W]ickedly funny."
"Fresh, sweet, seriously funny."
by School Library Journal,
"[A] quick, funny book with a protagonist readers can root for even as they groan at his geekiness."
by Entertainment Weekly,
"[T]his side-splitting novel of adolescence is a classic teen movie waiting to be made."
Instead of a typical graduation speech, Denis Cooverman stands up in front of his classmates and professes his love for the most popular girl in school. Complications ensue, and Denis comes of age overnight.
The sweet and subversive debut novel by award-winning memoirist and screenwriter Ariel Schrag. Sometimes a queer girl summer in New York is just what a straight boy needs.
When Adam Freedman — a skinny, awkward, inexperienced teenager from Piedmont, California — goes to stay with his older sister Casey in New York City, he is hopeful that his life is about to change. And it sure does.
It is the summer of 2006. Gay marriage and transgender rights are in the air, and Casey has thrust herself into a wild lesbian subculture. Soon Adam is tagging along to underground clubs, where there are hot older women everywhere he turns. It takes some time for him to realize that many in this new crowd assume he is trans—a boy who was born a girl. Why else would this baby-faced guy always be around?
Then Adam meets Gillian, the girl of his dreams — but she couldnt possibly be interested in him. Unless passing as a trans guy might actually work in his favor . . .
Ariel Schrags scathingly funny and poignant debut novel puts a fresh spin on questions of love, attraction, self-definition, and what it takes to be at home in your own skin.
Renée and Flo are the most unlikely of friends. Introspective and studious Flo and outspoken, wild, and sexually curious Renée have barely spoken in their years of going to school together in Guernsey, a small British island off the coast of France. And yet, when tragedy strikes, it is only wild child Renée, who lost her mother at a young age, who is able to comfort a grieving Flo. The girls form an intense bond that sees them through a host of deeply relatable, wince-inducing experiences—drunken snogging; a séance in which clueless friends offer to summon Renée’s mother; dating a guy for free fish and chips. But toxic mean girls and personal betrayals threaten to tear the girls’ delicate new friendship apart.
In this gripping debut, Dawn O’Porter shines an unflinchingly honest, humorous light on female friendship, lost innocence, and that moment when you are teetering on the threshold of adult life.
Praise for Paper Airplanes
"Dawn O'Porter was a teenager in her past life. Well, duh! How else could she have gotten this bitch-perfect, debut novel so right! Paper Aeroplanes is spot on! This teen friendship, is
brutal and beautiful, flawed and forgiving. The angst and anguish of adolescence are made safer by her talented hand. Wish she had written this when I was 15!"
--Jamie Lee Curtis
"Poignant and edgy, this exploration of lively female friendships rises high."
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