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High Before Homeroom Paperback – June 22, 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 299 pages
  • Publisher: Gallery Books (June 22, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439171297
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439171295
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.9 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #884,596 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This coming-of-age debut about a 16-year-old's attempt to get popular by becoming a drug addict is charming, poignant, and engrossing—to a point. I am just another kid in another mall with ripped jeans and doodles on his Converses, says Doug Schaffer, and he's not entirely wrong. Angry with his single mom because she spends all of her time thinking about his pigskin pope football-hero brother who's off in Iraq, and fixated on a girl from the mall where he works, Doug is painfully self-aware that he is a cliché. But through Sloan's on-point writing, Doug comes alive, even if he doesn't come close to achieving his goal of becoming a meth addict, or I will kill myself trying. He runs with the idea long enough, though, to step outside the skin of a high school dork to be turned on to nightclubs, parties, girls, and being thought of as something special. The ending, though, is a disappointment. Once Doug's brother returns, the sharp, uncommon narrative turns as dismissive as any parent who ever wished their kid would just shut up. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"Maya Sloan's characters could be deemed purely comic if they weren't so realistic, tender if they weren't so jaded, and heartwarming if their lives weren't so heart-wrenching. All of which makes this a darkly compelling -- possibly controversial -- coming-of-age novel. High Before Homeroom is a wild debut from a brilliant new novelist."
-- Julianna Baggott, author of The Miss America Family and co-author of Which Brings Me to You


"Here's a confession: I like Doug Schaffer more than I ever liked his idol Dean Moriarty, and I had much more fun reading Maya Sloan's High Before Homeroom than I ever had reading its literary progenitor, On the Road."
--Ayelet Waldman, author of Red Hook Road and Bad Mother

"Funny and poignant, this energetic coming-of-age novel about a young outsider who takes a radical path to coolness marks Maya Sloan as an engaging new young novelist to watch."
--Rilla Askew, author of Harpsong

"No matter how profane it may seem at times, High Before Homeroom, like Youth in Revolt, is ultimately a charming take on one nerd's coming of age. In this assured debut, Maya Sloan clears the gender barrier, giving us the hapless Doug Schaffer, sixteen and obsessed with sex, love and Kerouac."
--Stewart O'Nan, author of Snow Angels and The Speed Queen

"I love this book. Doug Schaffer -- sixteen years old and in an almost-constant state of arousal, as only a sixteen-year-old boy can be -- is everything you'd hope for in a narrator:disarmingly honest and irreverent and affable and funny -- very funny. Maya Sloan is a mad scientist of a novelist, filling her Petri dish with the cells of J. D. Salinger, William Burroughs, and Mark Twain, but ultimately this novel is her own glorious creation: a smart and wholly original take on what it means to yearn, in all its manifestations, in the 21st century."
-- John McNally, author of After the Workshop

"Searing one moment, laugh-out-loud funny the next, Maya Sloan's High Before Homeroom is an honest, surprising, and dazzling debut."
-- Davy Rothbart, FOUND Magazine and This American Life

More About the Author

Maya Sloan grew up in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Her first novel, High Before Homeroom, was released in June of 2010. She has an MFA in Creative Writing from Boston University, as well as a MFA in Fiction Writing from the University of Arkansas.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 17 customer reviews
The story took a surprising course.
galvanizepress/typad
It perfectly depicts the sex obsession and teenage angst of the 16-year-old male protagonist (even more amazing since the book was written by a woman).
Kerrie
Maya truly captures the voice of her lead character.
Dr. Judith E. Pierson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By TeensReadToo on June 19, 2010
Format: Paperback
Gold Star Award Winner!

Doug Schaffer is a sixteen-year-old self-proclaimed loser, although no one notices him enough to care.

When he falls for a girl at the mall he works at, he realizes the only way she'll ever pay attention to him is if he becomes a "bad boy." His plan? Become a meth addict, complete with the drama of rehab and returning with a reputation. What wasn't in his plan was the return of his formerly perfect brother, who was injured in Iraq and formed his own addictions.

What follows is Doug's sad, often humorous journey, albeit researched, into a life of drugs that he never fully embraces, but sucks him in nonetheless.

HIGH BEFORE HOMEROOM is a coming-of-age novel that, like life, isn't always easy to read, but is a very real depiction of the lengths teens will go to be accepted, regardless of the casualties they leave in their wake.

Maya Sloan may well be the most realistic voice to hit the young adult genre since Chris Crutcher, and I, for one, will certainly be following her rise to fame.

Reviewed by: Angie Fisher
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Kerrie on June 28, 2010
Format: Paperback
HIGH BEFORE HOMEROOM has a great premise -- nerd loves bad girl, nerd decides to get addicted to meth and get sent to rehab to burnish his bad-boy reputation, nerd doesn't suceed in getting additcted but learns a lot about himself and his older brother (just home from Iraq) along the way. I loved this book. It perfectly depicts the sex obsession and teenage angst of the 16-year-old male protagonist (even more amazing since the book was written by a woman). The details it captured about life in the suburban midwest (Oklahoma City) was spot on. I highly recommend this for older teens and anyone else who likes a quirky, weird, funny read.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Judith E. Pierson on July 28, 2010
Format: Paperback
Maya truly captures the voice of her lead character. If I didn't know for a fact she isn't a teenage boy, I'd be inclined to think she made up her name and photoshopped her picture. She brings to life a character all of us who have ever longed to feel special can relate to. Her message that just believing you're cool (in this case due to a placebo effect) is what makes you cool. Suspending judgment and having faith in yourself, allows you to shine. We live in a culture that has fooled us into thinking it is something external (whether the latest fashion or something we swallow or snort) that will bring us acceptance, love, and happiness. The fact is that spark is there inside you all the time...it is loving self acceptance that will set you ablaze. The conversations both externally and perhaps more importantly, internally, are so authentic and universal, many will see themselves in this book. It is rich with wit, surprise, and wisdom. To Maya Sloan I say "Namaste" which means the divine in me bows to the divine in you. Dr. Judy
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jack Fastbinder on June 28, 2010
Format: Paperback
What a great read! The familiar old teenage love story, told in a bold, new and edgy voice!
A solid fun book for the summer. A fantastic debut novel -- what a good thing that S&S took this promissing young and talented writer, and published something so fresh and emotionally raw.
Success!

Jack (San Diego) Karaba
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By n8latimer on July 29, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition
LOVED this book so much I'm reading it again. I rarely finish a fictional novel but I guess you could say I related to the main character Doug Schaeffer a little too much. He's a little geek-roid trying to look natural while syncing up the age-old combo of drugs, sex, and rock n roll. High Before Homeroom is dark, funny, and realistic. Why isn't this a movie?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kathy on September 28, 2010
Format: Paperback
The voice of the main character was so raw that I found myself blushing at times. I think every adult should read this story to find out what some teens think about today. With the pressures and troubles teens internalize these days, I know there must be a lot of teen truth in this fictional story. I thought the author kept the story moving with her fresh style and keen sense of plot progression. The absurdity of the boy's plan was extremely creative. I think it'd be a great jumping off point for a family or teen group to discuss addiction, coming of age angst and family troubles. The relationships, as messed up as they were, had a quirkiness about them. In fact, Oklahoma City seemed to be a character in the story as well. Kudos to Maya Sloan on a great first book.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Heather Grey on July 6, 2010
Format: Paperback
Dive into the world of Doug Schaffer, just your average Okie teen. With an original voice, fully drawn characters, and heartbreaking realism, Sloan proves she's a great storyteller. While the ending doesn't have quite the same energy as the rest of the book, it's satisfying nonetheless. Fans of literary fiction will appreciate Sloan's edgy prose and voice, while teens will immediately identify with Doug's experiences. There's something here for everyone.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Reader on July 1, 2010
Format: Paperback
Loved this book. I think it captured all of the excitement Catcher in the Rye buzzed back when. But this book has even more edge and heart. Young Adult novel. Silly category. Every adult novel. Its about so many more things that just teen angst. About being heard, about taking chances about family bonds. It is a paged turner that sticks with you long after the last page. Read it. It rocks.
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