From 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. (May)
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Speaking in "the stilted manner of adolescent public speakers throughout history," and sweating so profusely that he develops a "groin pool," Denis Cooverman interrupts his high-school valedictory address to say what's truly on his mind: "I love you, Beth Cooper." His confession kicks off this outrageously funny novel, set during a single graduation night that Denis miraculously spends with the object of his desire, a head cheerleader who, for the first time, registers his existence. Doyle has written for Beavis and Butt-Head
and The Simpsons
, making it no surprise that his first novel both celebrates and mercilessly satirizes all things teen with razor-sharp humor: "The sullen girl sang, wringing fresh bitterness from the already alkaline lyrics." The homage to teen movies is obvious, from the stock characters and scenarios (including the ubiquitous naked-drunk-girls scene) to direct quotes from legendary teen-film characters. It's the nonstop jokes and wry, uproarious descriptions that set this apart, and like the shows Doyle has helped create, the text is filled with phrases ("benevolent cliquetator") and lines readers will savor. Gillian EngbergCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved