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I Love You, Beth Cooper


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About the Author

Larry Doyle goes by thelarrydoyle on Facebook, Twitter, and in real life. Too much information about him is available at larrydoyle.com.


Adult/High School-Valedictorian Denis Cooverman gives a life-changing graduation speech when he declares his love for fellow classmate and head cheerleader Beth Cooper, whom he has sat behind for four long years. Thus begins the odyssey of Denis and his friend Rich, who go on to spend one night in the company of Beth and her friends. Meanwhile, her new Army boyfriend, Kevin, takes umbrage at Denis's announcement and vows to kill him, with more and more intent as the night wears on. Denis is a naive smart guy, Beth is a typical popular teen, Rich fulfills the role of the sexually ambivalent sidekick, and Kevin is the jealous bruiser in this exuberant coming-of-age tale. Although the book is replete with stock characters, Denis's commentary on his evening and the ensuing dialogue are full of memorable moments. Each chapter begins with a quote from a classic teen movie that is fun to try to identify. Additional pop references are provided by Rich, who has an almost savantlike gift of spouting movie quotes at apt but inappropriate moments, and by Denis's graduation playlist running throughout the novel. This is a quick, funny book with a protagonist readers can root for even as they groan at his geekiness.-Charlotte Bradshaw, San Mateo County Library, CA Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

In his debut effort, Doyle, a contributor to The New Yorker and a former writer for The Simpsons, has basically novelized a madcap teen graduation flick. That's not to say the book isn't a lot of fun, but it's not particularly memorable, either. We open with geeky valedictorian Denis Cooverman doing something of which most valedictorians only dream-forgoing the typical "the future is what we make of it" speech to instead incriminate all his classmates for their bullying, conceitedness, self-indulgence, closeted sexuality, and other qualities that made his high school career a living hell. But the biggest bomb drops in the form of Denis's declaration of love for the goddess-like Beth Cooper, with whom he has never actually spoken but has worshiped from afar. The pace is ratcheted up to warp speed after the groundbreaking disquisition, and the speech leads to Denis's experiencing more sex, violence, substance abuse, and all-around life in one night than he thought humanly possible. This is not exactly a fresh take on a boy's coming of age, but Doyle's sharp, unaffected brand of humor provides sufficient laughs. Recommended for large general fiction collections.-Kevin Greczek, Hamilton, NJ Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

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) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

"...a romp, a goof, a wedgie to the coming-of-age novel... the book is blessed release."--Cleveland Plain Dealer
"...humorously addresses the agony and ecstasy of adolescence. It's high-school hell...Doyle has the scene down cold."--Kirkus Reviews
"...outrageously funny novel... "--Booklist
"Doyle's hilarious debut novel [moves] at a clip but never forgets that humor needs heart, too." Grade: A--Entertainment Weekly
"Fresh, sweet, seriously funny."--Newsweek
"Gleefully clever and adroitly sweet."--USA Today
"I Love You, Beth Cooper...made B&N fiction buyer Sessalee Hensley 'laugh-snort through my nose.'"--USA Today
"Larry Doyle...gives a 21st-century gloss to this familiar tale... wickedly funny..."--New York Times Book Review

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