I Love You Beth Cooper!
Funny, funny, funny… at least 3/4 of the book anyway. The book follows a day in the life of Denis Cooverman, the unpopular, semi-sarcastic braniac, on the day of his high school graduation and, as class valedictorian, Denis promises to deliver a speech that his fellow classmates would not soon be able to forget. With quips and blows that point to specific classmates (and they know who they are), Denis makes a bold (and cowardly) move by outing so many people on the last day of school. It is here where Denis, in front of parents, students and faculty, proclaims his love to Beth Cooper, the head cheerleader, who has a vague idea of who Denis is.
It is after this proclamation where Denis’ night turns into one he would soon hope to forget (or not) that involves being chased, beaten, embarrassed, embarrassed some more, attacked by flesh-eating mosquitoes, using tampons to stop a nose-bleed; the list goes on. The good news, as hard as it is to believe, is that Denis gets to share these semi-adventures with the woman he loves, Beth Cooper (who has everything to do with these misadventures).
The first half of the book reminded me of my own high school days, not of my own personal experience, but Larry Doyle was able to capture the essence of teenage drama and ridicule. However, about three-quarters into the book, the storyline take somewhat of a nose dive. Up to this point, I was able to relate to poor Denis and his story was one that I’m sure many teenagers could connect too. There was a point where semi-fiction turned into complete ( and even utterly ridiculous) full blown fiction. The humor remained consistent but I almost felt, at one point, that Larry Doyle was writing this novel with hopes that one day it would be picked up to be made into a movie. And this is where my second part of this review kicks in.
Turns out that there is a movie being made with the same title and Chris Columbus slated to direct with Larry Doyle holding on to his story and writing the screenplay. The film will star Hayden Panettiere, who plays Claire on NBC’s Heroes, and Paul Rust, who is fairly new to the scene, as Denis Cooverman.
In the end, I would recommend I Love You, Beth Cooper to anyone, teenagers and adults alike. Despite the Hollywood-like action that takes place in the book, it still makes for great entertainment and a classic nerdy boy likes hot cheerleader. Give it a read, you won’t be disappointed.
***½ of ****