Sunday, December 27, 2009

Youth in Revolt by C.D. Payne

I started reading this one months and months ago because I heard that a movie adaptation was in the works. I probably should be ashamed, but that is the reason why I choose to read a lot of the books that I read. The overwhelming sense of satisfaction that I feel when I’m able to leave a theater and say to whomever’s accompanied me, “Ah, that was okay, but the book was better,” is just, well, so overwhelming satisfying. If you think that’s sort of douchey of me, then you are correct, my friend, you are correct! The movie is being released in less than a month so I thought it crucial to finally finish it up. And I’m glad that I did.

Youth in Revolt by C.D. Payne is a bit like Bridget Jones’ Diary for the horny, teenage boy set. In his journal, hyper-articulate 14-year-old Nick Twisp, chronicles his obsession with the equally articulate teen goddess Sheeni Saunders, his ongoing quest to be devirginated, and all of his very, very bad behavior. There are also several “thunderous erections” and multiple incidences of oral sex. In short, it’s the kind of genuinely funny, instant classic that all teenagers should read. 

And yet, with its elevated diction and Jean-Luc Godard name-check, Youth in Revolt is definitely not YA fiction. It takes a considerable amount of skill to create a teenage character that is both believably teenaged and appealing to adults, and C.D. Payne is able to pull it off gracefully. In the upcoming months, I hope to make my way through the entire Nick Twisp saga (there are apparently three sequels). 


  • Although I’ve been reading this book off and on for a couple of months now, once I hit the half-way point it was very easy sailing.
  • The ending of the book isn’t really an ending at all but a segue into the second Nick Twisp book. Luckily, the next book is contained within this gargantuan tome.
  • Youth in Revolt is set in Oakland and, as I’ve said in the past, books set in the Bay Area hold a special place in my heart. I’m predisposed to loving them.
  • The trailer for Youth in Revolt starring Michael “Mr. Manager” Cera seems v. awesome. I noticed, though, that it primarily focuses on Nick’s transformation into Francois, his impertinent French alter ego. That really isn’t what the story is about (at least not the first one) and Francois does not enter the mix until the book is nearly finished. So if you wanted people to think that you’re the sort of person who reads, I would make sure to bring that to the attention of your comrades. Although called Youth in Revolt, I think the plot of the movie may actually be a combination of the first three Nick Twisp books.

No comments:

Post a Comment