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Youth in Revolt: The Journals of Nick Twist by C.D. Payne

By Mr. Vlach | Books | July 2, 2009 |

By Mr. Vlach | Books | July 2, 2009 |

I first read Youth in Revolt by C.D. Payne a couple of years ago. Due to the upcoming movie starring Michael Cera, I decided to read it again. Because of the absurd nature of the story and the ridiculous situations that Nick gets into, I enjoyed the book as much as I remembered.

Youth in Revolt describes the travails of Nick Twisp, a 14-year-old living in the wonderful city of Oakland. His main objective in life is to lose his virginity. His parents are divorced, and when Nick’s father loses his job, Nick is forced to leave his private school and endure the Oakland public school system. He quickly decides this is not for him and looks for a way out.

During the summer on a trip to Clear Lake (a couple of hours north of Oakland), Nick met Sheeni Saunders, the girl of his dreams. They scheme to get Nick’s father a job in Sheeni’s hometown of Ukiah (further north) and for Nick to behave so badly that he gets sent to live with his dad. Their plot seems to work, until Nick gets to Ukiah and finds out that Sheeni and her ex-boyfriend have transferred to a private school in Santa Cruz.

From here, the plot continues to thicken. Nick gets himself in to situations that are more and more ridiculous in order to try and reunite with Sheeni, and leaves a huge trail of damage in his wake. Sometimes, trouble just finds him without any effort. As things happen, one after another, the plot keeps the reader entertained.

Youth in Revolt is a hilarious novel. If you are expecting something serious, look for another book to read. However, if you want a book with an authentic voice that will keep you laughing out loud, pick this one up.

This review is part of the Cannonball Read series. For more of Mr. Vlach’s reviews, check out his blog, The Luminous Reader.

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