2007: 155. I Love You, Beth Cooper

“Denis Cooverman was sweating more than usual, and usually sweat quite a bit.”

I Love You, Beth Cooper, Larry Doyle

This is a graduation/ geek coming of age story, and a pretty funny one at that.  The main character, Denis Cooverman, is the valedictorian of his high school.  During his speech he decides to go for broke and tell the woman of his dreams what he has always wanted to say - “I love you, Beth Cooper!”  Beth’s boyfriend, freshly back from Iraq, and with an angry streak a mile long, does not think the speech is as charming as we the readers do - and complications ensue over a long graduation night.  

Doyle is funny as hell (used to write for The Simpsons, in fact), and the book captures what an immature loser Denis is, and how he is also a really good kid way over his head.  I was a little annoyed at the typical, smart guy lusts over dumb blonde he barely knows plot line (dude, there go my high school issues), but the book is onto that troupe, and Denis comes to realize at the end that 1) he didn’t know the slightest thing about Beth, even when he was allegedly obsessed with her, 2) they have nothing in common - particularly considering their futures are diverging in wildly different directions, and 3) she is a nice girl and a nice person, despite that.  The hijinks occasionally border on the wacky and improbable, but the book is such broad comedy (oooh while still having meaning) that it doesn’t matter.

Recommended for:  Anyone who survived high school; any one still trying to survive it!

Date/Place Completed: 10/2/07; D.C.

Categories:  Fiction; Library Book

© Carrie Dunsmore 2017