Thursday, June 14, 2007
Like the teen comedies it sends up, I Love You, Beth Cooper is fun and frothy with a few instances of almost painful truth for those of us in high school not named Beth Cooper or our own high school equivalents. Beth Cooper is the perfect head cheerleader type and the object of valedictorian and debate champion Denis Cooverman's affections. When he includes the title line in his valedictorian speech, it leads to an unforgettable night filled with the usual teen movie graduation night cliches. Beth and her two friends show up at Denis's house for a graduation party attended only by Denis and his best friend Rich, who quotes movie lines and is in denial about his sexual orientation. Soon the party is crashed by Beth's maybe ex-boyfriend, Kevin, the first of many encounters he and Denis will have. This leads to an escape to another graduation party, some high school vandalism, and a moment of wish fulfillment for Denis in a remote cabin. Along the way, Denis realizes Beth isn't quite the perfect girl she seems, which makes him like her both more and less. The book really reads like a script for a teen movie, and classic quotes from teen movies of the past begin each chapter. Some scenes end up a bit cartoonish, especially the many fights between Denis and Kevin. On the whole, though, the book was a lot of fun.