In my last post, I mentioned that I had finished C.D. Payne’s Youth in Revolt. I started it on Friday, December 4th and finished it on Monday, December 6th. It’s a whopping 499 pages which goes by relatively quickly considering that Payne wrote it as a series of journal entries that span the course of about a year.
Revolt’s main character is Nick Twisp, author of all journal entries. He’s a 14 year old boy coping with his body, his friends, and his ever throbbing hormones. The book chronicles Twisp’s adventures in two main things: making Sheeni Saunders his girlfriend and losing his virginity. As readers, we follow Nick through all of his antics to ensure that both things do happen. Everything from his incessant lying to joyriding to skipping school to cross-dressing. We are passengers on a ride that is both improbable and entertaining.
Payne’s writing style is quick-witted and loquacious. It’s clear that he is a logophile (lover of words). I can’t tell you the number of words I encountered while reading this book that I had never even heard before! (This might be a good way to start studying for the GRE.) And while I have never met any 14 year old with such an expansive vocabulary, it’s part of why the book is enjoyable. Nick’s quick-wittedness and verbal acrobatics made me think that the movie script should have been written by Aaron Sorkin (but that’s for another day considering I haven’t yet seen the film).
And as someone who grew up in Northern California, I loved all of the references to cities in the Bay Area as well as those in the North Bay. It gave me some of the warm fuzzies. And after doing a little research, it turns out that Payne now lives in Northern California with his family.
The only real downfall of this novel was that it went on a little too long. Some parts near the end became tedious and repetitive. Aside from that, I really enjoyed the book, which provided many laughs, and the insight into the mind of a young teenage male. If only I had read this book sooner …