I am a fully-motivated and crazy reader of avid proportions. A book is always at the ready no matter where I am, usually a fantasy of some kind or contemporary. (Nie zu viele Bücher!)
After I read the 444 pages of It’s Kind of a Funny Story (which I feel obliged to defend, because the movie is nothing more than a snooze-fest), I made it a point to read more by Vizzini. I tried Be More Chill last spring. Needless to say, it didn’t work out — perhaps I will allow a second chance some other time. Instead, I took this as an opportunity to explore the pages of Teen Angst. I had no expectations for it to yank a riot of laughter from my lungs, but I hoped it could produce moderate ha-haing.
This book is for anybody who relates to the woes and mortification one can only endure by living through a misery called high school. I suspect, however, that Teen Angst more closely resonates among “nerds” — kids who sacrifice a night of sleep for a Magic card game, for example. In other words: this book is anyone who knows the awkward horrors that accompany puberty. This includes pre-teens, teens, and adults. All that you require is a sense of humor.
I can’t say I have had an addiction to Magic: The Gathering, but I think many of us can present a portion of ourselves that own a nerd-like label. Labels are for soup cans, Raya! OH, shut up. Labels are so integrated into our schools that I say labels are practically fused into the infrastructure. Which label you were or are coined in high school is beside the point, because I have no doubts we share qualities that dip into several: jock, loner, or stoner — it doesn’t matter. We all have some geekdom in us; albeit, some more than others (and some prouder to show it).
Starting with the year before Vizzini’s entrance into Stuyvesant, Teen Angst? Naaah… chronicles his high school years. From failed encounters with the opposite sex, a trip to The View, rock bands, Magic cards, Ninetendo, beer, to playing Jesus, Vizzini documents it all. (That is not the entire list, of course, but it has to end somewhere.) The illustrations that join the text are too dull for my taste, resembling simplistic computer graphics. Frankly, I could do without them, as the images don’t add to the humor. They don’t necessarily take away from the humor, either, but I’d prefer an all-text copy. The humor, while not exactly my taste, is “clean,” self-deprecating, and relatable. If this book can’t stir some memories of your own funny moments, you’re a nut!