THE best coming of age story I've ever read. Funny, insightful, VERY well written, and LOTS of fun whether you are a teenager, have a teenager, or just have a brain and a sense of humor. Proves good, insightful writing doesn't have to be ponderous, depressing, and boring. AWESOME trilogy. I did of course read everything else Payne has ever written, but this original trilogy is by far the best.
I have had this book in various forms for 20 years now and it's still hilarious. I love all the sequels too. I think it's geared towards teen boys maybe? But I was a teen girl when I bought the paperback of Youth In Revolt at Powell's in Portland. Now I'm a 30 something woman and I'm still loving them , especially the sequels I came across on Amazon. So I guess I'm saying I think most anyone should love them. Read this book! You won't regret it.
I enjoyed Youth in Revolt very much. I was initially turned-off when I first started reading it because I was expecting something written with more subtlety and realism like The Perks of Being A Wallflower. After getting over my expectations, I just began to enjoy the non-stop teenage vulgarity combined with the over-the-top try-hard intellectuality of the protagonist.
Another reviewer compared this to A Confederacy of Dunces (which I also loved) and the similarities are there. Both feature protagonists that we probably wouldn't like if we met them, but we root for them anyway due to the hilarious ripples of chaos that they leave in their wake.
Strange book. Not that funny. The characters were too young for the raunchy language and sex. Too many unaware, extremely crude and cruel parents. Very unrealistic. I kept reading thinking, or hoping, it would get better. It didn't. And then, it just ended. Would never watch the movie. I already wasted my time reading the book.
I can honestly say that I have never enjoyed a book as much as I have with Youth in Revolt. The cynical and obnoxious Nick Twisp possesses every teenage boy's worst attributes and mixes it all together to become the most realistic teenager that literature has ever seen. The book is jam-packed with gut wrenching laughs an manages to teach valuable lessons in the raunchiest of ways. Please read this book, then buy all the sequels and read them too, because the Twisp Saga is a story to valuable to overlook.
As far as characters go, Nick Twisp is the best adolescent character since Holden Caulfield. I'd actually say he's smarter, funnier, hipper, sexier -- someone I'd like to drive across the states with, just for the hysterical laughs. So, it's worth reading this book for his voice alone so it's definitely recommended.
One caveat. There's a lot of repetition here and the plot is not exactly tight. Read it to fall in love with this kid, not for twists and resolutions. It's loads of laughs and the protagonist is one of the best I've ever read for his bold humor and irreverent sexual impulses. Get it.