"Teen Angst? Naaah" By Ned Vizzini; Free Spirit, $12.95, 230 pages
Angst: A gloomy, often neurotic feeling of generalized anxiety and depression.
Like every other teenage boy, his first love was Nintendo. Ned Vizzini accurately portrays the typical life of a high school student, in his book "Teen Angst? Naaah." The book is a compilation of short stories Vizzini wrote during high school. It's sort of like "Chicken Soup for the Teenage Male."
High school is described perfectly with three options: "good grades, social success, and sleep. You can only have two out of three." Anyone disagree?
Vizzini also finds that what he learned in high school was either meaningless or "on the test." Students have a strange habit of turning their brains off if they hear the teacher say they will not be tested on this material.
The "Forced March" better known as the "College Hunt," is one of Vizzini's funniest sections. However it is easier to look back and laugh, rather than laugh while you are in the midst of filling out applications. His college interview at Harvard was a complete failure. This was mainly due to the fact that he charged the admissions people $1 for the comic book he wrote. Needless to say, he did not get accepted to Harvard.
Vizzini also explores the social world in his book, telling about his first trip to Hooters, his first beer, his prom and other boyish antics.
Even though you won't find yourself rolling on the ground with laughter after every chapter, you will definitely have a few good chuckles. All teens have their own stories to tell, but what makes Vizzini's unique is his knack for writing and his timely humor which make the book worth reading. (Incidentally, it's only 230 pages and can easily be read in one afternoon.)
Peter Frey is a senior at Williamsville East High School.
"Demon In My View" by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes, Delacorte, $9.95 176 pages.
An angry teenager who publishes vampire novels under a pseudonym discovers that her books have enraged the vampire world with their true revelations in this dark and bloody page-turner from a teen novelist. Fans of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Angel" will find a dark world with no humor in Atwater-Rhodes' intense prose (unless humor was intended in this sentence: "...he had once or twice entertained the idea of simply sinking his teeth into that fair and tender throat, which the outfit she wore tonight displayed so well. . ."). But the author creates a viable plot and a cliffhanger ending. And the books are cheap, compared to other hardcovers. -- Jean Westmoore