Monday, September 2, 2013

"Wise Young Fool"

Sean Beaudoin's books include You Killed Wesley Payne, Going Nowhere Faster, which was nominated as one of YALSA's "Best Books for Young Adults," Fade to Blue, which was called "Infinite Jest for teens" by Booklist, and The Infects. His short stories and articles have appeared in numerous publications.

Beaudoin applied the Page 69 Test to his new novel, Wise Young Fool, and reported the following:
From page 69:
It's not even second period and Lacy DuPlais is already pretending to fix her heel by my locker. She's wearing mascara, a pearl necklace, and a cabled sweater that has gift from Grandma written all over it.

"Hi Ritchie!"

"Lacy doo-play," I say.

"Wow, you got big over the summer.

"Big as in tall? Or you mean big as in huge 'cause the 'roids have finally kicked in."

"Huge," she says, deadpan.

I bust out the trembling Hulk Hogan flex. Then I wonder what in hell I'm doing a stand-up routine for.

"Maybe we'll have a class together," she says, playing with her necklace. "You can make me laugh when it gets too boring."

"You got seven periods of remedial?"


"Then we're not gonna have any classes together."
I would say this excerpt from page 69 of Wise Young Fool is highly representative of the rest of the book. So, yeah, it passes the test. It shows the main character, Ritchie Sudden, in his typical mode, hiding his insecurities behind a wall of sarcasm. His obliviousness. His need to connect while standing on the outside, watching himself perform.

Ritchie goes on to have a much more complicated relationship with Miss DuPlais, as you may have guessed, but it almost certainly does not go in the direction you'd predict. After all, he has his eye on Ravenna Woods. And he will end up performing on a much larger stage. Like, an actual stage. In front of amps, and groupies and fan-boys and hundreds of screaming fans.

But that all happens on page 169.
Learn more about the book and author at Sean Beaudoin's website and blog.

My Book, The Movie: Wise Young Fool.

--Marshal Zeringue