Who says youth is wasted on the young?
Jasper wants to get on in the world, but he's got a lot on his plate: A-levels, his mother pushing him to overachieve, weekly visits to his psychologist, come-downs, YouTube suicides and pregnant one-night-stands. Then there's his stepdad – the murderer.
Hilarious and heartbreaking by turns, Grow Up is the ultimate twenty-first-century coming-of-age novel. It paints a vivid portrait of the pills and thrills and bellyaches of growing up today. Funny, smart and twisted, it is the story of one young man transformed.
Brooks's latest (after Fences) follows British teen and aspiring novelist Jasper James Wolf in his post-ironic and frequently post-literate quest to pass his O-levels, peg his stepfather as a murderer, and have sex with unattainable classmate Georgia Treely. While pining for Georgia, pretty much anyone or anything will do even, in one unfortunately memorable instance, his stepfather's golf sock. Jasper so young, so bored, so boring spends his time pretending to study for his university entrance exams, getting high on various drugs, and having sex with sometimes unwilling women. After he confesses to having drugged and subsequently seduced a classmate, his best friend, Tenaya, gallantly reassures him: "That sounds like most of the sex most teenage girls ever have." But Brooks's greatest offense isn't tastelessness; it's dullness. Jasper's antics are funny for the first 30 pages, but there isn't enough plot development to propel us to the realization he comes to on the last page (and which the discerning reader will surmise almost immediately). Toward the end of this slog, Jasper declares, "I am Holden Caulfield, only less reckless and more attractive." Holden could spot a phony like this from a mile away.
Customer ReviewsSee All
I didn't do it
Was hilarious, and witty, and also taught lots of lessons. Wish it was longer though.