How I Spent My School Year: Funny Books About High School

school buses
Source: tncountryfan, Flickr

With summer pretty much over, it's time to think back to school. High school can be really fun or really awful, often within the span of five minutes, so it helps to keep a sense of humor. While the following books are generally written for adults, there's no reason for teens not to find them accessible and relevant (and hilarious) as well. 

Edward Zanni is talented, fabulous, exuberant, and in danger of not being able to go to Julliard purely for financial reasons. You see, his father and his gold-digging stepmother don't think acting is a worthy pursuit. Good thing Edward has smart, devious friends who will stop at nothing to make sure he realizes his dreams. Acito deftly captures the histrionics of high school, and while this is more fun than actual high school (what isn't?), things never degenerate into soulless slapstick. 

High school is less fun in Matthue Roth's Losers. Jupiter, a Russian immigrant, starts out high school as a zero. However, as he starts to lose his accent and gains the friendship of Bates, a school bully, after gatecrashing a party, things begin to look up. Jupiter's ability to connect to others makes you root for him, and the nostalgia for the original shoegazer bands is a nice motif.

In Ben Brooks' Grow up, Jasper James Wolf, who considers himself a better-looking Holden Caulfield, does his best not to do just that. While studying for college entrance exams, he lusts after a classmate, attempts to acquire and consume various controlled substances, and plots against his stepfather. Dark humor abounds and despite himself, James manages to mature, even if just a little bit. 

While not entirely from a teenager's perspective, DC Trip by Sara Benincasa still manages hilarity. Two cliques of sophomore girls go at it as their romantically (sort of) linked chaperones try to keep a lid on the chaos of the annual trip to Washington, D.C. All sorts of inappropriate behavior abounds and yet, they all make it home a little wiser if just as snarky. 

Did you escape high school? Tell us how in the comments.

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