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Teen Angst? Naah...

Author: Sara E. Polsky
Published on: June 26, 2001

Related Subject(s): Vizzini, Ned, 1981- . Teen angst? Naaah : a quasi-autobiography ,  High school students -- New York (State) -- New York -- Book reviews ,  Teenagers -- New York (State) -- New York -- Book reviews

Teen Angst? Naah...
by Ned Vizzini
232 pages
Free Spirit Publishing
Recommended for teenagers

According to Ned Vizzini, "Getting through [high school] is easy. You have three options: good grades, social success, and sleep. You can only have two out of three." But despite Vizzini's claim to have chosen grades and sleep, his life is far from dull. In Teen Angst? Naah..., teenage author Ned Vizzini details his adventures in junior high and high school, from being Jesus (don't ask) to playing dominoes with people on the street.

Between the ages of seven and eighteen, Vizzini lived with his parents and two siblings in an apartment in Brooklyn. "It was a nice place, but...our family demolished everything: the walls had holes, the beds fell apart, and an electric pencil sharpener in the kitchen somehow became controlled by a dimmer switch in the hall." In junior high, Vizzini was glued to his Nintendo set. In high school, he tried (and failed) to get on TV, got caught for jumping subway turnstiles, and bought beer underage using his Stuyvesant High School I.D.. Teen Angst? Naah... consists of a series of essays, most of which Vizzini wrote between ages fifteen and eighteen and had published in New York Press and The New York Times Magazine. In each essay, Vizzini describes one of his junior high or high school adventures. But, although Vizzini's experiences themselves are entertaining, what really makes the book stand out is the writing. Vizzini manages to be clear, concise, witty, ironic, and just plain funny with every sentence.

I half-expected Teen Angst? Naah... to be a standard teenage advice book, explaining why it's important to be yourself, fight against peer pressure, and not do drugs. Instead, Ned Vizzini's book is merely one teen's take on junior high and high school -- but his essays describe moments to which every teenager can relate. Each essay contains Vizzini's nutty and wonderfully funny philosophy of life -- "you are...going to get out of high school, and if you work hard enough and get into a Good College, you'll end up with a sweatshirt, a bumper sticker, and a fulfilling life." It's that simple.

Have you read Teen Angst? Naah...? What did you think? Share your thoughts by posting a discussion or by sending me an e-mail.

If you're looking for a copy of Ned Vizzini's Teen Angst? Naah... and haven't found it in your local library or bookstore, you can order it directly from the publisher, Free Spirit Publishing. Visit, or contact Free Spirit Publishing, 217 Fifth Avenue North, Suite 200, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1299,

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