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Child & Adolescent Development: Overview

Review of "Teen Angst? Naaah"

By Ned Vizzini
Free Spirit Publishing, 2000
Review by Su Terry on May 12th 2003
Teen Angst? Naaah

Teen Angst? Naaah: A Quasi-Autobiography by Ned Vizzini is a hilarious romp through the teen years by someone young enough to still vividly remember how they really were. (Vizzini was only 19-years old when he published this book!) It is a ROTF LOL (that is "roll on the floor" "laugh out loud") depiction of modern teen life.

Teen Angst? Naaah: A Quasi-Autobiography by Ned Vizzini beginnings in 1990. Ned is about to begin his freshman year at Stuyvesant High School (New York City). First, however, he reflects back over his years in junior high school, his entry test, and the obligatory summer vacation with his folks. What follows is a chronology of Ned's thoughts and activities through his four years at Stuy. Each year is appropriately labeled "Freshman Year", "Sophomore Year", etc.  His experiences are the fodder of the "universal" American teen nerd -- dealing with parents, coping with younger siblings, trying to get a date, working at one's first job, going to the prom, and the eternal attempt to try to impress others but comically failing, etc.

Vizzini is not exactly the all-American teenage male. His family live in New York City and are relatively well off. Vizzini himself is quite bright, obviously talented, and has a wry sense of humor. Vizzini has learned at a very early age the challenge of adulthood: the ability to laugh at oneself. He has presented a very believable portrayal of how teens view interfering younger siblings, preoccupied parents that are neither as aware or "hip" as they believe, and wide assortment of fellow teens. As to the veracity of Vizzini's experiences he comments as part of his copyright statement, "The events in these stories are real. Some names have been changed so I don't get yelled at."

I must commend Vizzini for this book. He has a natural gift, a real talent far beyond his educational training and years. His humorous asides and the cartoon-ish line drawings are a real hoot. He is a wonderful inspiration for other young people who want to be writers.

Ned Vizzini graduated from New York City's Stuyvesant High School in 1999 and currently is attending Hunter College. He is a freelance writer for the New York Press and Newsday. (He was the weekly columnist for "Since When?" in the New York Press.) He published Teen Angst? at the age of 19-years old. His second novel is tentatively entitled Be More Chill is schedule for release in spring 2004. His website is www.nedvizzini.com

Teen Angst? Naaah: A Quasi-Autobiography by Ned Vizzini is a very funny read. I can hardly wait to see what he will do with his college experiences. (Ned, hurry up and graduate!) This is a worthwhile addition to every young adult collection. The book is recommended for ages 13 and up. I highly recommend this book.

 

© 2003 Su Terry

 

Su Terry: Education: B.A. in History from Sacred Heart University, M.L.S. in Library Science from Southern Connecticut State College, M.R.S. in Religious Studies/Pastoral Counseling from Fairfield University, a M.Div. in Professional Ministry from New Brunswick Theological Seminary, a Certificate in Spirituality/Spiritual Direction from Sacred Heart University. She is a Licensed Minister of the United Church of Christ and an Assistant Professor in Library Science at Dowling College, Long Island, NY. Interests in Mental Health: She is interested in the interplay between psychology, biology, and mysticism. Her current area of research is in the impact of hormonal fluctuation in female Christian mystics.

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