Last week Entertainment Weekly did their senior staff writer Anthony Breznican proud with a cover reveal and Q&A for his debut novel, BRUTAL YOUTH.
In this unusual coming-of-age story, incoming freshman Peter Davidek is trying to survive his first year at a troubled, working-class Catholic high school with a student body full of bullies, and a faculty that's even worse. Within this desperate place, Peter befriends fellow freshmen Noah Stein, a volatile classmate whose face bears the scars of a hard-fighting past, and the beautiful but lonely Lorelei Paskal—so eager to become popular, she makes only enemies.
Even Stephen King is talking about it!
“If you thought high school was hell, has Anthony Breznican got a story for you. Every bully who stalked you, every sadistic teacher who ever terrified you, every stupid prank, every hopeless crush and false friend: they’re all here, along with a few kids who hang together and try to do the right thing in a brutal environment. By turns funny and terrifying, BRUTAL YOUTH is an unputdownable tour-de-force, a REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE for the 21st century.”
— Stephen King
“Breznican has accomplished that rare feat of unflinchingly exposing the high school experience in all of its hilarity, vengeance, and terror. You'll think Roald Dahl just went for a swim in the world of John Hughes and came out wearing prison stripes. Life isn't fair... but high school is brutal. This is the most richly detailed and nuanced academic microcosm since DEAD POETS SOCIETY. You may have never been to St. Michael the Archangel High School, but you will fear it after reading this powerful and hilarious debut novel. Never has a story brought me back to the merciless teachers and ruthless bullies with such poetry and wit.”
— Jason Reitman, Academy award-nominated writer/director/producer of JUNO, THANK YOU FOR SMOKING, and UP IN THE AIR
From the EW Q&A: How would you describe the book in movie terms? (e.g., "Heathers" meets Tarantino, or something like that…)
My brother Greg came up with a good one after he read it: “'Fight Club' meets 'The Breakfast Club.'” I couldn’t hope for any better than that.
Anne (who is also an unapologetic reader of EW) read it over the weekend and couldn't put it down! “Fight Club” meets “Breakfast Club” is pretty spot on, with a dash of “Freaks & Geeks” thrown in for good measure.
And if that’s not enough of a reason to read it, Breznican’s wife is a librarian!
The e-galley is available on Edelweiss! Can't see the green button? Then request to be whitelisted on Edelweiss.
BRUTAL YOUTH will be available from Thomas Dunne Books on June 10.