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Wise Young Fool

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  458 ratings  ·  88 reviews
Teen rocker Ritchie Sudden is pretty sure his life has just jumped the shark. Except he hates being called a teen, his band doesn't play rock, and "jumping the shark" is yet another dumb cliché. Part of Ritchie wants to drop everything and walk away. Especially the part that's serving ninety days in a juvenile detention center.

Telling the story of the year leading up to h
Hardcover, 448 pages
Published August 6th 2013 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2013)
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Tyler Alt
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3.80  · 
Rating details
 ·  458 ratings  ·  88 reviews

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Kelly (and the Book Boar)
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3.5 Stars

Richie Sudden has some time to reflect on his life. Ninety days, to be exact. That’s how long he’s stuck in juvie – pondering his existence and what got him to his breaking point. The bad things like a dead sister, a dad who split and started a new family a nanosecond after the death, and his mom’s new girlfriend. The good things like his best friend, the girl he fantasizes about and the battle of the bands competition he comp
amy boese
Jul 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2013
Sean Beaudoin has written yet another book where his excellent writing style and consistently unique voice add a layer of awesome to his already excellent storytelling.

I love the way he puts his plot together with just the right mix of humor, mystery and angst. What can I say- he rocks it, hard. All the music references and band allusions are 3-minute icing on the cake.
Aaron Dietz
Sep 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Beaudoin pokes so much fun at teen rocker-wanna-be's that I fear this may not actually work for teen rocker-wanna-be's--it's like holding up a mirror for the Gorgon to take a look. On the other hand, I got sucked in completely and thoroughly enjoyed it. Beaudoin always does great back matter for books but this book was in a way completely back matter--a collected manuscript found by a fictitious publisher (probably fictitious anyway)--this is Pale Fire but without the boring poem. Beaudoin's tas ...more
Nov 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
Great novel for teens who are just looking for a story, no vampires, no ghost, no werewolves. Just a novel about a boy, his band, and a Juvenal detention facility. But really just a good story for those who need a novel that is grounded in real life. ***Must appreciate music to appreciate this novel. There is some sexual content in this novel.
Jan 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A while back the author published a zine called ZAPRUDER headSNAP. According to his history of the venture, it was meant in part to put "a literary edge to the stick it laid across the forehead of pop culture." Which is what this novel does, both with a master thwapper's verve and a bearishly loving hand. Because bears do mean well when they swat you upside the head. Really. They're just trying to knock some sense into your addled human wits.

I've read WISE YOUNG FOOL twice already, the second ti
Liza Wiemer
If you could take PAIN and ANGER and RESENTMENT and bottle them up and then spill them into a novel you'd get WISE YOUNG FOOL.

This novel opens with a plea to readers to help the editor find the author of this story. The manuscript landed on the editor's desk three years ago. After a futile search, she couldn't find its owner and so decided to publish it anyway. This opening certainly caught my attention. (Of course, we know who the author is, Sean Beaudoin, so suspend reality.)

His story goes ba
Henry Cherry
Aug 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I don't read a lot of contemporary fiction. But this came across the transom and it resonated with the sixteen year old in me. That's not to say it's a young book. It isn't. There's a depth to the flow of this story, the way people pop up and reduce in roles is as natural as going through life. The mother moves some heavy baggage along the way and it does it without a need to become shameless or losing its internal clockwork and structure. These aren't people you want to meet, they're people you ...more
Dec 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Loved this, in part because our hero Richie is so consistently and obnoxiously hilarious. He's smart, self-aware, and fucked up, and that combination makes for some of the funniest Y.A. I've read in a long time. Don't get me wrong, there are some seriously challenging issues in here - death of a sibling, parents' divorce, the mostly unacknowledged but definitely alive and well American version of the class system - being some of them. A nice antidote to educational political correctness in some ...more
I enjoyed this one, and laughed out loud a couple of times while reading it, but I never quite got hooked somehow, or really felt anything for any of the characters. It took me a long time to work my way through it, and I kind of expected more of a payoff at the end, but I loved El Hella and Loop! I'd give other books of Beaudoin's a try though.
Christine Bongers
Smart, funny and irresistibly subversive. Five stars for making hardcore, high school and juvie hall this beguiling. Loved it.
Kevin Emerson
May 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Sean Beaudoin was born with a flying-v clutched in his chubby fingers. Is there any doubt that this book is going to rock? Hell no.
Art Edwards
Jul 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
As a teenager, I wasn’t much of a reader. Sure, I read the sports page, the occasional rock biography, but reading novels meant an assignment leveled at me by a teacher. Homework. These required books—A Tale of Two Cities comes to mind—offered nothing to appeal to my adolescent fantasies, which revolved around wanting to be awesome musician, play in a band, put out records and be chased by groupies. I wanted to be a rock star. Sorry, Madame Defarge, but Gene Simmons wins every time.

In the 1980s,
Diego Bittner
Sep 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
great book
Kelly Calabrese
Aug 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Sean has a definite style and wit that pulls me in. I'm officially a fan.
Jun 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I really like it.
Tyler Alt
Sep 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Read Review at Bewitched Bookworms

You all know these moments when you start a book and don’t really know what to expect, only to end up being super surprised. When “Wise Young Foul” came in, I wanted to read it because it sounded great and … well, the word “rockstar” totally helped a little too. But… what I ended up getting from this book was something I didn’t expect…

Who’s Richie Sutton???
This is how the book starts, with a note from the Editor saying that they got this manuscript and ever sin
Eric Townsend
Aug 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Wise Young Fool, Sean Beaudoin's latest release, is hilarious, mind blowing and is every great aspect of Beaudoin's past work rolled into one crazy tale. The buildup is a bit slow but once you reach the meaty middle and the epic ending (apparently I'm in a wordplay mood) it's all worth it. While the book is filled with humor there are plenty of serious issues discussed and that gives some weight to an otherwise light piece.

Wise Young Fool bounces back and forth between the main character, Ritchi
Actual Rating: 4.5 stars

"I mean, is it even possible to "improve", or do we all just learn strategies to hide our ugliness better? Like, did your boy Freud finally come to understand himself, standing on the precipice at the bitter end, or did he jump like everyone else?"

This is my second raving review about a contemporary book in less than a month. What's going on?

If you like characters who eat and shit nothing but rainbows, pass on this one. If you like bitter and unreliable but likeable
Elizabeth K.
Jul 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Elizabeth by: Crossreferencing blog
Shelves: 2013-new-reads
I put this on my pile as part of my recent efforts to read more current YA with male protagonists. "Current YA with male protagonists," by the way, is the compromise term I have come with up to make me feel less guilty about thinking of YA books as girls' books or boys' books, because while I feel strongly that ALL BOOKS ARE FOR ALL PEOPLE (like dinosaurs), I have to grudgingly admit that everyone in the free world (who reads YA) knows what is meant by girls' books and boys' books. Whenever I de ...more
Punk Farie
Sep 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcycling
I received a free copy of this novel through the Arcycling blog

Ritchie has a bad attitude. He kinda has a few reasons for the chip on his shoulder; his dad left, his sister was killed by a drunk driver, and his mom decided to become a lesbian. Plus he’s in juvie, serving a ninety day sentence and there are two boys who would love to get rid of him.

He tells his story from the moment him and his best friend (only friend) Elliot Hella a.k.a. El Hella, decide to form a band and enter in a battle of
Nov 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
4.5 Stars.

This book has definitely been one of my favorite recent reads. Richie was a great character and it was great following his journey. I loved the juxtaposition between before juvie and in juvie and I thought that that was a really effective way to tell the story.

I think the only real problem I had with the book was the prologue and epilogue from the "publishing agency". It was just stupid and gimmicky and unbelievable. It didn't add anything to the story and frankly just annoyed me to t
E. Anderson
Jan 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The latest from Sean Beaudoin, WISE YOUNG FOOL, is the kind of book that sits with you. The characters feel real, like people you've just spent a bunch of time hanging out with, and closing the book feels like saying goodbye. And rather than review this book, I feel like Richie Sudden would be okay with me making a short list of things you should know about WISE YOUNG FOOL before you dive in. (Which you should, it's fantastic.)

1. Richie Sudden, our hero, narrates this story alternating between s
Novel Novice
Aug 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Rock `n' roll. Teenage delinquents. And the overarching question: who IS Ritchie Sudden? That's the premise behind Sean Beaudoin's wildly hilarious and brilliantly plotted new novel Wise Young Fool.

Beaudoin writes with his usual signature style, putting his stamp on every page of this story that -- in a tongue-in-cheek intro -- is credited by the editor to the mysterious teenager Ritchie Sudden. (WE know Beaudoin is the author - but hey, let's go with the theory that a teen really wrote it. That
Aug 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I haven't been a young adult for half a century - but I've read all of Sean Beaudoin's YA novels.

Before Wise Young Fool, my favorite was Going Nowhere Faster.

I didn't mind the format at all, although at the beginning I was thinking that as I got closer to the 90th chapter I'd feel something building -- knowing that there would be 90 chapters -- that had nothing to do with the novel, but the novel did the building itself and it wasn't an issue. I should say that I read it on my iPad and so I had
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 22, 2015 rated it liked it
Ritchie Sudden is an artist. He plays guitar and writes great lyrics. His best friend, Elliot, plays bass and they are determined to form a band, find a drummer, find a singer, write some songs and compete in a contest that will give them a shot at opening for a well-known band and compete on a reality show.

Ritchie’s gone through some rough times. His sister was killed in an accident by a drunk driver, and immediately afterwards his dad split and remarried. His mom now has a girlfriend and want
Richard Cox
May 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
It takes a wise author with a keen eye for details and a great ear for dialogue to write a book that so well captures the high school experience. Beaudoin's prose crackles on every page, and I found myself laughing out loud and stopping often to read passages to my wife. Like this one:

"Someone will be like, Bear II is so over, and then someone else will discover a big rock in a field and start calling it "the Pigeon Beak" or some s**t and then it'll be, Y'all gonna be at the Beak's on Friday? li
i adore WESLEY PAYNE and INFECTS like none other and thought i would find FOOL equally mind-blowing. as it was, it wasn't.

i feel like three stars is a little harsh because most of my points of contention are with my own reception of the story, and not the story itself. the 'reveal' was a bit underwhelming i feel, especially in the shadow of all that build up. but oh well.

sean is on point again with that ripping wit and quick snark i love so well. his turn of phrase never fails to entice and su
Dec 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-thumb
Notes to self:

Teenage "rocker" Ritchie Sudden (who hates being called a teen & who doesn't play "rock") journals the year leading up to his 90-day incarceration in juvie (girls, music, trauma-he-doesn't-want-to-talk-about) and takes the reader along for the ride of his life at breakneck speed.

Funny, fast, real. Beaudoin does teen guys so well. Obnoxious, memorable, likable, funny. I like a man who makes his point and makes me laugh. He knows his music history - theory and practice, and doe
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  • Pieces
  • Believe
  • This is W.A.R.
  • Living with Jackie Chan (Jumping Off Swings, #2)
  • Road Rash
  • DJ Rising
  • The Scar Boys (The Scar Boys, #1)
  • Anywhere but Here
  • The Lucy Variations
  • Chasing Shadows
  • Confessions of a Hater
  • Jumped In
  • The Huaca
  • Kindness for Weakness
  • Broken People
  • White Lines
  • The Knife and the Butterfly
  • Somebody Up There Hates You
Sean Beaudoin is the author of five Young Adult novels, including the rude zombie love story The Infects, and the black comedy rock and roll love story Wise Young Fool. Sean likes love stories almost as much as he loves to talk about himself in the third person. Welcome Thieves is a short story collection that will be out March '16 with Algonquin Press.