“Whether you’re in it for the entertainment value or the encouragement of knowing that even the best writers once sucked, you’re bound to find something to love in this collection of mostly terrible early work from some of today’s big names.’
“The book’s humor is encouraging; young writers might be inspired to keep working through what might not yet seem to them such deliciously bad writing. Not only hilarious but also somewhat magical.”
“This endearing anthology of early poems, teenage diaries, college essays, and high school assignments lives up to its bold name. The humorous volume will inspire anyone who enjoys writing and delight those who fondly remember the awkwardness of their teenage years.”
“Drivel will pluck your heartstrings.”
“Before Gillian Flynn wrote the best-selling novel Gone Girl, she penned a soapy tale of evil triplets inspired by the twins of the 1980s “Sweet Valley High” series. Other highlights presented in this collection are Chuck Palahniuk’s letter to Cambodian leader Pol Pot, written at age ten, in which Palahniuk pretended to be a billionaire industrialist, and Caroline Paul’s haphazard letter to then-president Richard Nixon about animal cruelty. (Included is Nixon’s actual response on White House letterhead.) The primary sources add to the volume’s readability—Amy Tan’s decidedly awful poetry is bolstered by her pretty handwriting and the embarrassing childhood photographs throughout the book remind readers that their favorite authors had bad hair days (or years), too. Journalist Scott gathered the inspiration for her debut book from the San Francisco–based Regreturature, an annual event at which authors read their most regrettable works. Proceeds of the book benefit Litquake, the literary festival that hosts the event.
VERDICT: This endearing anthology of early poems, teenage diaries, college essays, and high school assignments lives up to its bold name. The humorous volume will inspire anyone who enjoys writing and delight those who fondly remember the awkwardness of their teenage years. Ideal for all public library collections.”
—Stephanie Sendaula, Library Journal