21st Century Breakdown (novel)

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21st Century Breakdown is an unfinished novella by S. Taramei, loosely based on the Green Day albums American Idiot and 21st Century Breakdown, with hints from the others thrown in.

Gloria is graduating high school. She's pretty fine with her life.

Christian is graduating high school, too. But he is pissed off. He starts his own riots, taking after the example of Whatsername.

And then they meet and start going out.

And shit hits the fan.

Tropes used in 21st Century Breakdown include:
  • Alternate History: McCain won the '08 election instead of Obama. Then he was assassinated. Which means... Sarah Palin is the President of the United States! And she's in her second term!
  • Anyone Can Die: Gloria's point about riots: "People could, and oftentimes would, die."
  • Berserk Button: Christian reacts very negatively to religion, his name and his parents.
  • Corrupt Church: ...why the hell else would Christian blow up a church?
  • Crapsack World: This is how Christian views it.
  • Fantastic Drug: Opal (which was inspired by Nine Inch Nails and the Year Zero ARG) makes you feel more confident, is a powerful stimulant, and it makes orgasms wonderful. It's delivered through eye drops or salts you melt on your tongue. It's nice until you hit the mood swings, unpleasant hallucinations, and killer withdrawal symptoms.
    • And to a lesser extent, the oft-mentioned Novacaine, which isn't really Novacaine, just given the same name because of the 'numbing' experience you get from it. Gloria was addicted to it once-upon-a-time, which is why she's so adamant about getting Christian to stop using Opal.
  • The Fundamentalist: Christian ran into a few too many of these...
  • Going Cold Turkey: Subverted. Poor, poor, Christian...
  • La Résistance: Christian thinks he's made one of these. Gloria really had.
  • The Mad Hatter: Christian and Jimmy. And Gloria to an extent -- she recognizes that the two boyfriends she's had are totally frakkin' insane, and at the end, she recognizes and laughs along with her own insanity.
  • Mushroom Samba: A really dark one on Christian's part in chapter 6.
  • Next Sunday A.D.: It takes place in 2013.
  • Not So Different: Gloria to Christian. She actually says this upon their breakup, before going back: into her own, old self-destructive habits.
  • Precision F-Strike: Gloria. Except she used to swear in a more Cluster F-Bomb style.
  • Pyromaniac: Christian. And how. He tries to burn down a freakin' church! And succeeds!
  • Self-Deprecation: Christian once thinks: She wasn't into drugs... what if she was straight edge or something crazy like that?!. The author is straight edge.
  • Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll: Christian's main philosophy. With some explosions. And Gloria used to be a strict adherent of the same.