Payne's self-published Youth in Revolt became an underground sensation and garnered a youthful cult following throughout the world, leading to a series of books featuring a teenager named Nick Twisp. The conceit of the novels is that Twisp strives to balance out his budding sexual urges while remaining an intellectual teenager in a world of moronic adults.
The novel has been published in multiple countries, staged as a play, broadcast over the radio and has been the subject of countless fan Web sites.
In the first novel, Twisp meets the girl of his dreams while on a family vacation and he turns his life and the lives of all those around him upside down in order to be with her. Gustin Nash wrote the screenplay.