Slam by Nick Hornby

Synopsis from Amazon

Just when everything is coming together for Sam, his girlfriend Alicia drops a bombshell. Make that ex-girlfriend—because by the time she tells him she’s pregnant, they’ve already called it quits. Sam does not want to be a teenage dad.

There’s only one person Sam can turn to—his hero, skating legend Tony Hawk. Sam believes the answers to life’s hurdles can be found in Hawk’s autobiography. But even Tony Hawk isn’t offering answers this time—or is he? In this wonderfully witty, poignant story about a teenage boy unexpectedly thrust into fatherhood, it’s up to Sam to make the right decisions so the bad things that could happen, well, don’t.

I finished reading this book very quickly and it wasn’t challenging at all. Hornby has captured the essence of the self absorbed young teenager in this book. I know because I have one of that age! However the other characters in the book are given very little depth. We know what happens to Alicia and Sam’s mother for example, but we don’t know about them as individuals and the orbits they move in. I feel I hardly know Alicia by the end of the book apart from the fact that she has had a baby. But maybe that is the point Hornby is making – it’s all about Sam – It’s not enough for me though. Sam’s dialogue with Tony Hawks was irritating at times and the use of ‘whizzing’, whereby Sam sudenly finds himself in the future for short periods, I didn’t think added anything positive to the book. Overall the novel kept my interest and I read it in big chunks. I’ll leave it out for my teenagers to peruse but neither of them have any interest in skateboarding and I suspect that would put them off choosing it to read it.

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