Doing It
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Doing It

3.33 of 5 stars 3.33  ·  rating details  ·  1,969 ratings  ·  189 reviews
The award-winning author Melvin Burgess’s ribald and insightful account of contemporary teenage life chronicles the ups and downs of doing it. The controversial book on which the cult favorite ABC television series Life As We Know It (now available on DVD) was based, Doing It introduces us to Dino, Jon, and Ben, three teenage best friends who can’t stop thinking about, and...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published January 3rd 2012 by Square Fish (first published April 30th 2003)
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GraceAnne
This book makes me angry every time I read it, but that is why it is so crucial to the Young Adult Literature course I teach. I always feel that Burgess is playing me, manipulating me, deliberately being both shocking and truthful.

And he is.

It turns out, however, to be a very moral book indeed.
Annie
Jul 08, 2007 Annie rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who think about sex and teens
It's not very often that a book from a boy perspective goes as deep and as far as this book does. And the thing is, it's not just a book about having sex where the perspective has been superficially switched from a girl to a boy. It is a dense book plotwise, having three different main characters to follow around and their issues are fundamentally different enough to create tension and hold the story true to life. Also, Doing It explores the concepts of revenge, rape, when to see a doctor, and v...more
Megan
Early on in Doing It we learn that teenage boys are kinda gross and think about sex more than anything else.

Then we learn that they actually have depth and feelings and stuff.

(But a lot of the depth and feelings and stuff pretty much revovle around sex.)

This is a cute book. Imagine Judy Blume for boys. Well, for those of you at a certain age *ahem* for whom Judy Blume was not horribly cheesy and outdated, imagine... you know.

All of the shocking sexual activities probably has a more profound a...more
Mackenzie
Dec 01, 2008 Mackenzie rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who like sexal stuff
Recommended to Mackenzie by: no one
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Anyta Sunday
I loved this book.

Such honest insight into teen life and funny! :-)

It's not all pretty, though--the way these boys think at times is positively awful.

But it's great.

Karin
Sex, Sex, Sex….it seems that is all that is on the minds of the three boys in this book. Dino, Ben, and Jonathan are great friends and all trying to find a way to lose their virginity. Dino is obsessed with Jackie, the most popular girl at school. Jackie doesn’t give Dino the time of day. She likes older boys and has had a serious boyfriend for a while. Finally, after a lot of convincing, Jackie agrees to go on a date with Dino. She finds that she can’t stop thinking about him and finally they b...more
Nicola
2Q, 4P

I was really looking forward to reading this book. I remember being in junior high and sneaking peeks at certain books in the library that I knew contained sex. It felt so scandalous! If this book had been in the library when I was 12 and I had come across it, I would have had my fill, been so shocked that I probably never would have looked for another sexy passage again.

I am perhaps not familiar enough with the inner workings of a teenage boy's brain, but I had difficulty following what...more
Heather
This guy, a British fellow, gets a lot of critical acclaim for his writing--it's honest and believable stuff about young adults (plus, this particular book was spawned into a short-lived series by the geniuses that brought up the other great short-lived series Freaks and Geeks). I decided to buy and read this book because, in my writing, I'm wondering if I got the teenage male voice right... not ever having been a teenage male, I wasn't sure that what I thought they were thinking about lust and...more
Karishma
Hmm, *taps chin* what to say, what to say?

For starters, this book definitely talks about that three letter word a lot (the word is sex, if you didn't catch that), but I wouldn't allow anyone to shy away from this book simply because of that. Initially, I was gobsmacked at how it just jumped right into it, but it's not unbearable; you get past it. Plus, the male perspective is not something you find very often. The book alternates POV's.

About halfway through is when I probably got the distinction...more
Kelsey
Let's just lay it out flat, much like the plot of this book: I didn't like this book. I was very much annoyed by the fat jokes and focus on popularity and image. I couldn't stand it past 100 pages for personal reasons. It was nice to read a book with a protagonist that wasn't a loser/recluse but I just couldn't read any more of the frivolous, self-centered comments of the main characters.

That being said, I suppose I can see the book as a tool to re-engage teens back into reading. The topic is r...more
Marie
When I say "I couldn't put it down," I mean it. I was glued to the couch and read his book from start to finish, and was sorry when it was done. I laughed, I gasped in horror, I bit my nails with worry. Not many novels do that for me.

The book shares the mindset and voice of the incredible British TV show SKINS. So much so that I was convinced Burgess was a co-creator of the series, but this seems not to be. Like SKINS, DOING IT follows the lives of a group of Brit teens as they obsess about the...more
Eileen
Doing It starts with the three main characters discussing whom they would choose to shag, given two supposedly unappealing choices. This opening scene sets the tone of the book.

Dino is the It boy and wants to hook up with Jackie who is equally It. Jackie is supposedly a sensible, mature girl with an older boyfriend, who somehow falls under Dino’s spell. I found Jackie to be completely confusing and annoying. She goes back and forth between lusting after Dino and despising him. Jackie’s wavering...more
Amy
3.5 stars
There is a difference between liking a book and seeing the value in it. Although this book was lower on the star meter, I did see the value in it and was actually impressed with it in the end. "Doing It" is about exactly what the title says. Three teens guys in Britain are all obsessed with doing it. Now, I thought the book, which was required reading for my YA lit class in the "controversial literature" genre, would be all raunchy and crude with a lot of bad humor. Now every page was f...more
Erica
Raunchy and funny.

Year of Pub: 2004
Publisher: Henry Holt & Company, New York, NY

Booklist
( June 01, 2004 ; 0-8050-7565-8 )

Gr. 10 and up. Burgess' third novel follows three best mates as they shag, attempt to shag, try to get out of shagging, masturbate while contemplating shagging, and then shag some more. Ben is sleeping with his obsessive drama teacher; Jon finds himself irresistibly attracted to Deborah, who would be perfect if her pudginess didn't make him subject to ridicule; and Dino, a...more
Anna
If you're able to get past the initial shock of just how graphic and naughty and dirty this book is, then you'll definitely like it! If not, well, then I think that explains the less than stellar ratings on Goodreads...

Seriously, though, this is hilarious and very raunchy indeed but I think it's a very accurate take on what goes through the minds of young men all over the world. I liked the characters and their story lines even though sometimes I just wanted to yell at them. I had watched the A...more
Jennifer Beckles
This book was introduced to me during the Young Adult Fictions undergrad course which I studied in 2007.The original cover of the edition which I read depicted a young woman with her pants down accompanied by a title in bold yellow print - 'Doing it'. Pretty self explanatory.
The story focuses on a group of adolescent boys picking, and stumbling their way through girls, relationships, and life in general.
Burgess used strong language throughout the book, but it was not to my mind, overused. It see...more
Nate
There are very few (If any seeing as I can't think of any others) dealing with this topic, that are written from the guys POV. It was good to know that some of the thoughts that were going on in side these characters heads were some of the same that have crossed my mind. I guess I am normal. lol

The book starts out with the 3 main characters playing a sort of game where they have to pick between two very unlikely candidates to shag (have sex with). Being that this is a discussion I too have ha...more
Johanna
Let me first say that I read this book as a requirement for a class in my MLIS program on selecting materials for a Young Adult audience.

Bleh. This book was awful. I almost threw my Kindle, it was so aggravating.

It's well written and pretty accurate to the way teenage boys think about sex. But....I didn't like teenage boys when I was a teen and I definitely dislike them now. The characters are all pretty unlikable. One decides that since his girlfriend won't put out, he'll just go get a second o...more
Eric
Couldn't finish it. Part of it might have been the narrator who was too flip.

Maybe it is that I'm not a player or a male slut. I could not identify with any of these guys.

Guys motivations are very clear to me and I easily grasp why a guy would lie to a woman to get laid and are obsessed with sex. Guys think about sex a lot. Tons.

I wish someone would write a book on male horniness with characters you could like. The male libido is not evil and horny teen boys are real people with genuine desires...more
Connie
As much as adults might like to think otherwise, sex, in one way or another, is part of a teen's life. They're curious, lusty, apprehensive, driven by hormones, conflicted, confused, engaging in fantasies, worried, feeling guilty, being pressured.... You name it and they're feeling it, talking about it, joking about it, especially the boys. Teens are much more open about sex than my generation was; it's no longer a taboo topic of discussion. So as much as this book might shock some readers I thi...more
Jamie
It's a bit shocking, this randy novel from (mostly) boys' perspectives, mostly about sex. But it's about other important things, too--like choices, and consequences, and secrets, and sharing your vulnerabilities. It was funny and a speedy read, but it was also rather long. I didn't think the shifts in 1st & 3rd person worked particularly well.
Elizabeth
I didn't expect this book to be life changing or teach me anything or make me feel any certain kind of way. But it looks hilarious, and I heard it was hilarious. I wanted to read a light book from the perspective of boy's because you never really get to read from the mind of a guy, written by a guy, about sex. You always hear "Guys love sex", which is very true even in this case, but you get to read more about it and the mindset they have about everything.

I really liked the beginning of the book...more
Christina G
3.5 stars. With all the calls for this book to be banned in the UK due to claims of misogyny, I was curious to check it out. To some degree, I can see where the concerns are coming from. The female characters are either unrealistically sweet or frighteningly manipulative, and one of the boys is sexually coercive. And if you'd only read the first half of the book (which is easy to do, as the middle drags), it would be easy to describe this book as raunchy and disturbing and nothing more.

But ultim...more
Arminzerella
Dino, Jonathan, and Ben are Brit guys in their late teens with typical and not so typical problems relating to the other sex. Dino's in lust with the lovely Jackie who alternately gives him the green light and runs away from him screaming. Jonathan is attracted to "the fat girl" to everyone's horror and disgust. And Ben is lured into the bedroom by one of his teachers. Their stories are interlaced, and there's a fair amount of banter between them - a pretty good look at what goes on in the minds...more
Richie Partington
22 January 2004 DOING IT by Melvin Burgess, Henry Holt, June 2004, ISBN 0-8050-7565-8

Last spring many of us got to read the highly publicized and highly charged essay in The Guardian by British author Anne Fine about the new Melvin Burgess novel DOING IT. (If you haven't read the essay, Google "Guardian Anne Fine Doing It" and you'll find a link.) To put it mildly, Anne Fine was unable to find the appeal in DOING IT.

Reading Fine's attack, along with statements by other writers about Burgess's pr...more
Joelle
The book Doing It is written in the point of view of several different high school students in Britain. Because the children are British the way they speak is different and at times a bit confusing. I liked the book because it something almost every teenager can relate to, the pressures of having sex.
In the book the teenage boys’ hormones are raging and the girls’ as well. There are several couples and relationships that are beginning to sprout. All of the characters in the book are being faced...more
Rachel
This was an interesting book. Not just about teenage thinking about and having sex like I thought it would be (not for lack of trying on the guy's part though). You get to see inside the boys' heads and see what really goes on in there when they're dating a new girl, do they like her or not (if not, why not), how they go about trying to get her into bed, etc. It was a refreshing change. Some of the parts in the book were downright funny and others made your cringe, but you wanted to see how the...more
Bree T
Dino, Jonathon and Ben are three teenage boys and of course, their lives revolve around sex. Wanting it, trying to figure out how to get it, having it, keeping it secret, shouting it out loud, talking about it, everything.

Dino is going out with the most beautiful girl at their school and she even dumped her longterm boyfriend, who was 8yrs older than her, to go out with him. Despite the fact that most of the time she thinks that Dino is a bit of a tool, she can’t stay away from him. But theirs i...more
Adela
Three teenaged boys enjoy talking about, thinking about, and joking about sex. Dino finally establishes a relationship with Jackie, the prettiest girl in school, who will allow all sorts of sexual liberties, but draws the line at intercourse. He finds another girl whom he mistakenly thinks he can use for sex while keeping his relationship with Jackie viable. In the meantime, he witnesses his mother passionately involved with a man who is not his father, and must deal with the results of his own...more
Ann
Reading a book called "Doing It" lead to no end of tasteless jokes from my friends (nearly as many as when I read "Ragged Dick"), but unfortunately, that was my favorite part of reading this. (It was for class, p.s. - you can think about my poor reading choices when it comes to culinary mysteries and vampire chick-lit, but not this.) I can see its value in its honest portrayal of the mind of the typical teenage boy, but I didn't enjoy reading it at all. I didn't find any reason why I should care...more
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Melvin Burgess is a British author of children's fiction. His first book, The Cry of the Wolf, was published in 1990. He gained a certain amount of notoriety in 1996 with the publication of Junk, which was published in the shadow of the film of Irvine Welsh's Trainspotting, and dealt with the trendy and controversial idea of heroin-addicted teenagers. Junk soon became, at least in Britain, one of...more
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“Deborah felt his erection against her stomach and smiled up at him. She grabbed hold of his bum and moved him gently from side to side so that it rocked against her, twitching like Frankenstein's monster in an electric storm.” 3 likes
“The thing that truly amazes me about myself is that I’m actually more scared of being embarrassed than anything else.” 2 likes
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