Erica's Reviews > Slam

Slam by Nick Hornby
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Mar 06, 12

bookshelves: audiobook, divorce, growing-up, love-and-romance, men-and-boys, real-life-fiction, teen-pregnancy, uk, ya
Read from February 28 to March 06, 2012

** spoiler alert ** I like Nick Hornby's writing style so I think it would be difficult for me not to like one of his books. I found it amusing that as I started listening to this one, I was reminded strongly of the kid to played Marcus in the movie version of About a Boy. The narrator used strikingly similar vocal inflections and voiced this character in that same out-of-touch, dorky-yet-charming, not-quite-capable-of-understanding-his-world fashion. I looked up the narrator on IMDB and as it turns out, the guy reading this book is the actor who played Marcus, only he's grown-up now.

I enjoyed listening to this after listening to The D.U.F.F.: Designated Ugly Fat Friend Similar topics, different handling of said topics. They both boil down to teenagers who want to have sex and the repercussions that follow. D.U.F.F. winds up with a pseudo-healthy relationship attempt at the end while Slam ends with a child and figuring out the meaning of family.

Sam isn't any less of a jerk than Bianca had been but Sam is capable of coming out of his self-involvement in order to see what's really happening. Bianca never did that. I think I like that Sam grew up and figured things out. He tried. He made a lot of stupid mistakes and was an ass, but he tried. Biance never bothered trying to grow up, didn't seem to learn much, and continued to have high expectations of everyone else. She's still an ass.

I found myself really liking Alisha. She may have been over-indulged by her parents, but she took responsibility for her actions and demanded her parents take responsibility for theirs. I had no doubt she irritated Sam and was irritated by Sam but it was easy to see why, in each case. She seemed to have a good head on her shoulders, as the saying goes. I really enjoyed her as a character, as a new mom, as teenager living with her messed-up parents.

Overall, I enjoyed the book. To me, it felt more "real" than other books I've read regarding teen pregnancy. Nothing amazing happened, but the characters made choices, changed their minds, and got through it all. Everyone survived and went on to lead lives, which is sort of how it usually works out.

I am also reading A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty which also has the underlying (as far as I can tell) theme of teen motherhood as well as the children of teen mothers becoming parents as teens, themselves, so it will be interesting for me to compare that to this book.
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