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3.75  ·  Rating details ·  455 ratings  ·  46 reviews

It all started when Will mooned the girls' school bus. It wasn't his finest moment. And it's the last time William Armstrong will sully the St. Andrew's community, says Principal Waddlehead-er, Waverton.


That's when a teacher worried about Will's home situation comes up with an idea. Why not let Will, a talented guitarist, give back to the school in a
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published July 13th 2010 by Knopf Books for Young Readers (first published August 1st 2006)
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3.75  · 
Rating details
 ·  455 ratings  ·  46 reviews

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Ryan Buckby
Aug 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
i enjoyed this story it was a feel good australian story that brought me back to being in high school and all the things involved with school.

i loved all the aussie slang and way the characters spoke because its as close you can get to what kids speak like in australia most of the time.
I adore this book.
Will is an absolutely fantastic narrator and man, did I love being inside of his head. He was sarcastic, tough, occasionally embarrassed,
and often sweet. He was a fully fleshed out main character: he has his faults and obvious flaws, but if anything that only made him authentic and endearing.

Elizabeth was wickedly fiesty and strong. It's refreshing to read a male-POV and have the love interest be someone strong, smart, and witty. She's not just the unattainable girl that lives
May 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: wyld-stallyns
That’s it. I’m moving to Australia and becoming a high school teacher! These writers! I swear. First Melina Marchetta and now Maria Boyd. The moment I saw the Marchetta blurb on the back cover, I knew I was in for a treat and just as she promised the protagonist was awesome. I love love LOVED Will (the character) and really liked Will (the book). Will's voice was so good. It was clear, strong, hilarious and utterly charming. Maria Boyd did a fantastic job. Not only was Will amazing but I just lo ...more
Jun 22, 2012 rated it it was ok
I read this because the author is visiting my school next week. Otherwise, I probably wouldn't have approached it.

Now, while I didn't have particularly high expectations (the cover makes me shudder, as does the nondescript nature of the title), I thought the musical aspect of the story would at least earn it some respect in my eyes. Well, it doesn't. Other than vaguely touching on the premise of The Boyfriend, the idea is basically never brought up. Not the songs. Not the real meat of rehearsals
★ Jess
Apr 14, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Reading for Year 12 SACE English Communications
Why is this on the booklist? Oh man, I was reading better written books in year 8. Having to read this as part of a year 12 subject is embarrassing. I should have done Studies.

I would have enjoyed this more if I was an illiterate 12 year old.
Russell Sanders
May 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
As the author of young adult fiction myself, I know that we, as writers, strive to both entertain and instruct with our books. Encouraging young people to read by providing a fun story is paramount, and Maria Boyd, with Will, provides a supremely entertaining story. Her hero Will, from whose perspective she writes, is engaging, funny, and has a uniquely refreshing voice. From the moment you meet Will, you rush to go on his journey with him. Will is also conflicted, as characters should always be ...more
Nov 15, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: borrowed, aussie-ya
I really enjoyed this book. It was funny, but it also packed an emotional punch I wasn’t expecting. Maria Boyd has perfectly captured the male teen voice. Will was a living breathing person that jumped off the page. I devoured this book. I loved the short chapters and the unique way the dialogue was shown. All the dialogue was in bold, followed by an action so you knew who was speaking. There were no speech marks, and no he said, and I never even got confused. I really loved that it was done tha ...more
Sep 02, 2018 rated it liked it
Things I didn’t like: I wish there was a guide to Australian slang because there were entire passages of the novel I didn’t understand because it was all slang!

Things I liked: This book was super caring of the issues it handled. It dealt with the death of the parent, sexuality, new relationships, invisible social rules, and making mistakes. It also did a good job of emphasizing that if you do make a mistake because rough stuff is happening in your own life, that gives understanding but does not
I liked the authenticity of Will's voice, and the realistic emotional struggle he goes through dealing with his dad's death. However, I felt like in terms of plot, not a lot happened in the story, and what did happen was pretty cookie-cutter contemporary YA. (Also, there was a lot of unexplained Australian slang that went over my head.)
There are aspects of this book that do not stand the test of time. Although an accurate representation of the thoughtlessness of some teens, there were times that the sexism and ableism just jumped out and slapped me in the face. How far we’ve come.
And at the same time - this book was and is groundbreaking. Written in 2009, it has the first openly gay character I ever read about. Is honest about the way that young men hide their emotions behind a veneer of cool or tough. About how it’s really r
Jan 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I LOVED THIS BOOK! I couldn't put it down! I loved the array of characters and how different they were in comparison. I also loved how this book helped break down stereotypes. I highly recommend
Feb 25, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is about a boy named Will who didn't have the common sense not to moon the girls' school bus and got in even bigger trouble. Here's the front-flap summary:

The Crime - It all started when Will mooned the girls' school bus. It wasn't his finest moment. And it's the last time William Armstrong will sully the St. Andrew's community, says Principal Waddlehead--- er, Waverton.

The Punishment - That's when a teacher worried about Will's home situation comes up with an idea. Why not let Will,
Emma (Miss Print)
Jun 25, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: vine
In retrospect, mooning the Lakeside Girls' bus was probably not the smartest thing to do.

But, at the time, seventeen-year-old Will Armstrong thought it was a brilliant idea. So did all of his mates.

Unfortunately the principal was not as impressed.

To make up for (once again) sullying the reputation of St. Andrew's College, Will is sentenced to two months hard labor as a man of all work . . .

For the high school musical.

Will can play guitar fine, so it isn't the music that's the problem. It's more
Carmen Yeung
Mar 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
Will is a book i never thought would really be named after the protagonist, i thought the meaning of Will before reading the book was about a person willing to do something or unwilling to do so or so. It ends up having the protagonist's name Will from William Armstrong to be the title. Even though i didn't expected that, i liked the book. It was overall very cute, because even though in the beginning it was kind of inapproriate when Will wanted to catch attention and he showed his behind to ev ...more
Liz at Midnight Bloom Reads
Jul 10, 2010 rated it really liked it
I took my sweet time reading Will, never finding the need to rush through the pages to see what was going to happen at the very end and just simply enjoying the story.

Will is an amusing novel that somehow gets readers to understand the many misconceptions and stereotypes that teenagers (and adults!) make when taking others only for their face value.

Take the main lead, Will, a year 11 student at an all-male Australian boarding school whose spur-of-the-moment mooning of a neighbouring all girls' s
Dec 10, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: book-eval-book
Year 11 Aussie Will Armstrong has been through something awful that causes him to keep acting out. For his latest prank he mooned the bus filled with the girls from Lakeside. Rather than getting expelled for one misdeed too many, the headmaster and one of his favorite teachers came up with the perfect punishment for him. Will must perform in the band for the joint school musical between St. Andrews Boys and Lakeside. Will wishes they had expelled him because now he’ll have to associate with the ...more
Christine Williams
There are some really great aspects of this book, but there are also some not-so-great parts too. I'll start with the good:

1. This book is told from the POV of an average teenage boy. He gets decent grades, and he's accepted by all, but he's by no mean the superhero of the school.
2. There's a gay teen boy as a secondary character, which I think is really important to include in YA lit.
3. The book focuses on stereotypes and how death and loss affects teens, two big issues, without being too heavy
Fred Gorrell
Sep 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is light, entertaining read for teenagers is from Australia. Readers in the U.S. might benefit from both a glossary of Australian slang/idiom and perhaps a brief explanation of the differences in nomenclature between American and Australian schools. Interestingly, the author did provide a two-page explanation of the different football codes in Australia, though that illuminated only some minor detail in the story.

A young man, Will, who recently lost his father to a construction site acciden
Feb 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
"Will's voice is so authentic and strong that you feel as if you either knew him, want to know him, or hope that one day you'll come across him." - Melina Marchetta, bestselling author of SAVING FRANCESCA and LOOKING FOR ALIBRANDI

"This book is to boys what Looking for Alibrandi was to girls. Highly recommended." - Australian Booksellers Association Kids’ Reading Guide 2006-2007

"With a fresh style, an innovative approach to dialogue to hook the boys, and lashings of teen angst and emotional devel
May 22, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: young-adult-lit
I don't quit books, but this one came close. So goofily anachronistic it resembles a lobotomized episode of Saved by the Bell, Will is one of the worst Young Adult books I've ever read. Dig: Will, the narrator and a student at an all-boys school, moons a bus full of girls from the sister school. As punishment he's forced to participate in the school musical. Author Boyd makes some overtures at contemporary relevance by predictably throwing a gay student into the mix and some sappy, half-baked le ...more
Oct 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2013
I was a bit torn between a four and five star rating. It wasn't technically perfect. Lack of speech tags made dialogue confusing, and some of the many side characters could have been consolidated. But I went for the full five because it had that spark. The one that keeps you up until four in the morning, even though you promised yourself you'd "just read the first chapter or two." The unquantifiable something that makes you cry in that painful way where your chest hurts because you can't quite b ...more
At first I could barely get through this and then I kind of fell for it so I think three stars is a fair rating. Sure! No one's forcing me to walk them through my rating criteria but I just like to keep you in the loop, okay.

I reeeeally hated the style the book was written in, bold instead of quotation marks for dialogue, just, whyyyy would you do that to us, Boyd. But it stopped mattering less. A little less.

I loved the Freak, and I loved Will's constant growing need to not be an asshole. I li
May 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: my-choice, youngadult
Recommended for gr. 7-12, probably more suited towards the high school end of things. The main character is a year 11 student at an Australian boys school, which I understand is equivalent to grade 10 in the US. Because of n impulsive prank he pulled, he is assigned to help with the school musical. Apparently at his school this is a badge of ultra geekdom, and to make matters worse, it will be a joint production with the local girls school.

The writing was entertaining, the characters were likabl
Saleena Davidson
Feb 05, 2014 rated it liked it
Will makes the mistake of mooning the all girl's school down the road and his punishment is to help out with the school musical (which is indeed a punishment for this boy who is desperate to keep his "coolness factor" at the all boys school he attends). Through the course of his involvement, Will makes some friends, meets a girl and starts to come to terms with the loss of his father. Though this book is set in Australia, little translation is needed (except for some sports terms, and I just kin ...more
Apr 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fave-ya-2011
There's an awful lot going on here (dead dad, grief sticken teens, gay bashing, bad/wannabe bad boys' clubs, cliques, fear of having "fag" friends...Serious teen angst in other words, so much so, in fact that it ought to be over the top. It's not though, and overall, it's pretty darn awesome. Plus, it reminded me that the WANKER is one seriously under utilzied word; a fact I aim to personally remedy. An apple a day keeps the doctor away, & telling it like it is is liable to keep the WANKER a ...more
Watermelon Daisy
Oct 01, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Entertaining and written in a boy's point of view (judging by the blurb.) I didn't like the title, though. Was too plain.

One thing which annoyed me was the dialogue. It was bold and hard to read.

Surprisingly darker than I expected it to be.

All the characters didn't fit into stereotypes. They're all unique. And I loved Will. Best male character ever.

A wacky yet heartfelt story about a boy discovering himself in the unexpected of ways.

Aug 07, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, lgbtiq
On about page 30, I thought I was going to hate this book. The prose was heavy handed and not very believable and the plot was obvious and a little contrived. But... The characters!! Will is amazing, and wonderfully created. Chris, Mark and Elizabeth rang true and formed the support that Will and the book needed. I wanted to give it 2 stars for plotting, themes and style, and 5 stars for characters, so I settled on 3.
Jo Cutler
Jan 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
I love this book. Maria Boyd seems to capture the nuanced character of Will so well (what do you expect from a boys school teacher, really?)
The novel deals with loss and coping in what feels like a real, naive way. Perhaps I read this at the right time in my life, but it definitely struck a chord with me.

Non-Australian readers might benefit from a glossary of Australian slang, haha!
Mar 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: my boys
Seriously, I have already written 2 reviews on this book and Goodreads keeps changing it back to want to read.

Loved it.
Often read the first chapter to students as an excellent example of an engaging beginning to a novel.
Usually end up with a least one of them borrowing it from my class bookshelves shortly afterwards.

Kirsten Knott
One of the best books for young adults I've ever read. Don't be put off by the bolded dialogue (I was at first), the book is definitely worth a read. Maria Boyd has captured the voice of year eleven student Will so perfectly, you really just want to know him in real life.

I absolutely recommend it.
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Maria Boyd has spent the better part of the past seven years working as a teacher in two Sydney boys’ high schools, a job that ensured her, among other things, at least four belly laughs a day. Before that she was completing her Masters in Cultural Studies, and before that, she was travelling the world from her base in London. She has explored many different types of opportunities in her working l ...more
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