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Joel and Cat Set the Story Straight
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Joel and Cat Set the Story Straight

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  1,126 Ratings  ·  58 Reviews
Joel and Cat Set the Story Straight is two weeks in the life of Joel Hedges and Cat Davis. Joel would prefer to get through his final year of high school without Cat Davis or his mother's faux Spanish boyfriend and just hang-out with his best-friend Luke. Cat Davis has an annoying best-friend, and even more annoying little brother, and a deep abiding hatred of Joel Hedges. ...more
Audio CD, 0 pages
Published January 20th 2010 by Bolinda Publishing (first published July 30th 2007)
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Wawa Hey, I haven't been able to find this book either. Most of the stores I've checked are limited to selling the book to Australia and sometimes New…moreHey, I haven't been able to find this book either. Most of the stores I've checked are limited to selling the book to Australia and sometimes New Zealand. It sounded interesting but I'm having a hard time finding it which is disappointing. (less)
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Remember the Britney and Justin Dance Off of 2002? (And Matt Damon's reenactment on SNL?) This book is the literary equivalent of that. Yes, it's as awesome as it sounds.

Joel and Cat, classmates and enemies, are paired together for a tandem writing project. They have to write a story one alternating paragraph at a time. But the first rule of tandem story writing is that you do not talk about tandem story writing. They can't discuss the plot or characters. Any problems? Take it to the page! (Side
Fun, quirky, fast, flirty. I loved this book.

Joel and Cat Set the Story Straight is written in alternating points of view, with one chapter being narrated by Joel (Nick Earls) and the next by Cat (Rebecca Sparrow) - and so on. The story takes place over a couple of weeks as the two are partnered in a tandem-story assignment.

Each chapter was witty and unique, and although each alternated between a different character and was written by a different author, flowed flawlessly. I found myself grinnin
I spent one lazily delicious afternoon grinning my way through this.

And then.

About half way through, everything kicked up a notch and I couldn't put it down. The build up to the climax was perfectly done, raising the stakes and the level of hilarity.

It was a completely fun book that felt like high school and had me grinning stupidly and occasionally snorting. One of the scenes (where Joel "takes one for the team") had me laughing so much my tummy started to hurt - how do they think up that stuf
Jul 18, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, 2015, ya
Hahahahaha. That's all I can say about this book right now. I needed a light read, and this one had been sitting on my kindle. If I'd known how unbelievably AWESOME it was, there's no way I would have let it sit there for so long.

This book was such fun. I've been laughing out loud every time I read a bit; and I'm not usually much of one for that. Crying to books, yes. Laughing, not so much. But this book has that snappy, witty, sarcastic dialogue I love so much. Did I mention this book is just s
Joel hates Cat.
Cat hates Joel.

And frankly, they are quite happy with things being that way. That is, until Cat's surprise hayfever attack and Joel's pen-ink disaster end up paving the way for a paired Extension English Assignment. Together. And to make it that much worse, the task is a tandem story, which means each one of them must submit a paragraph of the story at a time. No discussions. Just working with what the other's imagination has conceived.

But that's ok, right? It's only two weeks...

Jun 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-2011, aussie

I didn't open up Joel and Cat Set the Story Straight without first being "armed to the teeth" with expectations.

I loved this book by just glancing at the cover. It looks like an art project, with the boy and girl cut-outs and even better is when you check out the inside covers which have words from the book all jumbled-up and cool looking. (view spoiler)

Now, here's a confession: I have never read either Nick Earls or Rebecca Sparrow before. I expect
Joel and Cat Set the Story Straight is told from the point of view of both Joel and Cat. Nick wrote Joel's chapters and Rebecca wrote Cat's and like the story written by Joel and Cat in the book, this book was also written by sending each other their chapter once it was finished.

This book was such a fun read, it had me smiling almost constantly and laughing out loud quite a few times too. Joel's chapters had me laughing the most, he was such a character and I enjoyed reading his perspective of w
Feb 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: aussie-ya, 2015
was rolling about laughing at one point. literal, actual rolling happened. could not breathe from laughing so much.
Jan 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have just finished listening to the audio-book version of Joel and Cat Set the Story Straight and loved it!

The book will most definitely keep you laughing and if you’re like me and live outside of Australia you’ll only be able to get an audio-copy, but fear not, the accents are awesome. Or at least they are to an Australia obsessed girl.

Cat Davis and Joel Hedges are just two teenagers with a mutual resentment for each other so obviously neither of the pair are too happy about being paired toge
Joel and Cat, high-school students, haven’t talked in fifteen months. Not since Cat had a major hand in Joel and Emma’s (Cat’s best friend) break-up. Joel and Cat basically can’t stand the sight of each other, but they are now forced to work together. They have been partnered up for a “tandem story” where each partner writes a paragraph and then the other continues the story with their own paragraph. Let the insults and comedy begin!

This story mirrors the actual writing of this book which was a
3.5 stars

This was so wonderfully Australian! With that light hearted humour that all Aussie authors always seem to nail in the head;

“We live with such a stoic bunch of oldies that their contribution to the evacuation plan was mostly, ‘Don’t you worry about me, love – you save yourself.”

The troop of absolutely mad characters was reminiscent of Lisa Shanahan. And this girl was just relatable, from her hate for nasal sprays to her love for Audrey Hepburn, throwing in the fact that her dad is a GP?!
Apr 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
Cute young adult novel--I don't read many of those but this one is very Australian by Brisbane writers and I liked the dual author/narrator. Very fun.
Sep 19, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: aussie-ya
I picked this book up, intrigued by the blurb and interested to read by two well known Aussie authors. I’m glad I picked this up, cause now that I know I like Miss Sparrow’s prose, I’m looking forward to reading more by her!

As soon as I started reading from Cat’s POV (Rebecca Sparrow) I instantly liked her writing style. However, I didn’t really connect with the other author, Nick Earls, who wrote from Joel’s perspective.

This book was quite a roller coaster – one minute I was really enjoying it
Watermelon Daisy
Sep 19, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

This is one of the most funniest, most romantic and lovable books of all time. For those who don't know me, Rebecca Sparrow is one of my favourite writers of all time. She's Australian, has the perfect sense of humour, and she doesn't have a main character who's obsessed with boys. They're always independent and can stand up on their own.

I loved Cat, the main girl character. Frequently blows her nose, a little paranoid and really, very clueless about the world.

And then there's Joel. Giant ego,
Dec 20, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: YA fans
Comparisons to Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist will be inevitable, but this book (also by Rebecca Sparrow, which doesn't show up on the listing) is a whole other creature entirely. Like Nick and Norah, it is written in alternate chapters by Earls (Joel) and Sparrow (Cat), but it extends over a couple of weeks, not one night, and is very different in tone and content.

What I really liked about it was the sort of internal hypertext--or meta text, I forget which one I mean--which is the story Jo
Mark Gee
Nov 11, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: for-young-people
Really enjoyed this book. Very clever. Great characters. It's fun to have two main characters and I really enjoyed the empathy of their worlds. I appreciated wondering about the expectations of each other when they know so little but we see all the stuff they're going through.
Feb 08, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Funniest fricking thing in the world.
Sep 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
so funny! i've never laughed out loud this many times from a book!
May 25, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This tandem book is better than both writers writing separate.
Jun 03, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So much fun. Laughed so much. Nick at his funniest. Year 12 characters. Spoofy Matthew Reilly Jane Austen tandem story. Can I make everyone read it?
ok book but I read it ages ago so i can't quiet remember all that happned. slightly disapointing.
Jan 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
loved it!!
Sienna Toomey
Oct 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
i found it a bit confusing at the start but it got really good
Katrina Ly
i've just finished reading this book and i have to say...i don't like it. the way it was written was pretty good and the storyline had potential but i just don't think the way the characters reacted to different situations was realistic.


for instance, when joel found out that cat's mum had a coma (even if it was a lie), he was still sarcastic and everything in his email and still had the nerve to critic and patronise her. i mean, if i found out someone's mother was in a coma, i would
Apr 28, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book wasn't what I was expecting at all. It wasn't absolutely terrible, but it was close. I think, if it hadn't been for the Aussie dry humour, I would've dnf'ed it after a couple of chapters.

Plot-wise, this is probably the worst enemies-turned-lovers story I've ever read. The reason Joel and Cat "hate" each other is ridiculous and there is no relationship development, they just go from hating to loving each other in the blink of an eye. There was basically no plot despite how long the cha
Aug 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book! It was so much fun and so silly sometimes that I actually laughed out loud. I love the idea of the tandem story too - that the authors actually alternated chapters/days - very cool!
I did occasionally get frustrated at some of the more outlandish story elements and when Joel and Cat were both being really petty to each other, for not really any reason, but I think that's part of the charm of this story and it pulls you on to get to their next flirty moment or even better their
Jan 13, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. I've read a lot of books written by Australian authors and to be honest, they are not really that interesting. However, this story was a very unexpected but nice change from all the others. It was interesting, certainly not dull and most of all, actually made me want to keep reading.

I could tell from the start that there was some romance going on between the two but didn't quite know how it was going to end. (view spoiler)
This is a tandem story where Earl and Sparrow write successive chapters as their characters Joel and Cat, respectively. I found the layout of the novel really interesting, and enjoyed the way that Earl and Sparrow’s tandem novel paralleled their characters’ attempts at tandem storytelling. This was a really interesting concept for a novel, but I didn’t love the characters, the story, or the style of writing. The constant change of character POV kept me from connecting with either of the characte ...more
Apr 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone over 12
Recommended to Alex by: School
We had to read this book for school. Before this, I had never read a book for school and enjoyed it, so I went in with a negative attitude. Right from the first chapter, my opinion changed and I loved it! It had me laughing out loud as I read it on every second page, and I'm not normally one to laugh as I read! To date, I would still say it's one of the best books I've ever read and would recommend it to anyone, boy or girl, adult or child! Joel and Cat Set the Story Straight's entertaining inte ...more
Dec 09, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
A funny and entertaining read. If you're looking for something light to read - this is it. Probably though only if you fit somewhere between the 13-16 year old bracket.

I loved the collaboration of these two great authors, and the chapters taken in turn were always very funny.

Two high school students have to collaborate on an English assignment (writing a short story). Incidentally, those two students hate each other, and also incidentally live in close proximity. (view spoiler)
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who would you have in joel and cat set the story straight the movie 2 7 Nov 24, 2012 01:48PM  
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Nick Earls is the author of twelve books, including bestselling novels such as Zigzag Street, Bachelor Kisses, Perfect Skin and World of Chickens. His work has been published internationally in English and also in translation, and this led to him being a finalist in the Premier of Queensland’s Awards for Export Achievement in 1999.

Zigzag Street won a Betty Trask Award in the UK in 1998, and is cur
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“I don't hate you, you're just the most annoying person in my life.” 15 likes
“I feel like saying something back to her. Something like, 'Eat hanger, bitch.' Except that Skeletor here doesn't look like she's eaten anything at all since last October. But I don't say anything, of course. Instead I stand there and take shit from someone who looks like a praying mantis in drag.

- Cat”
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