Slam
ISBN: 014138297X

Sam the 15-year old. A story of two UK teens falling in love, teen pregnancy. Sam tries to cope by referring to his skateboarding hero’s book (who himself was a teen-father). He can’t cope and runs away. But returns to face reality.

I thought this was a genuine and intimate look. That it’s not about deliberate irresponsibility of teens but human instinct.

It’s not a YP book though it’s a book teens should read. It’s not preachy nor does it moralise. What works is the telling of a story of Sam. And of his learning of the very real and undeniable consequences of teen pregnancies.

I’ve yet to poll a girl or woman reading this. As a guy, I thought the novel brilliantly draws the male reader very quickly to the side of Sam. In that, by page 20 I was already rooting for Sam to get into the good graces of Alicia (a girl he’d just met and whom he was interested but the girl was playing hard-to-get).

Lines like this would strike a chord in most male readers: “Sometimes you know you’ve got a chance with a girl because she wants to fight with you. If the world wasn’t so messed up, it wouldn’t be like that. If the world was normal, a girl being nice to you would be a good sign, but in the real world, it isn’t.” (P29.)

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