Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Slam - Book Review

I don't need to tell you that I'm a fan of Nick Hornby - actually, I told you that here - and so I don't have a good reason for taking so long to finally get around to his Young Adult novel, Slam. Just one of those things, I guess, but I'm glad I finally had the chance to read it and get caught up with his oeuvre. (What? He's written another book since this one? I'd better get a move on then, hadn't I?)

Slam is about a teen pregnancy, presented with no bells or whistles, just a plain-spoken, straight-forward, and hilarious, story. The plot itself is less important than Sam's reaction to it. Sam's a good-hearted and likable skater kid with a vague ambition to be more than his parents, who were teen parents themselves, but realistic about his chances. This unexpected occurrence yanks the wheels off his life and he makes a valiant attempt to cope and do the right thing. Neither sentimental nor hard-bitten, Sam realizes what's in store for him and his son and he tries to make the best of things. How he does I'll leave up to you but as I mentioned in my prior post about Hornby linked to above, I think the Young Adult genre is the place in literature where you'll find the important themes being explored today.

(YA novels are decidedly different than they were when I was first reading them. Beware, there are a few f-bombs that are sprinkled throughout this book. Shocking for a parent, perhaps, but not, unfortunately, for today's teens. Conservatives might be willing to overlook them in exchange for the book's pro-life view. Hornby is an avowed Liberal so even more kudos to him for this bright book.)

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