Firstly, I have to say I really enjoyed this book. It made me laugh out loud on numerous occasions and while it was horrifically close to the truth, it showed a warts-and-all picture of how often the average teenager thinks about sex (spoiler alert: a LOT). However, it is obviously very sexually explicit, so I think there will be some people who will be put off because of that.
Have to say, though, I thought this book was as funny as fuck, but not in a wholesome, belly-laugh way. More in a skeevy, can’t-believe-that-just-happened way. I’m sure some people will find this book too offensive to laugh at, and it is offensive. The thing is, you need to remember that we’re not supposed to laugh *with* the boys; we’re laughing *at* them. We’re laughing at how certain they are of their place in the world and how they think they know it all, when they actually know sweet FA.
There’s this bit towards the end of the book where one of the boys finds a lump on his penis. He’s almost driving himself into an early grave worrying about it and finally works up the courage to see the doctor. Imagine his horror, therefore, when the doctor turns out to be a young, attractive woman. The description of him with his knob out in the doctor’s surgery trying desperately not to get an erection was one of the cringe-funniest things I’ve ever read.
This book wasn’t just a novelised episode of The Inbetweeners, though. It also has some pertinent messages about teenage sex, the breakuo of families, body image, sexual manipulation and the objectification of women. Superficially, it’s a very funny story, but when you look closer it’s kind of a moral tale and would be useful reading for anyone going through the issues the characters have to deal with.
The writing style was kind of odd. It switched between the first-person viewpoints of the three boys, and also a couple of the girls and then sometimes to a third-person narrative. It felt a bit frenetic at times, but I got used to it and all the differing viewpoints made for an interesting read.
All in all, I thought this book was pretty great. Probably not recommended if you’re of a delicate constitution (I lost count of the number of times the word ‘fuck’ was used) but definitely a good read.