Slam is the story of Sam, a sixteen-year-old boy totally obsessed with skateboarding and the pro skater, Tony Hawk. Sam meets Alicia at a party and they quickly start seeing each other and almost as quickly stop seeing each other. Then it turns out that Sam and Alicia have got themselves into trouble, and Sam is suddenly looking down the barrel of having to grow up quite quickly.
The plot of the book was okay and centred around Sam coming to terms with the face that he was going to become a dad, but there was nothing really new or ground-breaking. There was nothing that kept me hooked. The characters were okay, but not amazing, and their relationship was completely without feels (which was the point, I think, but it doesn’t make for great reading).
There were a few things in the book that I didn’t really get, but some other things that were spot on. There are a few points where Sam flashes forward into the future and sees what his life is going to be like in a couple of years time. This was okay, but it didn’t add anything to the plot because Sam doesn’t really do anything with the knowledge he’s gained. I also didn’t get his imaginary conversations with Tony Hawk (and to be honest, if I was Tony Hawk and was reading this book, I’d be a bit weirded out).
However, there were some things that were spot on. The way Sam and Alicia are totally absorbed in each other at the beginning of their relationship and how what they think is love gradually fades, and also the way their lives change when the baby comes along - this was so well observed, but I think it would be better pitched at an adult audience rather than a young adult one.
Also, I have to say that both Sam and Alicia’s parents were remarkably cool when they found out their teenage kids were becoming parents. I seriously doubt my own parents would have been so cool if I’d come home and told them I was pregnant at sixteen, or if my brother told them he’d got a girl pregnant. Sam and Alicia’s parents were very ... unfazed. Alicia’s mum actually thinks it’s a good thing because she’ll be a young granny, which I felt was a remarkably glass-half-full attitude to have.
I’ve read a couple of other Nick Hornby books and while they were fine I never really found anything to rave about. I hoped this one might float my boat, but sadly no. Maybe he’s just not the author for me.
I got this book at a second hand shop - I took a punt on it, it didn’t blow me away and I’m glad I only spent twenty-five pence on it. It wasn’t dreadful, but it wasn’t good enough for me to go around recommending it to everyone.