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Slam    by Nick Hornby order for
by Nick Hornby
Order:  USA  Can
Putnam, 2007 (2007)
Hardcover, CD
* *   Reviewed by Kerrily Sapet

Life is coming together for seventeen-year-old Sam Jones. His mother dumped her rubbish boyfriend, Sam's teacher suggested he study art in college, and he learned two neat skateboarding tricks. The icing on top of the cake is Alicia, his would-be model girlfriend. But Sam figures everything is going a little too well, and he's right. Just after he and Alicia call it quits, she drops a bombshell on him.

In Nick Hornby's Slam, Sam Jones learns he's going to be a teenage father. Alicia's parents can't stand him and Sam's mother is disappointed that he took the same path she did - he was born when she was sixteen. After Sam makes a run for it, attempting to get a new job in a different town, he realizes it's not the answer. Although neither he nor Alicia is ready for a baby, they need to face it - like it or not. When Alicia decides to keep the baby, Sam begins to have dreams that end up predicting his future all too clearly. From the start of the book, Sam's voice somewhat resembles Holden Caulfield in The Catcher in the Rye. He is a modern Caulfield in many ways, caught between adolescence and adulthood, as he narrates his story with stark honesty.

Author Nick Hornby has written before about men who act like boys in his previous books High Fidelity and About a Boy. In Slam, Hornby turns the tables and writes about a seventeen-year-old boy who suddenly needs to act like an adult. Hornby perfectly captures Sam's dilemmas in this funny and moving novel about falling hard for a girl, classic male mistakes, and doing your best when life doesn't end up like you planned.

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