This is a pretty good book but when I picked it up I didn't realise that the repetitive skater talk and metaphors were such a huge part of the book. 'Slam' has done the impossible. It is mature and extremely immature at the same time. Nick Hornby is dealing with sensitive mature themes such as sex and pregnancy and relationships but then he detracts from that great storyline by relating everything to skating. Being a girl, maybe I'm just too feminine to read this but I can't imagine any males wanting to read a book about the intricacies and delicate workings of a stressed relationship but nor can i envision many other females reading further than the first chapter which talks solely about how much the main character , Sam, idolizes Tony Hawk and talks to TH's (as he is referred to in the book) poster which talks back to Sam, dishing out advice in the form of quotes from TH's autobiography. This book is not really suitable for anyone under 13ish because of the sexual themes. Whereas almost no one older than that would be interested due to the immature characters and 'skater talk'. It is almost as if the author has mashed two books together; a tested teen romance and a book about a boy consumed with skateboarding. These two things just dont seem to mix well. I personally enjoyed the romance and pregnancy side of things and was put off by all the skate talk but other people may be the opposite.
The one saving grace for the book was certain actions taken by Sam to help Alicia. He sets a good example for anyone in a similiar situation.