When it came to his life, Sam was pretty easy going–like his idol, skateboarding legend Tony Hawk. Basically, he intended to skate (as in board, not roller) his way through high school, get into a good college and make his single mum (who had him when she was a teen and therefore never got to go to college herself) proud. That was the plan anyway. Until he got slammed. But this wasn’t like all the other times he took a tumble off his board. This time it felt like, “The wheels had come off the trucks, the trucks had come off the deck, and I’d shot twenty feet into the air and gone straight into a brick wall…and there wasn’t even a mark on me.” That’s because Sam’s been slammed with the hard fact that his ex-girlfriend Alicia is pregnant. And no matter how much he’s like to run away (and does briefly, in a comic sequence that literally defines the phrase “in denial”) Sam knows he has to do the right thing. But when one of your main coping stategies is to ask your poster of Tony Hawk for advice, you know you aren’t ready for fatherhood. Sam couldn’t be more unprepared. But life isn’t about to wait around for him to catch up. Since one of my Top Ten Books of All Time is his slacker masterpiece High Fidelity, I couldn’t be more pleased to see that Nick Hornby has finally turned his attention to the teen peeps. Though his subject is serious, Hornby writes with a light and humorous touch that will have you laughing even as you feel for the poor guy. Like when Sam is actually confronted with the reality of birth: “Would Alicia make those noises? Could I ask her not to?” and “I’m still not sure what the cervix is. It doesn’t seem to come up in normal life.” If you enjoyed Judd Apatow’s riotously funny summer flick Knocked Up, you’re gonna love Hornby’s Slam. Though each writer approaches the topic of unplanned pregnancy in his own unique way, both stories share the same great sense of humor.
P.S. If you’d rather cry than laugh when it comes to baby drama, check out Hanging on to Max by Margaret Bechard instead.