Book: Doing It

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Book:

Doing It

Author: Melvin Burgess
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Genres:
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
I mean-I like girls. I get on well with them. And I like sex. Not that I’ve had all that much experience of it—not with another person being in the room at the same time, anyway. I just can’t somehow put the two together. I can be getting on really well with a girl but as soon as I get an inkling that there might be a chance of anything happening, I just freeze up. It’s scary.

Dino, Jonathan, and Ben have got some problems, mostly with Jackie, Deborah, and Alison.

Dino’s girlfriend Jackie, the most beautiful girl in school, drives him mad with lust, but won’t go all the way and relieve Dino of his desperately unwanted virginity.

Jonathan likes Deborah. She’s smart and funny and she makes him feel very sexy, but she’s kind of plump and his mates won’t let him hear the end of it.

Ben’s been seduced by Alison, the pretty young drama teacher at school. And what seems like a dream come true is actually making him miserable.

Award-winning author Melvin Burgess has written a daringly honest and often hilarious account of contemporary teenage life, and the ups and downs that surround “doing it.”

Reviews

Amazon.com

Melvin Burgess, author of Smack, has written what is potentially the most controversial young adult novel ever. Doing It is an honest and funny book about three teenage British boys learning about themselves and life through their sexual experiences. But here’s the catch: the story is told from the point of view of the hormone-sodden young males, naughty bits and all.

Gorgeous Dino thinks that equally gorgeous Allie should realize that they belong together and is puzzled and frustrated when their passionate lovemaking always ends with her refusing him. Jonathan fancies sensible, sexy Deborah but can’t admit it to his friends, even after several steamy grope sessions, because she is…well…plump. And Ben is living every teenage boy’s dream, an affair with a lusty teacher—but somehow it’s getting to be too much of a good thing.

Nearly all YA novels about love and sexuality are told by and for girls, like Judy Blume’s groundbreaking classic, Forever. The contrast here is striking—as Burgess said in an interview, “I wrote Doing It because I do believe that we have let young men down very badly in terms of the kinds of books written for them. This book is my go at trying to bring young male sexual culture into writing.” The result is surprising but educational for female readers. Wisely, the publisher has kept the British slang terms for sexual acts and body parts, rather than using the American four-letter words, a factor that will make the book less of a hot potato for librarians and teachers, but not diminish the reading pleasure for the inevitable hordes of young male readers. (Ages 14 and older) —Patty Campbell

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