"The dialogue was golden"
- A.S. (13), New Jersey; cover review for USA edition 2009
"A story remarkable for its insights into young teenage behaviour and an understanding of the female as well as the male sense of worth ...
Conflicting feelings about school, learning, family relationships, love, real affection, loyalty, crushes and sexual exploitation are portrayed with a sympathetic humour while the outrageous Snogathon is full of funny incidents ... A very entertaining and positive novel which will be devoured by most 11 to 14-year olds."
- School Librarian, UK
"I thought it was a really fun, quirky book, and I also think it would make a successful movie!"
- Jenny Sharp, Sydney, Australia.
"It made me laugh and mid-way into the book I was totally hooked! You must read until the end as it has a strong conclusion. I think 10-13 year olds will really enjoy this amazing book."
- Cool-reads website
"A really enjoyable read, full of laughs and suspense"
"It was great to hear about life, school and girls from a boys perspective ... I thought it was written by a teenager!"
"The best book I have read this year. It has a good beginning, a great middle and an even better end."
- all from Lancashire Awards Supplement
Boy meets girl is a theme found in stories since - well, since Adam met Eve. And nothing much as changed since then, either.
Boys still ogle girls. Girls still like being ogled ... or hate being ogled! It's the sort of humorous conflict an author looks for when writing a story. What's more, it's got a serious centre - boys and girls learning respect for each other as people rather than "snog-objects", to use a term from the book.
It was great fun to write, only partly because one of the characters is based on me. I'm not saying which one!
"Sixteen babes in our Tutor Group!" hooted Daz as they spread themselves out under a tree near the netball courts. "And just the four of us! What d'you think of that, lads?"
Twilly lowered his Sporting Gazette. "I think that, statistically speaking, its a very odd distribution."
Greg was in dream-land. "Sixteen divided by four equals four ..."
"No need to show off just because you're in the top Maths group," said Daz, aiming an apple core his way.
It missed, and Greg dreamt on. "So, which four shall it be? Trick-ee."
He was woken up with a cold dose of bookie-talk from Twilly. "Ah, but it doesn't work like that, does it? If four horses go in for sixteen races they don't all win four each. Some win more and some win less."
Robbie jumped in there. It was wind-up-Greg opportunity that was too good to miss.
"And why's that?" he said. "Because some are good-looking thoroughbreds like me and some are clapped-out also-rans like you, Gregso!"
Greg sneered and flicked back his hair like it was a whip. "You have got to be kidding, Brookesie. Kid-ding! If anybody's going to get those babes hopping its going to be me. Because I've got what you haven't."
"What's that? Fleas?"
"Girl appeal, of course. So it doesn't matter what Twilly's calculator says. I'll be getting more than my fair share."
Twilly still hadn't started reading his Sporting Gazette. "Aiming to get one of our Tutor Group fillies under starters orders are you then, Greg?"
"Could be, could be." He looked Robbie's way. "Micro Mel, perhaps."
"In your dreams!" honked Daz
The winder-upper had been given a taste of his own medicine. Before he knew it, Robbie was scoffing, "You wanna bet?"
Bet. The instant the word was mentioned, Twilly dived in faster than a crocodile who'd just spotted a skinny-dipper paddling about in his river. Thinking about it later, Robbie realised he shouldnt have been surprised. With a dad like Honest Terry Atwill, a guy who'd take bets on two slugs crawling up a wall, some of it was bound to rub off.
"Lads," said Twilly, "I've just had me an idea. Remember in Year 7 we had that Swimathon?"
"Get sponsors and swim as many lengths as you can," nodded Daz helpfully.
"And last year we had that Readathon?"
Daz nodded again. "Get sponsored to read as many books as you can. Went through all the Noddys, didnt I? Cost my old man a packet!"
"Well," said Twilly, lips twitching at the corners, "how about us holding our own little event this term?"
He paused, making sure hed got their undivided attention. He had. Especially when he said, "A Snogathon."