Friday 24 July 2009

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Review: Doing It by Melvin Burgess

Doing It by Melvin Burgess - Dino really fancies fit, sexy Jackie, but she just won't give him what he wants; Jonathan likes Deborah, but she's a bit fat – what will his mates say? Ben's been secretly shagging his teacher for ages. He used to love it, but what if he wants to stop? Three lads discovering sex for the first time. But do any of them really know what they're doing?

This was such an awesome book! I can’t recommend it enough! All teenage girls should read it, it’s the book all girls are looking for, because we get to understand what’s going on inside blokes’ heads! It’s also seriously funny, too!

The book is written in both third person and first person, with first person being from each of the three 16-17-year-old boys' point of view in a pretty conversational type way, with their personality shining through. They’re my favourite parts of the book, because they are just so funny; the insights into these boys minds, exactly what they’re thinking, it’s enlightening!

It’s quite an explicit book during the sex scenes, and the language the boys use isn’t dumbed down, so anyone choosing to read should know they won’t be protected. Saying this, it’s so very life like; the boys are crude and may seem somewhat disrespectful, but all three of them are likable in their own way. They all have problems they need to deal with, and as you learn more about them and what’s going on in their lives, you come to like them.

As you’re in the heads of these boys, you understand them. Meaning you understand their behaviour. Sometimes, the boys can be right gits who need a slap, but in some of these cases, it doesn’t seem all that bad what they do, it seems to make sense – at least it did to me.

I liked all three of the boys in the story, but mainly Jonathon. He is perhaps the most childish out of them all, and gets quite scared and confused in the novel, and it’s just so funny. I apologise in advance for the long quote, but it’s just perfect for giving you an idea of who Jonathon is. And for anyone from the US, in the UK "fanny" means vagina rather than bottom.

"That’s why girl’s are so lucky. Doctors are always examining fannies. It’s the first thing you do when you get a fanny, you take it down the doctor and get it looked at. If you’re a girl and you go down to the doctor even with a sore foot or something, the doctor looks at your foot and says, Fine, OK, ointment, bandages, whatever-- Oh, and while you’re here would you like me to look at your fanny? And the girl, says, Yeah, sure, might as well, and off they go. It happens all the time. Girls are used to it. But willies are different. No one ever shows the doctor their willy. Name me one person. I bet you know loads of people who’ve had their fannies examined. You know, smear tests and things, they happen almost once a week. But name one single person who’s shown their knob to the doctor. You can’t, can you? There’s even a profession dedicated entirely to looking at fannies, gynaecologists. Have you ever heard of a single doctor who specialises in knobs? A knobologist? Doesn’t exist. Now, see, if a man goes down to the doctor’s and says, I want you to check my knob out, you’d get thrown out just like that. What do you mean, you pervert, you want to show me your knob? Right, nurse, ring the police."

That boy is hilarious! His chapters are like that all the way through the book, he’s so funny! What I did love most about this book is that it showed boys are as much confused by and scared of relationships and sex as girls, and worry too. It was awesome to see these teenage boys, who normally seem so alien, being, well, normal.

Such an awesome book, really! If you’re not a fan of bad language or crude terminology, I implore to forget that you’re not and give this book a go. It really is just so awesome! I absolutely loved it. One, among many, I’ll be keeping hold of for my own children if I have any in the future.

Published: 2003
Publisher: Henry Holt
Buy on Amazon UK
The Book Depository – free shipping worldwide
Melvin Burgess’ website


  1. Crackin' review Jo! I loved this book - especially the crude language and explicit scenes. Very realistic, I thought!

  2. Thank you, Jenny! I thought the book was amazing, I loved it! Not a huge fan of the language, but as you said, very realistic. The humour was brilliant though, had me laughing out loud! Hopefully you'll enjoy the interview with Melvin Burgess on Saturday :)

  3. Superb review! I don't mind crude language/sex scenes so I think I'd enjoy reading this book. Thanks for another awesome review!

  4. You're welcome! I hope you enjoy it if you read it!

  5. What a great review! I'd love to read this one, I'll be adding it to my TBR list right now! :D

  6. Thank you, I'm glad you liked it! It's such an awesome book, I hope you enjoy reading it!

  7. Great review. I've seen this around for awhile and I really want to read it now. I don't mind language and all that, so no problem for me. It sounds great.

    I believe the U.S. had a show based on this book but it was only on for like a year...I liked it though, the theme song was fun. I just forget the name of it.


  8. I had heard about the TV programme recently, but I don't know it. I think it's awesome that there it was televised! I hope you enjoy the book when you read it!

  9. I'm not supposed to be buy even more books, but I couldn't resist clicking the BookDepository link. I want it and I want it now :P

  10. Sounds good! Great review, and lol quote!

  11. Ana - Oh, that's awesome! I so hope you enjoy it! It's such a great book!

    Sara - Thanks! The quote is hilarious! That boy cracks me up throughout the novel! :)