Danny Rhodes' (not to be confused with the wonderful Dan Rhodes) Asboville is a determined attempt at seeing the world through the eyes of a disaffected 16-year-old and he has certainly created a likeable and sympathetic character that still manages to live up to some yobbish stereotypes. Excuses are made and explanations given, but not too many - sometimes JB's actions are simply down to him; no logic, rhyme or reason and that's his prerogative.
Rhodes states that he "wanted to give a voice to those teenagers who are being pushed towards the margins of our society by the introduction of Anti-Social Behavioural Orders", but he seems to walk the fence on the effectiveness of ASBOs; there is a really well-written and moving scene in which JB's mother berates the local authorities for vilifying and criminalising her son and shames the hypocritical residents of the estate yet, in the end, JB (and his family) do make it good as a direct result of the penalties enforced.
Although it really wasn't at all long ago, I have no idea what it is like to be a teenager in the 21st Century, but imagine that in many ways it hasn't changed too much. On the basis of that, the language used by the children is a little restrained which perhaps takes away from the credibility of JB's voice.
I really enjoyed Asboville and enjoyed JB's story (I see room for a sequel), but I'm not quite sure if there is an intended readership - Danny Rhodes is an English teacher and, at times, I couldn't help but feel that he was writing for a teenage reader... which is no bad thing. I do hope we see more from Danny Rhodes.