Customer Review

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unsuitable for grown-ups, 12 May 2014
This review is from: The Private Blog of Joe Cowley (Paperback)
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Diaries being for girls (and wimpy kids), when fourteen-year-old Joe Cowley needs to get things off his chest he turns to his blog. Which is basically a diary anyway. And one posted on the world wide web.

Generally speaking, things are not going too well for Joe. Not only is he being terrorised at school by the frankly unevolved Gav James, but he’s never kissed a girl – the closest he’s come is a post-ride attempt at a fairground, which ultimately involved a little too much vomiting on his part to secure him a great reputation.

What’s more, both his divorced parents are now seeing new people and Joe doesn’t like either of them. His dad’s Russian girlfriend Svetlana is rather blunt with the English language, and his mum’s new bloke Jim wants his son to come and live with them. Joe returns home from a stellar victory against Gav James involving water balloons and wee to learn that his mum has agreed. Then Jim’s son shows up, and only he and Joe really know why he smells of wee…

With The Private Blog of Joe Cowley, Ben Davis finds a niche in a genre that already has several big names but quickly makes himself right at home. It lacks the knowingness and irony that makes the earlier Adrian Mole books aimed more at people twice Adrian’s age, and it’s far too honest about what it’s really like to be a teenage boy to be as wholesome as its American counterparts.

The book is crammed full of dirty jokes (Ben Davis has a very idiosyncratic sense of humour, especially apparent regarding his lipstick/Chihuahua gag, of which I will say no more…) and is thus entirely unsuitable for (most) adults. The filthiness aside, however, there’s a genuinely nice story about respect and trust underneath it all.

Though you have to wonder whether those privacy settings will survive too far into the hopefully inevitable sequel, given how this one ends.
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4.3 out of 5 stars (50 customer reviews)
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