Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Book Review: Submarine by Joe Dunthorne


I watched the film of Submarine a few months ago and skim read the book; however I mainly skipped both as when I am feeling bored of a film of a book I jump through sections. This a bad habit of mine which I need to change but any how, I decided to retry reading Submarine and this time to not skip anything. I managed this and I decided to post my opinion on it because I never do book reviews and I read a lot of books. 

This book is set in Swansea, Wales in 1997. The fact that it is set in Swansea excited me (sadly) as I Welsh and a lot of my family live in Swansea so I am very familiar with the place. This meant that when things were mentioned that are so typically Welsh and places that are very important to my childhood I felt very happy. This might have made me enjoy the book a bit more as it was very relatable (in some places) however if you have never even stepped foot in Wales I doubt it would affect your enjoyment of the novel.

The novel is centered around Oliver Tate who is 15 and is obsessed with his parents relationship and a girl called Jordana. He has a few aims, mainly to fix his parents marriage and lose his virginity before he is 16. I won't tell you which he succeeds at and what ones he fails at but those two are a very good idea of what this novel is centered around. 

A warning about this book is that it does contain some more graphic sexual scenes - it's not exactly 50 Shades (thank goodness) however Dunthorne doesn't shy away from teenage sexuality (or any sexuality at that). I have no issue with this as I am very frank about teenage sexuality - I think that more people sound be open about it and more 'realistic' teenage novels should at least touch on the subject as it is a very important part of teenage life - regardless of sexuality or age. 


There are parts of this book that made me feel very uncomfortable and the way more difficult issues were tackled left me a bit annoyed and uneasy. This book is meant to be realistic; however certain aspects of the novel left me wondering how common these events actually were. I think they were there to shock you; however I felt that the were touched on and then left alone. This annoyed me and if you read the book I am such you will understand where I am coming from.

Overall I felt that this book was a good book with an interesting story line. Some parts were a bit boring and I felt myself wondering if I was going to continue with the novel but I am glad that I did as the ending is very satisfying and I have recommended it to a number of my friends. If you shy away from swearing and sex this book isn't for you; however if you like novels that tackle teenage issues (and other harder ones) I would recommend this book in an instance. 

Recommended for 15+. It doesn't have particularly challenging vocab so it is quite an easy read if you look at it that way. Also there is a brilliant film adaption - it isn't that close to the book in some aspects but it is definitely worth a watch.

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