Friday, 25 March 2011

Starter for Ten by David Nicholls

Starter for Ten is by David Nichols, the same author who wrote the excellent One Day. Lately I have been in the mood for more lighter reads which is why I picked this one up. Starter for Ten certainly hit the spot in terms of being a light and easy read but I did much prefer One Day.

The book is about Brian who is about to embark on his first year of university. Brian is your typical awkward teenager, he lacks many social skills and he spends most of his time trying to find his place in the world. Eventually he becomes torn over his new university friends and his old friends he left behind and in the mist of this he ends up competing on university challenge in the hopes of impressing a girl and at the same time honouring his dead dad.

I'm not sure what sort of university Brian was attending but all the other students seemed to be either very posh or a total outcast. Very quickly two female characters are introduced who (very obviously) Brian will spend the entire book bouncing too and fro from before finally picking one of the girls at the end. Since one girl is posh and the other is an outcast its very apparent that Brian must pick the outcast girl because he also fits in the outcast category and therefore they belong together (plus all posh people in the book are horrible) Both girls for very different reasons are way WAY out of his league and given Brian's social inaptness I'm surprised either of them were interested and its not like Brian grows or develops in any way either.

Overall though the book did make me chuckle a few times (for the right reasons) there are some good one liners and I was thoroughly entertained. Ending was a bit wank but hey I enjoyed getting there.

Verdict 3/5

Posted by Jess


  1. Oh the trials and tribulations of being this age, sounds like a fun read let down by a pretty limp ending.

  2. This sounds like a fun book and since I'm a big fan of David Nicholls, I can imagine I'd chuckle one or two times as well. This book kind of reminds me of "Prep" by Curtis Sittenfeld. I LOVED that book!!!

  3. I loved One Day too and want to discover his other books. This one appeals to me slightly less than the quiz show one, so I think I'll start there!

  4. I really enjoyed One Day and have been interested to know what Nicholls' other books are like. Even though it sounds like One Day trumps his earlier titles, I'll still keep this one in mind for a rainy day.

  5. I actually preferred this to One Day, but maybe that's because I read it before One Day came out. The film of Starter for Ten is great, too.

  6. I loved this one and enjoyed it far more than One Day. Perhaps I just related to life in a University more than a long drawn out relationship struggle? I agree with Sam - the film of this book is very good. You might enjoy it more than the book.

  7. Petty Witter - the endings with these type of books are like romantic comedies, you know whats coming but you enjoy getting there.

    Reeder Reads - I thought the humour and writing was quite similar to One Day so its likey that you will enjoy this one.

    nomadreader - this is the quiz show one, although the quiz bit is quite short and its more about university life.

    Brenna - this is perfect for a light read on a rainy day so its worth keeping in mind.

    Sam - I dont think your the only one that thinks that, I do now want to see the film.

    Jackie - perhaps it depends on which one you read first? The university bit wasnt anything like my uni days, all my fellow students were quite normal on the whole.

  8. I've just read 'One Day' for one of my book groups and we all found that we enjoyed it more than we had expected to. That was my first Nicholls and I'd been wondering what I might pick up next. I enjoy campus novels, spending so much time around them myself, so maybe this is the way to go. Thank you.

  9. I am trying not to add books to the TBR list at the moment but I will bear this author in mind as even your review made me laugh about it.