(received from goodreads)
Brian Jackson has high ambitions for university. He wants to be brilliant, and have a real girlfriend, and maybe, if he's lucky end up on the University Challenge team. Starter for Ten follows Brian as he lumbers through his first year of school, making friends, not making friends and overall being a self conscious 19 year old.
David Nicholls (One Day) is really good at making full fleshed characters. While I admire this quality in him, sometimes I find his characters a bit trying. Brian Jackson is one of them. Since the story is driven by Brian's life, it's kind of a requirement that he be interesting. For me Brian is that friend everyone talks about behind their back. Sure you'd be there for them in a heartbeat, but you just don't really like them, much less want people to see you actually being nice to them. I spent the entire novel pitting the acne faced protagonist and wanting him to just get a clue.
I probably wouldn't have finished Starter for Ten if I hadn't gotten it for review. For me the day to day activities and sob stories were really dull. This really just wasn't a book for me. It's well arranged, and I genuinely like Nicholls writing style. Really, I feel like if you can relate to or at least sympithyze with Brian you're in for a mostly enjoyable story of unrequited love and teenage oblivion, but if he makes you cringe you're best putting the novel down.