I found it easier to read this book in short segments, alternating it with another book. Maybe it was the writing style necessary to represent the teenage voice. It certainly does bring back memories of the social pressures and awkward years of middle school, which I suppose must be universal whether male / female or British / American. I enjoyed the 80s flashback and the British slang. I also enjoyed the big sister and little brother interactions, and the age difference helped magnify the coming of age story. I liked how the last chapter had the same title as the first chapter as the story has progressed over the course of a year.
One thing I didn't like is the voice seemed inconsistent to me. At times it was a brilliant representation of a boy on the cusp of becoming a young adult. He knew he was learning life lessons but couldn't always place them into a bigger context. At other times the writing seemed too lucid. Although I enjoyed the poetic, insightful writing of these passages, I found myself wondering if at some point we were going to find out that the book was being narrated by an adult and there would a point-of-view shift.