Cat and Joel are definitely not friends... Cat hates Joel because she thinks she saw him cheating on her best friend, and Joel hates Cat because she broke them up. It's only thanks to a leaky pen and a bad case of hay fever that they end up sitting together in Extension English on the day their teacher sets a tandem writing assignment. Now they have to write a story together. And, as it turns out, their story has a bad case of dual personality - part Jane Austen, part Matthew Reilly.
But both of them have bigger problems. Cat's mother has been arrested for drink driving and is planning to leave home, and her little brother is chain-eating chocolate biscuits and trying to do bike stunts blindfolded. Joel's mother is dating 'Jorge Rivera', a fake Salvadoran with a shonky accent who, Joel suspects, has never even heard of Central America let alone lived there. Things can't possibly get worse... But when Cat's dad and Joel's mum go to the same support group something even more disastrous seems inevitable. Can they unite for long enough to stop it?
Told in alternate chapters from the perspective of both characters, 'Joel And Cat Set The Story Straight' is a very funny, very clever 'tandem' story by two of Australia's best and most popular writers of YA.