Thursday, March 21, 2013

Review: Period 8 by Chris Crutcher

  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/26/2013
  • Source: eARC provided by the publisher via Edelweiss for review
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | The Book Depository

In this full-length novel from Chris Crutcher, his first since the best-selling Deadline, the ultimate bully and the ultimate good guy tangle during Period 8.

Paul "the Bomb" Baum tells the truth. No matter what. It was something he learned at Sunday School. But telling the truth can cause problems, and not minor ones. And as Paulie discovers, finding the truth can be even more problematic. Period 8 is supposed to be that one period in high school where the truth can shine, a safe haven. Only what Paulie and Hannah (his ex-girlfriend, unfortunately) and his other classmates don't know is that the ultimate bully, the ultimate liar, is in their midst.

Terrifying, thought-provoking, and original, this novel combines all the qualities of a great thriller with the controversy, ethics, and raw emotion of a classic Crutcher story.
 
My Thoughts

I am very into issue books, especially ones that have to do with bullying. I can't stand bullying and I think it's a great topic to tackle in books. I was really looking forward to reading this one, the good guy against the bully right? Nope, wrong. There is no bully really, just a psycho kid who wants power. He is actually really nice in a round-about way that is deceiving, but he isn't a bully. Anyways, the problem is, I went into this expecting one thing and got something totally different. I also didn't enjoy the way it was written either. It was pretty much all over the place switching from person to person so often that I felt like my head was spinning.

I'm only going to touch on the characters a little because honestly, they did nothing for me. You have Paulie who is supposed to be the ultimate good guy, but yet he does something not so good that you find out about right away. So how are you supposed to go through the book thinking he's a good guy? Right, so now we have the teacher, Log who is close to retirement. He is a little too friendly with the kids. Like when a teenage girl shows up on your doorstep at midnight and you let her in to chat... ummm not okay. He runs period 8 which is lunch hour where they all have this big group therapy type thing going on or something. It's where they can go discuss anything and everything and it doesn't leave that room. Then there's Mary who disappears, then she's back like nothing happened and then gone again. She's obviously in some kind of trouble, but I could have cared less whether she was saved or not.

So this is supposed to be a thriller, mystery, emotional thing right? Not so much. We know who the psycho kid is right off, Paulie's secret isn't really so secret, and all the other mystery stuff is made so obvious it's almost impossible to miss where it's going. We jump from person to person (in 3rd person POV no less) quite often so it's hard to really connect with the people or the story at all. Then there's also how crazy some of it is, Like some kids dad (stepdad?) is just going to show up guns blazing because these teenage kids say there is a conspiracy of some sort. Like the teacher is just going to jump head first into this situation that is totally way beyond dangerous and illegal. This book was just really kind of ridiculous to me. Now I feel like I was so negative with this, but I don't really know how else to put it. I can't say I would recommend this book to anyone.


21 comments:

  1. Awww, it's such a shame you didn't like this Amy, I had high expectations. Brilliant review all the smae, I think I'll leave this book alone for a while.

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    1. I was really looking forward to this too and it was way different than I was expected. Not in a good way either.

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  2. Oh man, first Giselle's review and now yours! I admit that I had never read the blurb for this (of course) but judging by the cover I thought it was a survivalist story about someone who was lost at sea or something LOL So when you guys came out saying it was a contemp issue book color me surprised! I'm happy that I know to stay away from it though, it sounds like a lot of it is pretty unrealistic. You mentioned the girl showing up at the teachers house, and then the 911 call from G's review, ick!

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    1. This was seriously just so beyond realistic. I mean the "bully" (who isn't even really a bully, just a messed up kid who is super manipulative and smart) and all the stuff he's involved in, and then all the adults and how they act... it's just so not believable. And it jumps around from one person to another like crazy so it's all over the place.

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  3. I'm sorry this one wasn't for you. Nice review Amy. :)

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    1. I wish I had liked it more, but you can't win them all lol!!

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  4. Both Giselle and you didn't like this book and I trust you guys' opinion and so, I probably won't read this book. I hate when you go into the book expecting something and it ends up disappointing you. It also sad that the book is all over the place. Ughh. I hate when books are written in such a messy way.
    Great honest review, Amy!

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    1. I know that the switching from character to character was to help let us see all sides of the story, but it was just really disconnecting me even more than the lack of realism of it all.

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  5. I wouldn't have picked this one up on my own, I hadn't even heard of it, but it sounds like your issues are issues I would have as well. I'm kind of curious now and am going to look up other reviews just to see what they're saying. Sounds like a book I'll pry skip though.

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    1. It sounded so promising. I'm sad that it wasn't.

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  6. I was on the fence about whether to read this and … yeah, I think you might have pushed me off the fence. I like books that experiment with narrative structure, but combine that with a lack of suspense and it sounds like this one may not be for me.

    You can find me here: Jen @ YA Romantics

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    1. Haha!! Hope you didn't get hurt. Really though, this book was just a lot different from what the synopsis suggests.

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  7. Amy, why are you so mean in your reviews?!?!?!

    Lol! Just kidding! Anyway, this book sounds so awful. Everyone (by which I mean you and Giselle...you guys are everyone right?) has talked about how flat and awkward these characters are, and I just don't see how this could possibly work for me. Why oh why do I always end up with books I won't like in my review pile.

    *rocks back and forth*

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    1. I know right?! I'm so evil!! Lol!! And of course me and Giselle are everyone!! I feel the same way sometimes when people are not liking a certain book and it's coming up for me. I'm hoping you like it better than we did, but you probably won't. Believe me, if it's not doing it for you at first, it doesn't get better.

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  8. Aww I'm sorry you didn't like this! I've been seeing a lot of really negative reviews for this one so I think I'm going to skip this one, but thanks for the review! :) I can definitely see how it could be impossibly impossible to connect with all the characters with the constant tense changes! (It seems like that's really insanely common nowadays D:)

    Awesome review, though, Amy!

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    1. Yeah, this just totally didn't work for me for all sorts of reasons!

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  9. Oh that's too bad. I'm really sorry it turned out that way. I was thinking about it too. I like the bully books. They're good ones for me to read as a teacher. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. This one really isn't a bully book at all. I mean there's elements of it, but it's just way over the top with super illegal conspiracies and stuff. I can't really explain it without actually giving it away. Come to think of it, a lot of stuff going on in this book that is passed off as normal are not okay.

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  10. Ahhh, too bad. I see this book getting a lot of negative reviews but I guess its one of those books that you either love or hate.

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    1. Yeah, I saw that you really enjoyed it. I'm glad that there are people who are really liking it. I wanted to, it just wasn't for me I guess.

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  11. It's a bummer when books end up completely different than you were expecting. I was a bit intrigued but it doesn't really sound like my thing either if there is no mystery.

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