Monday, May 6, 2013

Review: Period.8 by Chris Crutcher

Title: Period.8
Author: Chris Crutcher
Year Published: 2013

Genre: YA fiction
Pages: 276
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Location (my 2013 Google Reading map): USA (Washington state)


FTC Disclosure: I borrowed this book from my school library

Summary (from the back of the book): Period 8. An hour a day. You can hang out. You can eat your lunch. You can talk. Or listen. Or neither. Or both. Nothing is off-limits. The only rule is that you keep it real; that you tell the truth. Heller High senior Paul Baum--aka Paulie Bomb--tells the truth. Not the "Wow, that's an ugly sweater" variety of truth, but the other kind. The truth that matters. It might be hard. It often hurts. But Paulie doesn't know how not to tell it. When he tells hsi girlfriend Hannah the life-altering, messed-up, awful truth, his life falls apart. The truth can get complicated, fast. But someone in Period 8 is lying. And Paulie, Hannah, and just about everyone else who stops by the safe haven of the P-8 room daily are deceived. And when a classmate goes missing and the mystery of her disappearance seeps beyond P-8 and into every hour of the day, all hell breaks loose.

Review: Ah, Chris Crutcher. He's done it again! Period.8 is gripping, moving, intriguing, and a great read. I am not doing any reading challenges this year since I am trying to read and blog for me, but last year I signed up for the Chris Crutcher challenge (try to read all his books) and I will see that one through.

Crutcher's main character is usually an athlete and often a swimmer. I like that since I was a swimmer and there aren't a whole lot of books with swimming in them. This time the character's distance swimming comes in handy, but I can't tell you why or it would ruin the story.

Logs is the Period 8 teacher. Every school has a teacher similar to Logs: the classroom where the students hang out for fun; the teacher who seems to know more about the students' social life than the rest of the staff; the teacher who bends the rules for students; the teacher who often oversteps the acceptable boundaries of student-teacher relationships (but not in a sexual way). I do have a difficult time with that since I believe there needs to be a line between teachers and students. At first I had a hard time with this, but by the half way point in the book I realized it was necessary to make the story work.

This book has friendship, romance, intrigue, mystery, bad guys, confused guys, and people who are just trying to hold it all together through high school. This is where Crutcher excels: the relationships and getting the angst right. This book sucked me in from the beginning and held on to me until I was finished two days later. What a great read!

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