Saturday, October 22, 2011
Greenwillow Books, 2007
What can I really say about this book? I just love Chris Crutcher's writing and so far, I've adored everything I've read by him. Like the other books I've read, the main character is male, into sports, and doesn't kowtow to the established authority figures; instead he questions and pursues answers fearlessly. The big twist is that the MC in this book knows he has less than a year to live, which inspires him to upend his plans for senior year to aspire for something more.
That kid is Ben Wolf who also makes the decision not to tell anybody about his illness in order to be able to live life to the fullest. That choice is challenged throughout the year as Ben as unimaginable highs (scoring an amazing touchdown, having sex with the wildly out of his league Dallas Suzuki) and incredible lows (a bigoted teacher, came face to face with some dark facts).
And of course this is all narrated in what I am coming to think of as the trademark Chris Crutcher style. Smart-alecky, passionate, principled, and excited about life and maturation. Ben is not content to just accept the easy answer; instead he pushes and pushes. He made me think and he made his classmates and fellow neighbors think whether they wanted to or not.
Of course the end is hard as you grow attached to Ben although it's foretold from the beginning. Even so, I kept hoping for something else. Still the ending is lovely albeit sad.
Overall: Not much I can say beyond, read it!