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Author: Chris Crutcher
Title: Period 8
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Thriller
Publisher: Harper Collins
Copy Provided By: Edelweiss
Expected Publication: March 26,2013
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.
Until Period 8 I had never heard of Chris Crutcher. However, I was drawn in by the cover and after reading the blurb on Edelweiss I really felt this sounded like a book I needed to read. Unfortunately, it turned out Period 8 was way to the left of what I was expecting it to be.
This book is marketed as a Thriller but honestly I didn't get that vibe from 75% of the book. Sure the character Mary is mysteriously disappearing throughout the book but its not until the end where we really get to the why and even then its completely unsatisfying mostly due to the fact I saw it coming a million miles away. I actually speculated Mary's plot the moment we met her. Mary's actions and the way she spoke to Paulie was a dead give away. Don't get me wrong, what happens to Mary and the others is horrible but since we don't really see all the details and abuse these characters go through the ending didn't have the same impact.
One thing that really made me uncomfortable was Logs interaction with his Period 8 students. Let's be clear Logs is no Sandusky. I believe the Author was going for say a Dead Poets Society vibe with him but failed miserably. The interaction instead skipped right past inappropriate and leaped straight into unprofessional. A teacher, even a cool one such as Logs should not be spending that much alone time with students. If they were graduates sure but current students no way!! Why the parents didn't ask more questions is beyond me. Maybe they just like the free babysitter.
When it comes right down to it, Period 8 wasn't the worst book that I've read this year. The writing was good but nothing I'd be willing to revisit. The few things I enjoyed paled in comparison to those that had me feeling bored,frustrated or annoyed. The characters felt more like college students then those still stuck in High School and perhaps worst of all I just didn't like the way the story was told. Would I recommend this book? If you're a fan of the author sure. You will probably read it anyway regardless of my recommendation. For everyone else, I say pass or borrow. That's just my opinion though feel free to take it or leave it, won't hurt my feelings any. That being said, I will be rating Period 8 by Chris Crutcher ★★.