Leverage by Joshua C. Cohen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This book is as hard-hitting as the steroid-infused, foul-mouthed, warp-minded football players at its center. A very, very intense read that is not for the faint of heart. Although it is marketed as YA, I wouldn't recommend it to anyone under 16 due to the extremely graphic language and violence.
This is one of those books I think all parents should read, though. I was told it was a male version of Speak, but it's much more than that. It is an incredible, intense, heart-stopping book that will make your jaw hit the floor on more than one occasion.
There were a few times when I found a character's actions unbelievable, such as when Ronnie tries to get the boys to talk about his assault. I can't see a boy wanting to talk about such an extreme occurance of bullying, especially with the stigma and shame attached to victims of that sort of attack. However, most of the book was perfect, and although at times it was a bit predictible, it was the sort that made you HAVE to keep reading to see if you are right. You will think you know what's going to happen, but you won't be 100% sure and you won't be able to stop yourself from finding out for sure. Once you start this book, you won't be able to not finish it. And you'll be glad you did--the ending is so, so, so completely perfect that it leaves you smiling despite all the horrible things that happen to the characters throughout the book.
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