Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Crunch Time and a Giveaway!

In Crunch Time, four high school juniors form a study group for the SATs after walking out of the prep class. Max is smart, but slightly socially awkward. Leo is a popular guy whose only extracurricular is getting drunk. Daisy is a test-challenged girl with financial aid-desperate parents. Jane is the daughter of a famous movie star who just wants to be something besides the daughter of a famous movie star. Despite the motley nature of the group, they soon forge relationships and seem to be getting along fine. Then, a girl tells the counselor that she was paid to take someone else's test--but she won't say who. The entire school is in an uproar, and nearly everyone has an opinion as to who cheated, and whoever did do it isn't talking.

This book is more about relationships and teenage-ness than anything else, and it is good at what it does. What more could you ask for, really? The characters are not quite as well-developed as they could be, but the style in which the book was written makes up for that: it's a four-voice novel, and the sections are, at times, only a sentence long. Fredericks pulled this off better than I might have expected, and I'm looking forward to checking out The Meaning of Cleavage the next time I go to the library.

And now, I have a super-awesome giveaway to tell you about! Beth of Beth's Book Review Blog is giving away five copies of Friends Like These by Danny Wallace. This book is (apparently--I haven't read it yet) about Danny Wallace's quest to reconnect with his childhood friends, who have transformed into, among other things, Fijian royalty. I will definitely be reading this book even if I don't win the contest--and I'm not known for my contest-winning prowess--as it looks like an absolute riot. The contest ends on September 27, 2009. Head on over!

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