The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier (1 October — 5 October)

This book took a little while to really get going for me, and then just as soon as it did, it ended! Sadness.

The Chocolate War is a story about power and conformity and how even when you win, you still lose. Depressing, right? So right. The chocolate part comes from a private high school’s chocolate sale (oh, memories) for which each student has to sell 50 boxes. The war part comes from Jerry Renault, who is assigned by the school’s secret society to refuse to sell the chocolates for ten days, you know, keep the teachers on their toes. He does this, but then after ten days, when he’s supposed to start selling again, he doesn’t, and some of the other students follow in his path. The teachers don’t like this, the secret society doesn’t like this… and bad things happen.

I wasn’t sure last night whether or not I liked this book, and… I’m still not sure. It was a very honest account of high school and how hard it is to navigate the social dynamics there, but I’m not really sold on the story itself. The story jumps back and forth between points of view and tries to use that to let you learn more about the characters, but I just never felt terribly involved in any of their lives. Perhaps I’ll ponder this some more.

Rating: 6/10
(My Year of Reading Dangerously Challenge)

See also:
an adventure in reading

Pass me yours, if you’ve got ’em.