The Big Crunch

Pete Hautman, Scholastic Press, $17.99 (288p) ISBN 978-0-545-24075-8
Showing his range, Hautman (How to Steal a Car) writes a love story that's affecting despite, or perhaps because of, its ordinariness. Wes and June know each other, vaguely, from high school, but become better acquainted when he accidentally gives her a black eye. Both teens are prone to introspection. June is constantly on guard because her father's job requires the family to move often; Wes cleans out the garage when too much thinking leads to insomnia. When the two overcome obstacles to become a couple, they fall hard. Hautman's depiction of this is both sensitive and realistic—"I can't breathe when I look at you," Wes tells June—and the use of scientific imagery adds metaphorical heft to an otherwise run-of-the-mill romance (to everybody but Wes and June, of course). As she expected, June's father pulls up stakes again, and the lovers try to carry on with texting and telephone calls, leading to frustration and bad decisions. Readers who need nonstop action must look elsewhere, but those who make it to June's final declaration will arrive with a lump firmly lodged in their throats. Ages 13–up. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 11/29/2010
Release date: 01/01/2011
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-0-545-24076-5
Open Ebook - 288 pages - 978-0-545-33258-3
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