Note about my Reviews

Dear Authors: The reviews in this blog are only personal opinions. I have absolutely no background in literature, writing or reviewing. I am a Librarian (actually a Library Technician for those who care OR know the difference) with a love for a good story. The opinions in the reviews are ONLY my OPINIONS. I am not commenting on the writers ability since well -- I am not a writer and never will be. If you are the author of any of the books reviewed here, my opinion is just that and not a judgment against you!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Big Crunch by Pete Hautman: Book Review

The Big Crunch
by Pete Hautman
Scholastic Press
ISBN: 978-0-545-24075-8
Suggested Ages: 12+ (Some slight mentions of sex & there is some underage alcohol consumption)
Buy from Indigo

Description: A funny, clear-eyed view of the realities of teenage love from National Book Award winner Pete Hautman.

June and Wes do not "meet cute." They do not fall in love at first sight. They do not swoon with scorching desire. They do not believe that they are instant soul mates destined to be together forever.

This is not that kind of love story.

Instead, they just hang around in each other's orbits...until eventually they collide. And even after that happens, they're still not sure where it will go. Especially when June starts to pity-date one of Wes's friends, and Wes makes some choices that he immediately regrets. From National Book Award winner Pete Hautman, this is a love story for people not particularly biased toward romance. But it is romantic, in the same way that truth can be romantic and uncertainty can be the biggest certainty of all.

The Good Stuff

  • Lovely realistic tale of first love
  • very honest simple and so real, author knows and understands the up and down emotions of teens. Really brought me to my teen years & made me feel almost nostalgic
  • poignant and beautifully written
  • Teens trying to find their place in life, bumping around aimless at times and making stupid decisions -- yup pretty damn realistic from my memories
  • Delightful quirky humour
  • Although there was very little excitement, I just couldn't put the book down, because I wanted to know what would happen to the couple
  • Not overly angst y so it will appeal to adults as well
  • Realistic honest ending which seriously impressed me
  • And my favorite part -- realistic parents -- loved the line about us being scared shitless half the time -- that's bang on!
The Not so Good Stuff
  • A little slow at times with very little action which may turn off many a ya reader who is used to a little more excitement - just sayin
  • telling story in alternative POV was a little difficult for me to get into at first because well I am 40.  This will probably appeal more to the target audience for the book
  • Seriously bad Typo on the jacket of the book with the main character being listed as Jen not June!
Favorite Quotes/Passages

"For example, if she joined the book club — there was always a book club — and hung out with them, her choice of guys would be limited to the dark and moody Chuck Palahniuk/Kurt Vonnegut/Life-Sucks-and-Then-You-Die brooders"

"She found that reassuring-- that no matter how messed up the universe got, it would eventually have another chance to get it right."

"You're wrong. He needs us. He's .... you know, just because your father and I are adults doesn't mean we're not scared shitless half the time."

What I Learned

  • Man I wish I could go back to being a teenager, but with the confidence I have as an adult
Who should/shouldn't read
  • For the more sophisticated realistic YA reader
  • Not for those who like a lot of excitement, this is one for slowly savoring
  • May appeal more to adults than teens
4 Dewey's

I received this from Scholastic in exchange for an honest review


  1. "The Big Crunch" is a wonderful book, though - well written, quiet and heartwarming - and will draw in teen boys and girls alike, as well as adults looking for a sweet story. It's an untainted love story, a romance without explosions but one that shows the true meaning of young love. Warmly recommended.

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    1. Beautifully written Mica, thanks for commenting

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Very funny and prickly while being tender at the same time. Hautman does a superb job of capturing the cacophony of emotions darting through the mind and body of someone newly in love.