Monday, April 4, 2011

Leverage by Joshua Cohen

One of the most absolute hardest books I've read and couldn't put down, all at the same time. Danny is a sophomore and a gymnast. He's actually pretty good, and hopes that a gymnastics scholarship is his ticket to college and away. He's pretty scrawny (a good thing for gymnasts), gets along with his teammates, and loves his sport.

Kurt is a senior football player and a pretty big guy. He's been in the foster care system for a while, and as a survivor of child sexual abuse, he's especially had a hard time after his best friend was killed. He's determined never to be a victim again, and takes the coach's "vitamins" to help with that goal.

What the two of these guys are witness to is horrendous. Three of Kurt's teammates gang-raping a freshman teammate of Danny's. Both too scared to talk about it, they have to decide whether to stay victims, or find the courage to stand up to bullies.

The story is told in Danny and Kurt's alternating voices. Like I said, this was a hard book to get through. The rape scene could have been described in more detail, but it could have been described in less. The author did a fantastic job of hitting just the right notes with both characters and the horrible, horrible action they witness. Everyone should read this book.

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