Thursday, February 10, 2011

Bookanistas: LEVERAGE by Joshua C. Cohen

Plot without spoilers...Danny is gymnast with dreams of a college sports scholarship.  Kurt is a football player trying to escape the nightmare of his troubled past.  Then, a horrific incident of school violence binds them into an unusual friendship.  Cohen's exploration of a terrifying side of high school athletics is counter-pointed by fascinating depictions of the diverse individuals who make up sport teams, each with different reasons for playing and different lengths to which they'll go to protect their teammates.

Literary highlights...Cohen tells his story from the alternating viewpoints of Kurt and Danny, often revisiting the same incident in two consecutive chapters, giving readers an almost cinematic experience of a given scene.  His descriptions of Danny's routines on the high bar make you feel like you're flying through the air with him.  And the way Cohen writes football behemoth Kurt's stutter is heartbreaking--a great metaphor for the involuntary silence that has been invoked upon others in the story.

Finally, just gotta say...LEVERAGE made me think hard about the pain not-belonging can cause--the risks some teens take, and the cruelties they are willing to inflict upon others, to avoid being alone.  This is an important story on the topic of bullying but, more importantly, it is simply a powerful and terrific read.

Looking for more Bookanista book love?  Hop on over...

Elana Johnson raves over BIRTHMARKED

LiLa Roecker is going bonkers for BETRAYAL

Christine Fonseca is dizzy for DELIRIUM

Shannon Messenger features WHERE SHE WENT plus an ARC Giveaway!

Carolina Valdez Miller is loco for LIKE MANDARIN

Beth Revis is remembering MEMENTO NORA

Jessi Kirby is sweet on XVI

Shana Silver is pumped for BUMPED

Carrie Harris gets hexed by HEX HALL

Rosemary Clement-Moore is enraptured by WARPED

Katie Anderson covets the cover of Myra McEntire's HOURGLASS

Corrine Jackson is dazzled by I AM NUMBER FOUR



lisa and laura said...

Can't WAIT to read this book. Catherine has been talking about it forever and it looks fantastic! Great review, Stasia!

Carolina M. Valdez Schneider said...

Holy schmokes I have to read this. Sounds like a powerful book. Love how you broke up the review into sections. Very organized and easy to follow. Very insightful too. Nicely done. Looking forward to reading Leverage!

Carrie Harris said...

Wow. I hadn't heard of this yet, but I'll be adding it to my to-read list now! Thanks!!!

Stasia said...

Thanks for stopping by, Lila, Carolina & Carrie! LEVERAGE is definitely worth a read and Josh Cohen is a former dancer, so he's awesomely cool in my book!

Anonymous said...

This sounds intriguing! And I love that it sounds different and new and fresh. Can't wait to read! This is Cory Jackson BTW.

Unknown said...

Wow. This sounds fascinating. I know it's been a hot book among the Bookanistas. I can't wait to read!

Stasia said...

Thanks Cory & Katie. And, agreed, this book is special. My teenage son grabbed LEVERAGE arc as soon as I finished it. Direct quotes from him: "it's really intense" and "a lot more meaningful than a lot of other books I've read."

Shana Silver said...

I love books that have an almost cinematic feel by showing the same scenes from different perspectives (like RULES OF ATTRACTION by Bret Easton Ellis). This book seems intense! But in a good way.

Stasia said...

Haven't read RULES OF ATTRACTION. Adding to my to-read list. Thanks, Shana!