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Period 8

3.53  ·  Rating Details ·  1,774 Ratings  ·  429 Reviews
In this full-length novel from Chris Crutcher, his first since the best-selling Deadline, the ultimate bully and the ultimate good guy tangle during Period 8.

Paul "the Bomb" Baum tells the truth. No matter what. It was something he learned at Sunday School. But telling the truth can cause problems, and not minor ones. And as Paulie discovers, finding the truth can be even
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published March 26th 2013 by Harper Collins
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Apr 06, 2013 Giselle rated it did not like it
Shelves: arc, own, contemporary
What attracted me to this book initially was the mention of a bully. The blurb on the back of the book even says "A new novel about an ultimate bully and the ethics of love". Sounds pretty good for any gritty contemporary fan, no? Except this "bully" is just a very weird guy with an obvious hidden agenda. The "ethics of love" part is correct, though. The whole book felt like an after-school-special-slash-Sunday-school-summon about love, telling the truth, and teenage hormones.

What is Period 8?
Emily May
Jan 30, 2013 Emily May rated it it was ok

Not for me.

Just a quick scan of the few reviews available for this book shows me those words appearing several times in one form or another. It seems to be the common opinion that this book is waiting to be loved by someone - though, who that someone is, it's hard to tell. Guys, maybe. Guys who like to read character studies and aren't put off by a plot that is slow and arguably not even there.

This was my first problem - this book is painfully slow. It is about a group of high school kids who m
Kaje Harper
This book is a bit of a departure for one of my favorite YA authors. Chris Crutcher writes stories about teens dealing with life, with being overweight, or having anger issues, or being gay, or not a great athlete, or being ill, or whatever. His characters are sympathetic, there is usually someone with a touch of wisdom hidden in snark, and bad things and good things both happen.

Those are true of this book too, but it's structured more like a mystery/thriller. Some parts really worked for me, bu
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
This saddens me because I liked Chris Crutcher when I was a teen. I made it a total of 24 pages. In that brief span (though it's almost 10%), I already hate everyone in this book. I hated the MC on page two. I'm pretty sure they're going to be in danger later, and I would be rooting for the psycho killer or whatever.

Why do I hate the MC?

Paulie's on a date with his girlfriend. He tells her he wants to talk, but they make out for a bit first. She's said she's a great listener. Then he tells her h
Apr 06, 2013 Donna rated it really liked it
I am a huge Chris Crutcher fan. I really respect him - as an author and as a person. I couldn't wait to read Period 8, and I will have a line of students when I return to school waiting for this one as well. It doesn't disappoint. There are some classic Crutcher elements - the strong language, the wise teacher/mentor, the imperfect narrator that you can't help but to pull for, the real-life issues that people don't like to talk about.

But this novel feels a little different that the others. At t
Mar 21, 2013 Annette rated it liked it
While Period 8 provides and interesting story, I did have some problems with the book.

Paul is a member of "Period 8," a class that certain students attend at Heller High. You can talk about anything you want, or just listen. It's basically just a bull session. Paul makes a big mistake - he cheats on his long-time girlfriend, Hannah. And, he feels so bad he has to tell her. Of course they break up, and this is the beginning of a big mess. All is not what it seems (and that's an understatement) an
Mar 25, 2013 Kris rated it did not like it
This book is supposedly about the "ultimate bully." Picking up this book, I expected a gritty contemporary about the dark side of high school and teenagers struggling with moral conflicts. What I got was a high school drama overloaded with hormones and teenage angst.

The plot is dull and disorganized. The story is introduced seemingly with the assumption that we know who the characters area. There's a reason why it's often discouraged to start a story with dialogue. We don't know anything about t
Getting to listen to Crutcher talk about the book before I read it was heaven...he talked about reading Dave Cullen's COLUMBINE and being completely chilled by the portrayal of the sociopath, Eric. He told us he wanted to create a character who could 'easily get into the thread' of everyday life. That he has done.

I'm probably the only person you know who's read Crutcher's book THE DEEP END, an adult thriller...I see reflections here. In that early book, I kind of pegged Crutcher as the hero, the
Tak turns to Hannah. “Soon as schools out take your journalism recorder out on the street and ask every adult you pass if they’re with the girl or boy they were with in high school.”
Hannah says, “This is….”
“Naw, serious,”Tak says. “We aren’t made so we know exactly what to do. We gotta fuck up to find out.”

Start by remembering this is Chris Crutcher.
Period 8 is an optional period where students join a group under the direction of “Logs,” the outstanding teacher character for this book. It is a
Erin Cataldi
Aug 06, 2013 Erin Cataldi rated it really liked it
This was a fast read, and I had it knocked out in about three hours. Chris Crutcher does a great job keeping you at the edge of your seat, guessing as to what is about to happen next. And it's no use, because you won't figure out what in the hell is going on until the end.

Period 8 is an hour long hang out/lunch time/open discussion that students at Heller High can participate in. The only only rules are that you have to keep it real (no lying and be honest) and what gets discussed in Period 8,
Apr 29, 2013 Kia rated it it was amazing
I thought this book was great! In this day and age, when I feel that teens are babied and taught that they will and should be great at everything, this was a refreshing read. It was gritty and realistic. If a students can have a drug ring, they can definitely have a sex ring.
Arney Stacks was quite an original. I liked that Crutcher illustrated that teens can be very cunning and manipulative. That you just can't give everyone the benefit of the doubt. In the case of Mary Wells and Kylie, he sho
Barb Dean
Feb 16, 2013 Barb Dean rated it it was amazing
PERIOD 8is Chris Crutcher's latest teen novel and from the first page takes the reader into the hard, dark realities of life. This is classic Crutcher because this man does not avoid the harsh realities that confront teenagers daily. But Crutcher himself admits that he has put this one on steroids. But this novel also features a wise, compassionate adult in the person of Bruce Logsdon, the teacher who opens his classroom during lunch for PERIOD EIGHT. During PERIOD EIGHT students gather in ...more
Amy Gilliland
Feb 04, 2015 Amy Gilliland rated it really liked it
Very deep subject material! Great as usual from Crutcher!! Love all his books.
Jul 02, 2013 Thalia rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: People Who Love "Thrillers" That Make No Sense and Have No Plot
Read the review on my blog:
Kathy Davie
Jun 29, 2013 Kathy Davie rated it really liked it
A Young Adult novel that asks some hard questions.

My Take
WOW! This was fabulous and terrifying. I love the idea of Period 8 and a teacher like Logs. It should be a requirement in every school, except it wouldn't work, but the concept

No, Period 8 isn't deep philosophy. It's more of a peek into high school life and students' thoughts as Crutcher sets up the background for the suspense of the story, and he does a good job of stretching it out, keeping us in suspense. Nor does he ever prov
3 stars

Period 8... what are you? Full disclosure: if I hadn't received an ARC of this, I probably wouldn't have picked it up. I'm not a big contemporary person, and this isn't contemporary romance either - which is what I normally pick up from the genre. So the fact that it absorbed me like it did and made me enjoy it so much is really surprising. It was just a great read.

I dove into this book without even really reading the blurb. I think I read it once a few months ago, but that means it long
Apr 22, 2013 Stormy rated it liked it
Shelves: arc, read-in-2013
I feel like there were two competing story lines in Period 8. There’s the events of the actual Period 8, a lunchtime get together of a jumble of high school students from different backgrounds, social groups, and grade levels. They’re led by Logs, the supportive teacher who leads what, in essence, becomes a high school therapy group. No topic is off-limits in Period 8, but everything remains confidential.

There’s quite a few scenes that take place in Period 8, and they all felt overly dramatic to
Heidi (yabibliophile)
Classic Crutcher yet totally different. I know that doesn't really make sense.

Added 3/6
Chris freaking Crutcher. Obviously I requested the heck outta this one. And I am so glad that I did. Period 8 is a delightful blend of classic Crutcher characters with a new twist.

As a long time Crutcher fan I really enjoyed getting to see something a little different from him. I adore all of the authors previous titles but it was fun to see the "thriller" aspect added in. While reading I kept second guessing
*Chris Crutcher can write. Wow!

Full review at:

Now, this is not a "normal" Chris Crutcher book, but like all of his books, it is raw, true, and sports plays a role of some sort. And this one is SO full of suspense for the last 25%. It is a hold your breath, read as quickly as you can kind of book there at the end. (I do wish that this suspense had been spread out to 50% of the book. This would have helped the pacing a bit and I think it would have given Cr
Phaelan Kennedy
Period 8 by Chris Crutcher is a realistic-fiction story about a highschool boy named Paulie Baum who lives in Washington, was as truthful as anyone could be until he cheated on his girlfriend out of the blue with a girl who disappeared a few days later. Once she gets back, he is soon to realize that she is not normal and she is keeping a huge secret that nobody knows. Paulie’s life was normal until she showed up and after that he starts getting into dangerous situations like freezing to death in ...more
Kristin (Blood,Sweat and Books)

Until Period 8 I had never heard of Chris Crutcher. However, I was drawn in by the cover and after reading the blurb on Edelweiss I really felt this sounded like a book I needed to read. Unfortunately, it turned out Period 8 was way to the left of what I was expecting it to be.

This book is marketed as a Thriller but honestly I didn't get that vibe from 75% of the book. Sure the character Mary is mysteriously disappearing throughout the book but its not until the end where we really get to
Jul 01, 2013 Daven rated it liked it
Shelves: ya-fiction
I'm becoming more and more nervous about making YA recommendations to my 8th graders. If this latest Chris Crutcher novel is any indication (and I think it is), the genre is moving more and more in to dicey, undefendable territory. Despite its highly engaging storyline and readability, there is no chance that I will be recommending Period 8 to my students - and even though I have for years recommended Chris Crutcher as a go-to YA author. For starters, the novel is riddled with fairly graphic dia ...more
May 05, 2013 Darcy rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, 2013
Wow, this one didn't go where I thought it would when I started it, but about half way through I figured out what was going on. I kept saying, there was no way that was what was going on, but as I kept reading it turned out true.

I started out not sure about Paulie, I liked that he told the truth to Hannah, but hated what he was telling her. I even agree with Hannah's reaction. However as the story evolved I realized how much each of them was played, and played by a master, which made me feel sor
Savannah (Books With Bite)
Feb 04, 2013 Savannah (Books With Bite) rated it it was amazing
In the introduction to the reader, Mr. Crutcher states he "put this book on steroids." After closing the last page of the book, I have come to a conclusion. All authors need to take Mr. Crutcher advice.

I have never read such a crazy, beautiful, MESSED up book. The plot first of all, takes the reader far away to a place of watching. As you watch the plot unfold, the reader gets chances with every chapter to start to peace things together. I like that the plot gives a good dose of everything. Firs
Feb 09, 2013 Alicia rated it really liked it
A suspenseful thriller from Crutcher, this book is definitely in the stratosphere of good YA mysteries similar to What Happened to Cass McBride? by Giles or Wish You Were Dead by Strasser. While there are certain plot points that one must suspend their disbelief (a teacher reliving his glory days before retirement with a VERY loose and somewhat unprofessional relationship with swimmer Paulie, but all of the students of period 8). While I respect that he is their mentor and adviser on certain ...more
May 12, 2013 Ann rated it liked it
Shelves: realistic
I was engaged with this book almost all the way through, and very much so towards the beginning. I thought the characters seemed very realistic in the ways that they talked to one another and related to each other. Other parts of the book, however, were disappointing.

It was obvious to me who the main villain was going to be, since I know a lot about sociopaths. The adult villain surprised me. But a lot of the rationale behind pretty much any of the villains' actions escapes me. Why did Arney mak
Apr 21, 2013 Gladys rated it it was amazing
Met the author yesterday durin Teenbookcon he talk about this book in a way that really intrigue me. I'm sure that the way he described the story that inspired him had many people in the audience with tear eyes. Well I decided to buy his book and read it. At first it disappointed me because of his view of guys cheating on their girlfriends, it sounded like a very typical male answer " it's not on purpose is nature" type of argument. However I decided to keep reading and the true story came ...more
Dec 23, 2012 Laura rated it liked it
The suspense part of the book gets a little overshadowed by the over-writing, but that doesn't mean it isn't there. There's a very (very!) slow build, so you have to stick with it before getting to the payoff.

Period 8 is more a concept - the really cool teacher hosts what seems like an encounter group in his classroom during lunch. "Logs" is one of those beloved guys, the teacher everyone confides in. He also is training with Paulie, having aspired to swimming the channel in his youth; Paulie,
Rachel Lightwood
There isn't a lot I can say about this book because there just wasn't a lot to it. Even now, after finishing it a couple of minutes ago, I cannot really tell you what it was about. I mean asides from Mary's "disappearance", it was just a lot of babble. Random discussions, a lot of distance swimming and some debates on morals - that's really about it.

The characters weren't bad, necessarily, I just felt like this book was over before anything really happened. I didn't feel I got to know any of the
Jun 06, 2013 Matt rated it liked it
“We have one common reference point: we're all as old as we've ever been."

I really, really wanted to love this book. Chris Crutcher has always been a genius to my eyes. A few of his books (namely Staying Fat for Sarah Burns and Deadline) made me want to run out and throw them in people's faces so they would know they existed. So when I saw he had a new book out, I grabbed it off the shelf as quickly as I could.

Unfortunately, Period 8 really let me down. It's hard to put words to the fe
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Chris Crutcher's writing is controversial, and has been frequently challenged and even banned by individuals who want to censor his books by removing them from libraries and classrooms. Running Loose and Athletic Shorts were on the ALA's top 100 list of most frequently challenged books for 1990-2000. His books generally feature teens coping with serious problems, including abusive parents, racial ...more
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