Deana's Reviews > The Chocolate War

The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
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's review
Apr 06, 15

it was ok
bookshelves: banned, young-adult, 2015, read-library, movie
Recommended to Deana by: banned book list
Read from February 16 to 21, 2015

This book has been on my TBR for quite some time from a list of banned books that I added some years ago. I didn't know much about it, aside from the blurb on the back of the book. It fit a challenge I wanted to do last month, so I finally picked it up from the library.

The book was a pretty easy read, obviously intended for younger teenagers. It focused on a lot of issues that students in late middle school or early high school may face -- bullying, budding sexuality, peer pressure, the desire to both be liked but also to not stand out, etc. In many ways, I felt that the author really captured what it felt like to go through these situations. Many of Jerry's thoughts rang true to me based on my own experiences.

I did have to wonder about the "bad" or "evil" characters in the book. Although I experienced (maybe more than) my fair share of bullies when I was younger, I don't think any of them were really EVIL in the way that some of the people in this book were. They were just ... misguided and trying to impress people, I guess. I don't deny that there are some truly horrible people in the world, but I think the proportion of them in this book was pretty skewed. I was glad to see that some of the "bad people", Cartier and Obie in particular, experienced some pangs of conscience every now and then.

(view spoiler)

I find it really difficult to believe that the author was able to come up for a sequel to this. It seems pretty self-contained to me...

Regarding the banning of this book... After I read it, I wondered "why in the world did people want to ban this?!" I thought maybe it's because the bullying was pretty excessive, and due to the ending (view spoiler)

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Quotes Deana Liked

Robert Cormier
“He hated to think of his own life stretching ahead of him that way, a long succession of days and nights that were fine - not good, not bad, not great, not lousy, not exciting, not anything.”
Robert Cormier, The Chocolate War

Robert Cormier
“When he ran, he even loved the pain, the hurt of the running, the burning in his lungs and the spasms that sometimes gripped his calves. He loved it because he knew he could endure the pain, and even go beyond it. He had never pushed himself to the limit but he felt all this reserve strength inside of him: more than strength actually—determination. And it sang in him as he ran, his heart pumping blood joyfully through his body.”
Robert Cormier, The Chocolate War

Reading Progress

02/16/2015 page 124
47.0% "good fast read"
02/21/2015 page 263
100.0% "what an unsatisfactory ending."
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