Phoebe's Reviews > Paper Covers Rock

Paper Covers Rock by Jenny Hubbard
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's review
Oct 04, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: realistic-fiction, ya
Recommended for: Deborah, Telesa
Read in October, 2011

A realistic fiction novel set at a boys' boarding school in the 1980s, described from the perspective of 16-year-old Alex, whose year starts off with the drowning of his good friend Thomas. Vodka and camaraderie among Clay, Alex, Glenn, and Thomas turn into a daring contest, with Thomas diving off the huge and dangerously positioned rock and entering the river headfirst. Alex's journal, hidden in the school library, tells the story in bits and pieces, as he permits himself to remember the events of that day, even though he must lie to teachers and his father about what really happened. And even Alex, a witness, isn't sure (or isn't willing to admit) that what he saw can really be the truth. The book revolves around the drowning and the ripples it causes, but it is also a peek into the head of a young man, who has a crush on his English teacher, who wants to be a writer, who has insomnia since Thomas' death, and who must play by the rules, at all times--at the pressure of Glenn, who was once a friend but seems to have a terrible secret to keep safe, at any cost. A powerful book with many issues, capably addressed. High school.
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