Rebecca's Reviews > The Big Crunch

The Big Crunch by Pete Hautman
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Mar 11, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: family-story, romance, school-story, young-adult
Read in March, 2012

** spoiler alert ** June rarely stays at one school for more than six months, as her father's job (downsizing and streamlining failing companies) moves them often. She's learned not to hold on to anything, including friends, and especially boyfriends. Wes has lived in Minneapolis his whole life, and has just broken up with his long-term girlfriend because she was too omnipresent. Neither are looking for serious romance, and when they find themselves irresistibly drawn together, it takes them completely by surprise. Until June's father moves the family again. But this time, June doesn't want to give her boyfriend up, and he doesn't want to let her go.

The reviews of this book were pretty misleading. I was expecting girl meets boy, romance ensues, then the bloom falls off the rose, and they separate amicably. I don't want to spoil the book, but that's not what happens at all. I think I therefore went into the book with the wrong mindset to really take in the story--because I was bracing myself for a different story. Anyway, I think Hautman was trying to write a real romance, warts and all, maybe to counterpoint such ridiculous 'romances' as Twilight. Certainly both June and Wes found faults with each other, with themselves, and with their relationship. For me, it went to the point at which Wes talked about how exhausted he was with his summer job, finding family time, and spending every free minute with June. At that point, the text said, "He'd never been happier in his life," and I totally didn't believe it. Their love just seemed like something they'd both made up that they were trying to convince themselves was real and behaving as it were, and I don't know if that's a realistic portrait of a romance, or if I just didn't connect with the writing style. So, I enjoyed the details and the characters, but didn't love the book.

And what's up with the summary on the book jacket calling the protagonist 'Jen'?
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