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Monday, November 21, 2011

School Book Review: Whale Talk by Chris Crutcher

Whale Talk by Chris Crutcher
Original Publication Date: April 28th, 2001
Publisher: Greenwillow
Page Count: 224
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased for school
My Rating
A varsity letter jacket: it's exclusive, nearly unattainable, revered . . . and everything that's screwed up about Cutter High, as far as T. J. Jones is concerned. That's why T. J. is determined to have the Cutter All Night Mermen—the unlikeliest swim team a high school has ever seen—earn letter jackets of their own.

It won't be easy. For one thing, they don't even have a pool. They will fight for their dignity, they will fight with each other, and sometimes they will just fight. And then they will realize that a single moment can bring lifelong heartache or lifelong friendship. For T. J. and his crew of misfits, the quest may be far more valuable than the reward.
I had to read this book for school, but I'm really glad I picked it up. The only reason I actually decided to read the whole thing was because I have to write an essay on it, but it was actually really awesome! I thought I was going to have a hard time with the protagonist, because he's male and I have a hard time reading from the POV of male protags, but that wasn't the case at all!

T.J. (The Tao Jones) is actually an awesome character! He's mixed race (African American and Japanese) living in Spokane, WA where people aren't very accepting. He ends up starting a swim team with the most random group of people, all are pretty much outcasts at school, and they end up finding a home with each other. T.J. is an awesome character; he's caring, hilarious, sensitive, and a total badass! I loved reading about him, I definitely developed a book crush :)

Honestly, a lot of really heart wrenching things happen throughout this book. It can get pretty dark, it's definitely some gritty contemporary fiction, but it's also really inspirational. T.J. takes a lot of people under his wing, he's a complete caregiver and his actions had me bawling more than once. There is a lot of pretty intense language so if you're sensitive to that I would say skip this one, but if you're a fan of sports books, gritty contemporary fiction, or books with great male protags this is one for you! Also, this one was on the Banned Book list, so if you're looking for something else to read off of that, this is a good pick.

4 comments:

  1. School book!? Ewwww! Haha. It sounds not so bad though. Haven't heard of it before.

    Giselle
    Xpresso Reads

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh, it's so nice when you fall in love with required reading books. This one does sound very interesting. Great review!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I have always loved this book, I read it so many times in High School.I kind of think of Whale Talk as a modern day Catcher in the Rye kind of. Unfortunately, we never had awesome required reading by Chris Crutcher when I was in high school. His book Crazy Horse Electric is my favorite.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh, wait . . . you're in college. Duh. What kind of class did you have to read this book for ?

    I find myself surprisingly and begrudgingly enjoying a few of the required books in college.

    ReplyDelete

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According to FTC guidelines I must point out that all of the books that I review on my blog were either purchased by me or were given to me by the author/publisher. All words and opinions expressed are my own and I do not receive any monetary goods for writing reviews. I will state in my review which books I have received for review and which books I have purchased/borrowed. All images and synopsis are taken from Goodreads.com unless otherwise stated.
 
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