by Joshua C. Cohen Published by Dutton Children's Books
on February 17th 2011 Pages:
There’s an extraordinary price for victory at Oregrove High. It is paid on—and off—the football field. And it claims its victims without mercy—including the most innocent bystanders.
When a violent, steroid-infused, ever-escalating prank war has devastating consequences, an unlikely friendship between a talented but emotionally damaged fullback and a promising gymnast might hold the key to a school’s salvation.
Told in alternating voices and with unapologetic truth, Leverage illuminates the fierce loyalty, flawed justice, and hard-won optimism of two young athletes.
Why I read this: Thought it would be quite a different change from my usual read, and I was right.
Plot: Two boys in high school with similar problems, fitting in and trying to find their voice against injustice when there's little support at their school. Definitely a story that will have you cry, scream in rage, and shake your fist at the world. It's about the rougher side of high school and how cruelty can be shaped during it and how that effects others. There's a lot of scenes in this that make it inappropriate for middle school readers and definitely hits into the upper YA region of fiction.
Though rough, this book is written well and presents a situation that is realistic and horrendous and really should be spoken against. A book that would rival Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, only from a male point of view.
Characters: I really loved the diverse characters. Danny being a small gymnast and Kurt a stuttering huge mass of a teenager who seemed to have been born for playing football. And the villians of the story made me want to throw the book across the room in agony of their terrible misdeeds.
Relatability: It's realistic, but harsh, definitely recommended for those that can stomach a gritty novel and maybe not for those who don't want to face that in a book.
Cover Commentary: Definitely speaks to the novel's content.