The Big Crunch by Pete Hautman
Published: January 1, 2011 by Scholastic Press
June and Wes do not “meet cute.” They do not fall in love at first sight. They do not swoon with scorching desire. They do not believe that they are instant soul mates destined to be together forever.
This is not that kind of love story.
Instead, they just hang around in each other’s orbits…until eventually they collide. And even after that happens, they’re still not sure where it will go. Especially when June starts to pity-date one of Wes’s friends, and Wes makes some choices that he immediately regrets.
This book is one that I haven’t seen much of anything about in the blogosphere. I was sold on that summary…About 2 lines in I knew I needed to read this book. Plus look at that awesome cover! Anyway, this book deserves way more attention than it’s currently getting.
Reasons I love this book:
- it’s a contemporary that isn’t shallow- there are a ton of books floating around out there that are not my idea of a good read (Gossip Girl-like novels just aren’t for me), and this one is different. It’s not as deep as a Sarah Dessen novel, but it’s just the right combination of realistic and ideal love
- indie vibe- I really like indie movies (ok…mainly popular ones like Little Miss Sunshine and (500) Days of Summer) and this book reminds me of one because it’s very clever
- Wes + June’s narration- totally unique and entertaining- this book’s narration (especially Wes’ parts) reads like a John Green book and I love me some John Green
- the cover- I love illustrated covers, and there’s an abundance of Katherines (oooh what a geeky joke…), I mean an abundance of photographs on YA covers. I just love the storyboard kind of feel to this one and the colors are perfect- it’s what made me pick up this book I hadn’t heard anything about
- how Wes + June behave right after they’re separated- it’s probably the closest thing to reality, but they each do such stupid things!
- Jerry Preuss- something about him is so annoying- maybe his fanatical obsession with becoming class president? Or his interfering with Wes and June getting together? Both? I think both.
- my book is upside-down- anyone out there read this and have an upside-down book? The title is pressed into the “cover” but it ended up being the back…just something that messed with my head (since I always lay my current read down resting on its front cover- it’s a weird habit)
Is this the end?
- Yes, I’m pretty sure this is a stand-alone book, which is nice since I’m a bit overly emotionally invested in a ton of series right now.
- there’s an author’s note at the end about where the original draft ended and I’m glad it didn’t end there- it would have been about half as long. If you pick up this book, read the author’s note because it’s kinda cool to think about how different the story would have felt
- Also, the orange juice in Minnesota tasted like gasoline. Even worse than Kansas and Illinois. She thought about that as she pulled on her parka. Why should the orange juice taste different in Minnesota? Didn’t it all come Florida? – June pg. 58
- Spontaneous Human Combustion- that was the answer. He willed himself to burst into flames. He felt a spot of warmth in the vicinity of his liver, but it didn’t last. That was the problem with SHC. It never happened when you needed it most. – Wes pg. 195
A book that deserves more attention! I definitely recommend it if you’re looking for a good contemporary read.