Review: Paper Covers Rock by Jenny Hubbard

Title: Paper Covers Rock
Author: Jenny Hubbard
Originally published by Delacorte Books for Young Readers, June 14, 2011
Paperback by Ember, June 12, 2012
Paperback, 192 pages

At the beginning of his junior year at a boys’ boarding school, 16-year-old Alex is devastated when he fails to save a drowning friend. When questioned, Alex and his friend Glenn, who was also at the river, begin weaving their web of lies. Plagued by guilt, Alex takes refuge in the library, telling his tale in a journal he hides behind Moby-Dick. Caught in the web with Alex and Glenn is their English teacher, Miss Dovecott, fresh out of Princeton, who suspects there’s more to what happened at the river when she perceives guilt in Alex’s writing for class. She also sees poetic talent in Alex, which she encourages. As Alex responds to her attention, he discovers his true voice, one that goes against the boarding school bravado that Glenn embraces. When Glenn becomes convinced that Miss Dovecott is out to get them, Alex must choose between them. (From Goodreads)

I really wish I would’ve written the review for this book as soon as I finished reading it. It’s been a while since I read it. I may not remember everything about it, but I do remember that it was absolutely amazing.

For a YA novel, I felt that this book was extremely well written, even though it’s a bit on the short side. Each chapter begins with a quote from Moby Dick (which, if I had read Moby Dick, I probably would’ve understood the significance of), which is also the book in the library that the narrator, Alex, hides the journal behind when he isn’t writing in it. It adds a sort of “literary” element to the book that I liked a lot. Alex also writes poetry, so there are several poems included.

I could relate to most of the characters in this book, and I feel like they’re all represented as true teenagers. I feel like most, if not all teens can relate to this book in some way, because the characters’ struggles are all very real problems. The characters are all flawed, which makes them more real than in TONS of YA novels where the characters are seemingly perfect. It is set in 1982, but while reading it, it felt like it could’ve taken place today as well.

So, even though my review for it sucks, you should DEFINITELY check out this book. If you’ve enjoyed books like Looking for Alaska and  A Separate Peace, then I definitely would recommend this book for you.

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