Book Review – The Chocolate War

The Chocolate War (Chocolate War, #1)The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
My rating: 1 out of 5 stars (1 / 5)

“He hated to think of his own life stretching ahead of him that way, a long succession of days and nights that were fine – not good, not bad, not great, not lousy, not exciting, not anything.”

 

 

 

“A Controversial book” was one of the categories for my 2016 Reading Challenge. I wasn’t entirely sure how this different from the “Banned/Challenged Book” category, so I just googled it, and this was the top result across multiple websites. It seems people either love this book and teach it in high school curriculums, or abhor it for it’s violence and ban it in their school. On both sides, people have really, really strong feelings, which does earn it the controversial label. I assumed I’d have really strong feelings too!

But…

I was sure this book would bring all the feels! I’d be angry! I’d be upset about the bullying! I’d be ready to make a change in the world! I would want to spread the word of the book!

But…

So this book is about an all-boys prep school in the 1970’s. There exists within a “secret” society (hush hush nod nod, the administration know all about it and sort of control it). One boy defies them, sort of. Not even outwardly, because he isn’t sure if/why he cares either. It creates a “war” that all takes place in the last few pages and involves a bit of bullying and violence and no real resolution at the end.

I just didn’t care about or relate to any of the characters. Maybe because they were mostly high school football players in the 70’s. I don’t know. But I felt I had no investment in anything that happened to them. There was a lot of build-up but not much payoff.

I totally don’t understand why this book is a big deal. I found it almost excruciatingly boring. I resorted to forcing myself to read only a few pages at a time several times a day because I just hated it. I would have DNF’ed it but if this was any indication of how I’d feel about “controversial” books, I didn’t want to have to deal with another one for my challenge slot!

This is the first book I’ve picked up only because of the challenge and hated. I guess it had to happen sooner or later. Most I’ve adored.

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What did you think?