Thursday, March 21, 2013
Review: Paper Covers Rock
Author: Jenny Hubbard
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.
This took me a while to read because I was constantly re-reading pages. That isn't because it's particularly difficult, but because the author packs so much emotion and undertones into every sentence.
I spent the entire book desperately wondering what happened at the river that day and feeling so bad for Alex and all the emotional stress he carries.
This book intrigued me, and I believe it's because the narrator, Alex, was so stuck within his own mind. Perhaps it's because I have the same habit, but it makes a book like this easy to relate to. Otherwise how does one relate to a downing incident at an all-boys boarding school? I certainly don't know what a situation like that is like.
Recommended to all who like young adult literature with substantial emotion and a challenging enigmatic story.