Leverage by Joshua C. Cohen

Leverage by Joshua C. Cohen

At Oregrove High, nobody messes with the football team!  When the gymnastics team wants to use the weight room and humiliates the football players in a strength contest, a war of pranks starts between the two teams that escalates until one of the youngest gymnasts is raped by three steroid-fueled football players.  The horrendous act is witnessed by two boys: Danny, a gymnast stuck behind some mats in the back of the storage room and Kurt, a fullback transfer student who beats up the three sick athletes, but has his own history with abuse.  The book is narrated in alternating chapters by these two characters, who could be more different, but eventually become friends.  The suspense of who to tell about the rape or what to do about it kept me on the edge of my seat until the end of the story.

I think this was a great book and recommend it to all mature high school readers. It is dark and realistic, touching on the current hot topic of bullying in a very realistic way.  It gets quite graphic and also has strong language, but both fit perfectly within the context of the story.  I give it 5 stars out of five!!!


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