Tag Archives: The Chocolate War

WWW Wednesday, 13-October-2021

13 Oct

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

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The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community.


Ghost

Currently reading: I haven’t managed much in The Girl with Ghost Eyes by M.H. Boroson. I’m back to work now so it’s more my mom or mother in law who has Baby while they sleep, which was my prime reading time. I’m sure I’ll find a way to incorporate it into my life again soon.
Still not much in True History of The Kelly Gang by Peter Carey. I’ve been getting back into working out so once Baby is asleep, I’m very quickly following with no real reading time at night. If we can figure out a better routine, I’d love to start picking up physical books again.
The one book I am making good progress with is The Running Man by Richard Bachman (Stephen King). I’ve been able to do long walks and continue running which gives me chunks of time for this book most days. I’m enjoying it a lot and I’m hoping my husband will listen to it after me so we can talk about it.

Recently finished: Nothing this week but I posted my review for The Chocolate War by Robert Cormeir on Monday. On reflection, I decided to raise my rating to Four out of Five Stars. I think I was still bitter about the end when I did the initial rating and this seems more fair.

Stranger

Reading next: I’m excited to start The Perfect Stranger by Megan Miranda soon. I think I’ll have started it by next week. October is a great time for thrillers.

Leave a comment with your link and comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Some of the links on this post may be affiliate links. Taking on a World of Words is a participant in affiliate programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to products. If you purchase a product or service through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but Sam will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated.
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Book Review: The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier (4/5)

11 Oct

This was a book that came up in another book and has been lingering on my TBR for a while. It’s been a while since I read a YA and I was looking forward to it! Early on, I realized I’d read it before but it must have been almost 20 years and I couldn’t remember how it ended so I pressed on to see what would happen.

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Cover image via Amazon

The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier

Summary from Goodreads:

Jerry Renault ponders the question on the poster in his locker: Do I dare disturb the universe? Refusing to sell chocolates in the annual Trinity school fund-raiser may not seem like a radical thing to do. But when Jerry challenges a secret school society called The Vigils, his defiant act turns into an all-out war. Now the only question is: Who will survive?

I liked 95% of this book. It was a good YA story, talking about bullying and conformity and real issues facing teens while not holding back punches. Characters were dishonest, crude, vulgar, and vulnerable. The topic was a little dated, but still holds true. Schools are often doing fundraising sales so the main focus of the book is still something children can relate to. Bullying will, unfortunately, probably never go away. I can see why this book has stood the test of time but wonder if a more modern take will soon replace it.

There were a lot of characters in this book and I had trouble keeping them straight many times (I had to look up a character list to refresh my memory before writing this section). All of them were very different, though, and I felt they represented a good spectrum of high school students. I liked that we got to hear from students not directly involved in the conflict so we’d see their opinions on Jerry and the sale, the Vigils, and the Brothers running the school. Most of the characters were pretty multidimensional as well, though very few were dynamic throughout the book.

At first, I had trouble remembering that Goober and Jerry were different people. It mostly stemmed from not realizing there were going to be so many narrators. Once I wrapped my mind around that, I liked Goober a lot as a character. He’s very quiet but he’s an independent thinker and he tries to live up to principles he holds. He as too scared to speak up about them, but he made some decisions that went along with what he believed. He was a good friend for Jerry, even if Jerry didn’t want to talk to him about what he was going through.

There was a little bit in each boy that was relatable. Parts of this book reminded me of my middle and high school experiences, in good ways and bad. We didn’t have a secret bullying group, but there were in-groups that you wanted to be a part of and other groups you wanted to avoid. There was peer pressure and teachers you didn’t think gave you a fair chance. It was more so the setting and tone that I related to than an individual character.

Cormier

Robert Cormier Image via Penguin Random House

Jerry’s narrations about his home life really stood out to me. The obvious depression in his home and how much Jerry wanted to help his father was heartbreaking. The way the two of them interacted and how walled off Jerry let himself become to ‘protect’ his father was really moving. I think teens do this a lot more than is talked about and I’m glad this book addressed it.

The ending of the book really upset me. I didn’t feel like there was any resolution. After the big showdown, nothing seemed to be changing at all. No one seemed to change and it felt like the entire cycle was about to repeat itself. I’m not saying that it needed to wrap up with a neat little bow, but I would have liked to see something more dynamic, something changed as a result. It seemed the characters were back at Square One and there could be a sequel about the next fundraising sale that would play out in the same way.

The audiobook was narrated by Frank Muller. I liked his inflections and tones, but I thought it was hard to tell his character’s voices apart and that contributed to my confusion early in the book. He did a good job of building tension with the characters and the big scenes and I liked his pacing, especially with Brother Leon’s scenes.

Bullying is a big problem for youth. It was something I experienced and witnessed in school and it’s likely my children will face it as well. This book addresses the different ways it can manifest and some of the things that can be done to combat it and to speak up. Goober and Obie have a lot of chances to do something and don’t take them. Brother Leon turns a blind eye when he has the power to stop things. No one did anything, so nothing was resolved. We have to empower people to speak up when there’s a problem and react to address it when it happens.

Writer’s Takeaway: Cormier’s depiction of high school seemed very real to me. The boys’ interest in girls was a nice touch. It wasn’t the focus of the book in any way, but a part of their lives that made it seem more realistic. The distrust of the teachers is another thing I remember from my school days that felt very real. The author read a note before the book talking about how he drew inspiration from his son when writing. I hope that his son was open and honest with him about school, which provided this rich detail. I believe it’s those touches that helped this book stand the test of time.

An enjoyable book with a slightly disappointing end. Four out of Five Stars.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Some of the links on this post may be affiliate links. Taking on a World of Words is a participant in affiliate programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to products. If you purchase a product or service through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but Sam will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated.

Related Posts:
The Chocolate War, Robert Cormier | Censorship and Young Adult Literature
The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier | The Consolation of Reading
The Chocolate Wary by Robert Cormier | Pages Unbound Reviews

WWW Wednesday, 6-October-2021

6 Oct

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

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The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community.


Running

Currently reading: I got through another chunk of The Girl with Ghost Eyes by M.H. Boroson. I’ve found Baby sleeps well when we to outside so I’ve taken to sitting on the porch and reading with her strapped to my chest. We are all fans so far.
I’ve barley read any of True History of The Kelly Gang by Peter Carey since it’s a physical book and it’s hard to hold while holding a baby. I’m sure I’ll get through it eventually, but it will be a bit of a process.
I had a fair amount of Google Play Store credit and I decided to use it to buy an audiobook. I went with The Running Man by Richard Bachman (Stephen King) since my library didn’t own a copy. I’ve just started but looking forward to this one!

81vZZPOsZ8LRecently finished: I flew through The Chocolate War by Robert Cormeir this past week. We took a lot of walks where I got to listen and Baby is on a little bit of a schedule now which allows me to cook so I have that time for books, too. I found this one a bit stereotypical and a bit over simplistic but still enjoyable. I’ll try to have a review out next week. I’ll give the book Three out of Five Stars.

Stranger

Reading next: I went in a slightly different direction than planned for my audiobook but I’ll still keep The Perfect Stranger by Megan Miranda on deck to listen to next. Audiobooks seem to be the only format I have time for now so I anticipate this one coming up next despite having just started a new audio.

Leave a comment with your link and comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Some of the links on this post may be affiliate links. Taking on a World of Words is a participant in affiliate programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to products. If you purchase a product or service through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but Sam will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated.

WWW Wednesday, 29-September-2021

29 Sep

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community.


Ghost

Currently reading: I made some steps forward with The Girl with Ghost Eyes by M.H. Boroson again. It’s a good way to pass time with a sleeping baby on my chest when I know they’re going to wake up again soon. I’m actually feeling like I can finish this one now.
I’m getting a few pages in at a time with True History of The Kelly Gang by Peter Carey. I don’t get a lot of time in the evening to enjoy it right now. Once my baby is asleep, it’s a mad dash to join them in dreamland. We never know how long it’s going to last!
I was able to start The Chocolate War by Robert Cormeir and make some good progress! I must have read this book before because a few scenes have been very familiar. Possibly I read it in middle school. I don’t remember how it ends at all so I’ll push forward.

Crows

Recently finished: I was able to wrap up The King of Crows (Diviners #4) by Libba Bray last week and even wrote my review which posted on Monday. I haven’t finished a series in a while so this one felt good. I had some issues with the pacing on this last book, but I still enjoyed it and felt like it wrapped up pretty well. I gave the book Four out of Five Stars. I’d recommend the series overall.

Stranger

Reading next: I’m going to guess I’ll fly through Cormier and will need a new audiobook sooner than anything. I went through my TBR and my library’s digital offerings and found a lot that were available that I wasn’t aware of before. Next up for me will be The Perfect Stranger by Megan Miranda. This is one my sister in law gave me for Christmas and I hadn’t had time to pick up yet. I’m looking forward to a thriller!

Leave a comment with your link and comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Some of the links on this post may be affiliate links. Taking on a World of Words is a participant in affiliate programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to products. If you purchase a product or service through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but Sam will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated.

WWW Wednesday, 22-September-2021

22 Sep

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community.


Crows

Currently reading: I’ve made so much progress on The King of Crows (Diviners #4) by Libba Bray! I’m optimistic in thinking I can finish this week. It would feel really good to finish a book, especially one that’s so long!
No progress with The Girl with Ghost Eyes by M.H. Boroson but I’m optimistic I will make some more here in the near future. It’s so easy to have an ebook on my phone to pick up when I have a few minutes. It’s got a fast paced plot that’s helping me move through it, too.
Small steps forward on True History of The Kelly Gang by Peter Carey but steps forward none the less. I’m enjoying the voice that Carey gives Ned and I’m looking forward to pushing forward in this one.

Recently finished: Nothing yet but I have a feeling there will be something here soon!

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Reading next: It seems I’ll be ready to start The Chocolate War by Robert Cormeir soon! I’m excited to get to a book so many of you say you’ve enjoyed before.

Leave a comment with your link and comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Some of the links on this post may be affiliate links. Taking on a World of Words is a participant in affiliate programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to products. If you purchase a product or service through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but Sam will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated.

WWW Wednesday, 15-September-2021

15 Sep

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

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The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community.


Kelly

Currently reading: I was able to start running again which means The King of Crows (Diviners #4) by Libba Bray is getting some play time! It feels great to get out, even if it’s just a mile for now. I decided I want to do a 5K on Thanksgiving so I’ll be keeping it up!
I found a chunk of time to read The Girl with Ghost Eyes by M.H. Boroson when the Baby was sleeping so I’m moving forward with this still. Slow going, but it’s taken a turn that I’m excited to explore.
I started making some good progress on True History of The Kelly Gang by Peter Carey again. I’m focusing on it now so I’m hoping this will continue to move forward. I’ve liked what I ready so far.

Recently finished: No surprise, nothing here.

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Reading next: I’ll get to The Chocolate War by Robert Cormeir someday…

Leave a comment with your link and comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Some of the links on this post may be affiliate links. Taking on a World of Words is a participant in affiliate programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to products. If you purchase a product or service through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but Sam will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated.

WWW Wednesday, 8-September-2021

8 Sep

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community.


Ghost

Currently reading: Right now, The King of Crows (Diviners #4) by Libba Bray is the only book I’m making much progress with. I try to get out for a 1-2 mile walk each day. Sometimes, my husband keeps the Baby and I’m able to listen which is a treat.
I think I finished a chapter of The Girl with Ghost Eyes by M.H. Boroson but not much more than that. It’s moving pretty fast so I’m curious how long this book would take if I really dedicated some time to it. I might have to do an experiment this week.
I’ve been slacking with True History of The Kelly Gang by Peter Carey. I have some early childhood books that I’m skimming and it’s taking time away from reading this one. I only grab enough time for a few pages before my eyes close so once I am dedicated to it, it may still be slow going.

Recently finished: Nothing again this week. I’m honestly not expecting anything for a while. Baby has really slowed me down!

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Reading next: I’ll keep The Chocolate War by Robert Cormeir on the backburner. I’m sure I’ll get to it eventually!

Leave a comment with your link and comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Some of the links on this post may be affiliate links. Taking on a World of Words is a participant in affiliate programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to products. If you purchase a product or service through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but Sam will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated.

WWW Wednesday, 1-September-2021

1 Sep

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community.


Crows

Currently reading: I keep pushing forward with The King of Crows (Diviners #4) by Libba Bray. Washing dishes and some nursing times get dedicated to this which had kept me moving pretty steadily. I should finish in the next month before the service is discontinued. I’m being optimistic.
I wasn’t able to grab any time for The Girl with Ghost Eyes by M.H. Boroson. I thought having a sleeping baby on my chest would be a good time for ebooks, but my arms have been too tired. We’ll see if I can find some more time next week.
I haven’t read much of True History of The Kelly Gang by Peter Carey. I used to read a lot in bed before sleeping but that’s changed a bit in the past month. Maybe I’ll get back to it someday, but it might be a while first.

Recently finished: Nothing new this week. I did manage to get my review of The Hangman’s Replacement by Taona D. Chivenko posted on Monday. As I said last week, this book wasn’t for me. I ended up giving it only One out of Five Stars.

81vZZPOsZ8LReading next: I’ll probably need an audiobook next. I think a short one will be welcomed and next up on my list is The Chocolate War by Robert Cormeir. It will be good to get some more YA into my rotation. It tends to be fast paced which is good for me right now.

Leave a comment with your link and comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Some of the links on this post may be affiliate links. Taking on a World of Words is a participant in affiliate programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to products. If you purchase a product or service through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but Sam will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated.