Friday, May 30, 2014

Black Chalk Review

Black Chalk

Author: Christopher J. Yates
Average Rating: 3.52/5.0
Personal Rating: 5.0/5.0
Amount of Pages: 352
Finished Reading: May

According to Goodreads:

One game. Six students. Five survivors.

It was only ever meant to be a game.

A game of consequences, of silly forfeits, childish dares. A game to be played by six best friends in their first year at Oxford University. But then the game changed: the stakes grew higher and the dares more personal, more humiliating, finally evolving into a vicious struggle with unpredictable and tragic results.

Now, fourteen years later, the remaining players must meet again for the final round.

My opinion:

I received an electronic copy of this book to review, but in no way does that have an impact on my views and opinion. 

First things first, we need to take a moment for the cover...moment over. The main reason I chose this novel was because of the cover. Now I know what you're all thinking, "Meredith, don't judge a book by its cover!" *wags finger in my direction* To my defense, this time it was different! I fell in love with the cover, because it seemed so mysterious, dark, and twisted. I will admit I was confused about the tower, but it gets explained towards the end of the novel. In other words, don't strain something trying to figure out the meaning of the tower. 

Also, I wouldn't recommend this novel for the younger people out there. This novel is definitely made for adults due to its obscenities and the density of the information that is given. 

One aspect of the novel I highly enjoyed was how the chapters would alternate between the past and the present day. Most of the story takes place in the past, and in the past is where you meet all the characters. You also learn about how the Game came to be, and how it ended. The chapters written in the present portrayed how the events during the Game psychologically affected one of the main instigators for the Game. 

Three characters' development throughout the novel stuck out to me. Jolyon was known by everybody on campus, and was the clear leader of the pack. However, you come to realize and take notice of how his mind deteriorates due to resulting events caused by the Game. He just wants to be free from the whole thing. Chad is a shy, book smart, and socially awkward boy who befriends Jolyon on the first day on campus. As the game progresses his mind can only think of the Game. He only cares about what is next for the Game, and anything else that isn't the Game doesn't matter. He becomes stronger, and refuses to be walked all over. Dee is another friend who takes part in the Game. In the beginning stages of the story we learn that after she writes 500 poems she wants to commit suicide. After her college days, she does a 360 with herself. She stops wearing the black clothing and dyes her hair blond. She plays a major role in the present day chapters of the book, especially towards the end of the novel. I'm not her number one fan for decisions she made in the chapters that took place in the present. I was and still am questioning if the decisions that she made were decided correctly. 

My heart was heavy with boredom, light and happy with the action, shattered when unexpected events and truths came out, and finally patched with hope for the futures of the remaining characters. I have never had a novel affect me psychologically as much as this one did. I felt like I was right there with the characters experiencing the same distress. I highly recommend this novel to everyone, especially from college and up, who are in search for a book that will tear you apart, confuse you, and then gather up the pieces to soldier on to the end with the characters. 

No comments:

Post a Comment