katekintailbc: (Book review)
[personal profile] katekintailbc
The Wave
The Wave
by Todd Strasser


I read a copy of this I bought at a library book sale, because I remember my BookCrossing friend, ResQgeek, speaking well of it at a book festival. After finishing it, I discovered a copy of this book has been on my BookCrossing bookcase UNJOURNALED for years now! Oh no! I'm glad to have finally read it so I can pass it on.

This is a novelization of a teleplay based on a short story based on a real event. I'm sure somewhere in there details got excluded or overdramatized. But I certainly don't have any trouble believing some version of this did in fact take place in a high school (knowing so well the way students behave and feel). To watch these confused and vulnerable students get swept up into a group proporting to make them better and do good things for others and then to have that snowball into something less than healthy certainly makes it easier to understand how the Hitler Youth gained such popularity. Society gets dangerous when people stop questioning; I'm just glad the teacher was able to stop it before this social experiment got even further out of control, in this case.

I felt the writing was a little simplistic and didn't really get to the core of emotions for each of the characters--teacher or students. I would also have liked more points of view, such as that of Robert Billings (who changed so dramatically and had others' opinions about him change as well) or of the students who get victimized by members of The Wave, not because the story needed it but because it would be nice to get into their heads as well.

I did enjoy the book, and it gave me a lot to think about.

Pop Sugar Reading Challenge: A book you got from a used book sale

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