In this full-length novel from Chris Crutcher, his first since the best-selling Deadline, the ultimate bully and the ultimate good guy tangle during Period 8.
Paul "the Bomb" Baum tells the truth. No matter what. It was something he learned at Sunday School. But telling the truth can cause problems, and not minor ones. And as Paulie discovers, finding the truth can be even more problematic. Period 8 is supposed to be that one period in high school where the truth can shine, a safe haven. Only what Paulie and Hannah (his ex-girlfriend, unfortunately) and his other classmates don't know is that the ultimate bully, the ultimate liar, is in their midst.
Terrifying, thought-provoking, and original, this novel combines all the qualities of a great thriller with the controversy, ethics, and raw emotion of a classic Crutcher story. (goodreads.com)
~*~*~*~I was a big fan of this book just as I was with Sarah Byrnes. There were clear similarities between Logs in Period 8 and Lemry from Sarah Byrnes and the way they ran the classes in their perspective books.What I most appreciated about Period 8 was that we were able to gain multiple perspectives on the events that were unfolding around these kids. the relationship between Paulie and Hannah has ended, because the book is told in their person, we hear the thoughts, ideas, and regrets of both of the kids. Much of the story and P8 conversation centers around the actions and various disappearances of Mary, and her strange actions toward Paulie. The POV of the book is made even more interesting as we hear the thoughts and reactions of not only Paulie and Hannah, but also Logs (the teacher), Hannah, and another character named Arney.
Again I say, I loved this book, but there were a few aspects of it that bothered me a bit. Logs is a teacher, granted he's a teacher that these students feel comfortable telling secrets that they might not bring up to anyone else, but he is still and teacher. The students think nothing about showing up at his house in the middle of the night to talk about their problems. I had a hard time suspending my disbelief on that one. I do like that a police officer made a comment about it (like he thought it was strange and unusual as well), but I still had a hard time with wrapping my head around it.
Period 8 is a mystery, no one will deny that. However I found myself annoyed with just how mysterious Mary and Arney were acting. In one sentence Mary could switch from the innocent "Virgin Mary", as she's called, to this intense seductress. She claims she needs Paulie's help and that she wants to talk, but she leaves out a lot of information in an almost malicious manner that had not only Paulie, but me, going crazy. I just though it was a bit overkill.
With the exception of those minor irritations I'd say that I thought the book was great.