Saturday, June 23, 2012

The Big Crunch by Pete Hautman

The Big Crunch

Author: Pete Hautman

Publisher: Scholastic Press

4 out of 5 stars

In the beginning, you would have never thought that something like this could have happened.  Not with her, and not with anyone else either.  She was just the new girl, but somehow you just seemed to keep bumping into her.  Now you two are dating, and she’s everything you could have ever wanted.  Things just feel right with her.  Fast-forward… and now things aren’t so perfect.  She’s moving away, and you’re trying your best to make this work, but there are a lot of miles between you and her.  You really are going the distance on this one.  Somehow, you stay together.  It was a bumpy road, but things are back to how they should be.  But will it last?  After all you’ve been through together, what will tomorrow bring?  Despite your uncertainty, none of that matters, because you could live in this moment forever.  Let’s hope it lasts…

June doesn’t see how things can get anyworse.  It’s her first day at Wellstone High, and already it’s her worst.  Hopefully she won’t be here for long though.  With her father’s job constantly moving them across the country, June will soon be at another high school, in another boring town, filled with more unfamiliar faces.  It is only a matter of time, so no point trying too hard to make any friends.  She won’t even keep in touch with most of them once she’s gone.  June is very good at not getting too attached, and that’s fine by her.

Wes believes that everyone is connected, as if by a string.  Everyone’s connections with each other make up one giant spider web that they are all caught in.  So when Wes first sees June, his only connection to her is Aqua Girl.  That’s the first thing that he thinks of when he sees her, and he doesn’t make much of it.  But slowly the string that connects Wes and June becomes shorter, bringing the two of them closer together.  But as time goes on, Wes and June realize that despite how perfect everything feels when they’re together, it won’t always last.  When June is forced to move, their relationship is jeopardized, and it may be the end for Wes and June.  Will the two of them be able to stick together, or will the string connecting them fray and break?  All is revealed in Pete Hautman’s genuine telling of two teen’s unlikely love story in, The Big Crunch!

The Big Crunch isn’t your typical love story.  Wes and June don’t stare into each other’s eyes the first time they meet and know that they are soul mates.  Instead, the two of them don’t connect with each other until their realities intersect.  Wes and June’s story reminds me of two straight lines that intersect at one point, and then continue on, without looking back.  But in that one moment in which the two lines intersect they feel complete.  Both Wes and June’s personalities are captured completely and their personalities are so distinct.  I suggest this book for teens fourteen and up, looking for a not so typical romance, with some humor tossed in.

In my mind The Big Crunch is a teen version of the movie 500 Days of Summer starring Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.  From the cover that depicts June and Wes throughout the four seasons with a park bench in the background, to the tag line in the book jacket, “This is not that kind of love story.”  The Big Crunch gave off a feel of the movie, which I loved.  Both The Big Crunch and 500 Days of Summer told the story of two people’s relationship together, and though it may not have lasted, or it wasn’t always perfect, it was the memories that they shared together and how they helped each other grow that made the story memorable.  By the end of the book Wes and June weren’t sure where things would go or how things would turn out, but that was okay, because the fact that they just got the chance to know each other was all that mattered.  They gave each other memories that they would never forget.
Despite being a couple, Wes and June were their own people throughout the entire book.  I never felt that the two of them meshed into one person, and I never thought of them as Wune or Jes.  They were always their own person, with distinct personalities.  June was the funny, sarcastic girl who was normally guarded with her feelings.  Wes was the caring, thoughtful boy who didn’t always know quite to say.  Their time together changed both of them and helped them grow as people, but in the end they were always true to themselves.  Getting to see their push and pull with each other to try and make things work, yet still do what was best for each of them made their stories solely their  own.

Pete Hautman did a fantastic job of capturing the crazy, turbulent waters that make up a teen’s crazy crushes driven by their hormones.  Wes, June, and all of the other characters felt like kids I could find in my own high school.  Funny, sarcastic, searching, but when all was said and done just trying to enjoy their youth while they could.  Not knowing what’s coming next is a scary thought, but Wes and June had each other to try and figure that out.  They didn’t really have to worry too much about their future when the moment they were in was all they needed.

The Big Crunch is not your typical romance book.  It is much more than that.  Two teens who can be funny, moody, caring, insightful, and in love had their own story to tell.  Join Wes and June as they try to figure out their future without even knowing what to expect in the present in, The Big Crunch!

-This is T.B. with Another Book Back on the Shelf…
Until Next Time, Keep Reading!

My signed copy of The Big Crunch from the L.A. Time's Festival of Books!  Thank you so much Pete Hautman!

Check out Pete Hautman's website at


  1. I love seeing all the signed books you have! Great review. At first I wasn't sure if I'd like it because it seemed like just a love story but the comparison to 500 Days of Summer intrigued me!

  2. Hey again!
    500 Days of Summer you say?? I really liked that movie--I especially LOVED the soundtrack--but I really wished the ending would've been a little different :( I guess I'm weird like that. I always like a HEA no matter what, but I did like the movie. And June and Wes sound like interesting characters. Might have to check this one out!
    Great review,
    Ninja Girl


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