“The Big Crunch” by Pete Hautman

Leila Roy has the most awesome name for a book blog ever, Bookshelves of Doom. But her reviews are the opposite of scary. She describes them as a personal response to what she reads, noting "highbrow intellectual critiques do not live here." Instead, she's turned her long-running blog into a forum for the young adult books she adores, and her writing is fresh, first-person and informal.

Unsurprisingly, she's got a steady following and the love goes both ways. Today's featured review, which Leila posted at Kirkus, is of a book originally recommended by her readers. She asked for YA romance suggestions and says The Big Crunch got the most frequent mentions.

Big Crunch, The
by Pete Hautman

Leila focuses on what's different about this young adult romance about two commitment-shy teens drawn to each other. High school junior Wes dubs June "Fish Girl" when he first meets her but he soon finds he's fascinated by her. Roy cites the author's raw honesty and non-hokiness when dealing with teen love.


It’s a quiet love story that delivers an emotional kick in the gut. It’s unpredictable and unusual, true and real. The Big Crunch acknowledges the ephemeral nature of first love, but celebrates the depth of feeling that accompanies it. It’s introspective without navel-gazing, and it’s tightly written, sharply detailed, with a crisp, clear focus. It’s painful without being angsty, and hopeful without being saccharine or ever sacrificing realism.

Read the full review.