The Chocolate Wars

Robert Cormier

Do I dare disturb the universe?

Screen Shot 2019-07-10 at 3.31.15 PMThe Chocolate War can be found on Time’s 100 Best YA List, somehow I am still trucking through it. Let’s get right to it, should you read The Chocolate War? No. When I finished The Chocolate War, I sat for a moment to collect my thoughts. While the ending was unexpected, I haven’t thought much about The Chocolate War since finishing it.

The Chocolate War is a strange story about an all-boys private school. There are cliques, fights, fundraising, and a thrilling ending. If you like Lord of the Flies, you might find a similar vibe in The Chocolate War.

Jerry Renault refuses to sell chocolate in the annual school fundraiser. No one refuses to sell chocolates. Jerry sticks to his guns and doesn’t sell one bar of chocolate. He is doing other radical things at Trinity. Jerry challenges The Vigils, the school’s secret society.

As the story unfolds the corruption of the school becomes apparent. A school leader is aware of the Vigils, their actions, and their intentions. The Vigils organize an event to punish Jerry. Thankfully school officials are present, but did they act fast enough?

The Chocolate War will not blow you away. The story is unpleasant as you begin to understand what is happening. The male cast and outlandish boyhood drama make The Chocolate War a somewhat appealing read for teens.

As I was running out of pages in my hand, I was kept thinking, “No, no, this isn’t going to happen.” The end, wow. I believe it is the pentacle of the evil, corruption, and cruelty that is high school and more so private school. The Chocolate War reminded me of Lord of the Flies, both problematic journeys.

Overall, The Chocolate War is not a bad book but compared to more contemporary reads, it is slow. The Chocolate War was published in 1974, it is an older read. If you decide to read The Chocolate War, I know you will leave with a greater appreciation for YA and the older titles that have paved the way to what we have today. If you are interested in classic YA, you most defiantly have to read The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton.

Have you read The Chocolate War? Is it on your TBR?

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