Book Review: CRUNCH TIME

crunch time coverAuthor: Mariah Fredericks

Number of Pages: 336

Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers

Release Date: December 20, 2005

“Leo, Max, Jane, and Daisy don’t have much in common. But when they all blow off their SAT prep in favor of forming their own study group, they actually begin to bond — over why there’s so much competition over a stupid test. And what it really measures, anyway.

Then it’s revealed that someone has cheated on the SATs, and all eyes point to the study group. Everyone knows that Leo can’t stand to lose. That Max is convinced he’s a loser. That Jane couldn’t care less about the whole thing. And that if Daisy doesn’t clinch the right score, forget it — she can’t afford to go to college. The pressure is on for the cheater to come forward. Who will fess up?”


I first decided to read this book because it’s subject matter relates directly with what is currently going on in my life. I will be taking the SATs for the first time in the spring, so I thought that reading a book centered on this nerve-racking test would be really interesting. This was the first book I have read by Mariah Fredericks, and I was very impressed! She has an excellent writing style that perfectly suited the story and characters, and the four different perspectives present in the story were executed very well. I actually felt like four different teenagers wrote this book, rather than one woman. Each character had a distinct personality and mindset, which gave the story a lot more depth, dimension, and interest.

The story itself was awesome, for lack of a better word. I could completely relate with a lot of what Leo, Daisy, Max, and Jane complained about, like how the American college application process is practically insane. The plot moved at a perfect pace, and the mystery of who the cheater was added an enormous amount of suspense. My favorite thing about Crunch Time was the ending, when the identity of the cheater was finally revealed. I won’t say who it was, for obvious reasons, but I will say that I was completely shocked. Usually I’m pretty good at guessing what will happen next in books, but this time I was totally caught off guard. The best thing about it was that looking back, it actually made sense in the context of the novel. The solution wasn’t random, like I’ve experienced in other books I’ve read.

Overall, this was a great book that I have no complaints about. If you’re in the mood for a book filled with mystery, romance, teenage drama, and high school troubles, then I highly recommend this book!

My Rating: :0) :0) :0) :0) :0) 5 out of 5 smileys.

Would I recommend it to a friend?: Definitely.




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