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Leverage Hardcover – February 17, 2011
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Top Customer Reviews
Gritty, intense and emotional, Leverage is a striking blend of friendship, bullying, and coming of age. With two stunningly well developed male protagonists and a setting that is easy for any reader to relate to and understand, there are some poignant and gutting truths presented throughout, both blatantly and subtly. Though upper YA in content and language, and holding some scenes that are hard to stomach, Leverage holds nothing back when it comes to realism and impact.
The Extended Version:
Danny is a sophomore late for puberty and small in size, but a beast in the gym and on the parallel bars. Used to being pushed around and bullied, Danny does what he can to survive the day to day in a school run by massive football jocks. He is quiet but friendly, despite his large sense of self perseverance even to the point of a fault. Danny is able to see other points of view, and generally understands the meaning of being on a team and loyalty. Despite this, however, Danny's weak and even hypocritical side is shown, fleshing him out into a multidimensional character. There are some scenes where he is admittedly someone to hate, but put in the setting Cohen has created and the build up to each of these events, his side is completely presented and understandable.
Kurt is misunderstood on so many levels, coming from a heartbreakingly rough past. Holding plenty of his own demons and baggage, he is the epitome of a gentle soul that has been broken a few times too many. He is huge in size, and certainly has hints of a darker side and a temper but as with Danny, Cohen has created the perfect blend of hints of danger and a side to dislike without letting it overrun the redeemable, respectable, and honorable sides of him.Read more ›
I grew up with Dan Gutman and Mike Lupica, but I think Leverage was probably my first venture into older teen sports fiction, and definitely my first one about football (which, might I add, is my all-time favorite spectator sport). I know by the blurb, it sounds like another Friday Night Lights, another head-butting, sweat-packed story about the strength that goes into football and the tough friendships formed along the way, but isn't--it definitely isn't. Leverage is much, much more: It's deeper, more tragic, and more grueling than any other sports novel I've read before, and it's an unexpectedly jarring, as well as unexpectedly hopeful story that everyone should be aware of.
There are so many different issues tackled in Leverage, including the nit 'n' grit of two very competitive varsity sports teams, the treacherous social structure of high school, and an unspeakable crime against innocence, that all throw outsider, Danny Meehan, into chaos. A determined gymnast and self-proclaimed "nobody," Danny knows better than to mess with Oregrove High's most powerful social circle: the football players. It hasn't been too long since I last cheered on my own high school football team in the stands, so I knew exactly the atmosphere, exactly the rush of the crowd, that Cohen portrays. I do feel his evocation is a bit exaggerated, because never have I met such mean high schoolers, nor such brutal teenagers, but then again, I'm no Danny Meehan; having never gone to school actually fearing for my safety, I've probably never noticed the great, disastrous social divide.Read more ›
Kelly at Stacked has been telling me to read this for months, but I can’t say why I put it off for so long. I’m actually made at myself for waiting so long to read Leverage. When I told my students about the Y.A. Cybils finalists, one of my Y.A. Lit students asked if he could read it for his project (sports in Y.A.). He reported back to me as he was reading it, and eventually another student in class went to our library to get himself a copy. Once my student finished Leverage, he came into class telling me all about it and preparing me for some of the events/scenes in the novel. After this interaction with him, I started it right away. Just like my student, I came into school and kept up our conversation, this time sharing my thoughts about the story. This kind of interaction/relationship with my students is why I love sharing books with them.
I’m happy one of my older students read Leverage first because it’s a mature read. I knew something bad was going to happen as the prank war escalated, but even after my student’s warning, I never expected it to get as bad as it did. Without spoiling the novel, one scene in particular is horrific and haunting. I had a feeling something like that might happen, but I hoped it wouldn’t. It’s a graphic scene, so if you’re working with younger students, you might want to read Leverage first before you hand it to one of them. Or at the very least, let these readers know that it’s a mature and sometimes graphic novel.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Put yourself in the mind of Kurt Brodsky. He is a gym rat football player, whose goal in life is to go to the NFL and show off how hard he can smash into somebody. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Cam Sanders
in my opinion the book Leverage written by Joshua C. Cohen was a great book for the young adult reader. Read morePublished 21 months ago by James Strobel
One of the best books I've ever read. I thought I couldn't get threw it at first but then it just came like getting hitting by a bus, and I was hooked. Read morePublished 24 months ago by Amazon Customer
One very violent scene. This was disturbing to several of my students. They did not finish the book. Ending seems a bit unrealistic for the violence that was portrayed.Published on June 25, 2014 by Elizabeth wagoner
The characters were fleshed out, and this book is all about taking the air out of your lungs. Cohen wants you to be torn, deciding upon everything there is to have an opinion on. Read morePublished on February 24, 2014 by DJ
Wow, I really loved this book.
The story is powerful, with many suspenseful and even scary plot points.
The characters ring authentic and true. Read more
This book has well described protagonists and has gotten accolades from various review sources but it is not a good model for a teen who is trying to make sense of a bully... Read morePublished on August 22, 2013 by 50 Pound Limit
AMAZING!!!! This is definitely one of my favorite books just amazing how the author wrote it two perspectives but still make it connect. Five stars is not enough imo.Published on August 17, 2013 by Bejon Sapp
It has been a long time since I last became this wrapped up in a novel.
There is a depth to this book that pulled me in. Read more