Book Review: Restart

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January is a month for new resolutions and fresh starts, so it’s the perfect time to read Restart by Gordon Korman.

This book asks an intriguing “what if.” What if a middle school bully fell on his head and couldn’t remember anything from before the accident? Would he necessarily still be the same person, or could he change? And if he wanted to be different, could he change the way other people see him?

Chase Ambrose is a popular 8th grader, the captain and star of the football team. Or so everyone tells him. He doesn’t even remember his own name.

As he navigates both family dynamics and the middle school social dynamics, he starts to piece together clues about who he was before the accident. Through other people’s reactions, he learns that he was a hero to some but hated or feared by many others. He was the kind of kid who was sentenced to community service at a nursing home. He always ate lunch with the football team, and he never set foot in the school’s video club. He doesn’t feel like the old Chase any longer, the Chase that both old friends and old enemies expect him to be. But it’s hard to figure out how to be a new Chase.

This story is told through multiple points of view, so we see Chase’s journey through his eyes and the eyes of some of his classmates.

Larrabee read this book first and recommended it to me. I’m glad he did.

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