Book Talk #4 Crush

Book Talk #4 Crush… Kev’s awkward journey into Tina’s heart


My novel this week was Crush by Gary Paulsen. I am a Paulsen fan and after this book was recommended to me, I knew I just had to read it on these snowy days! I read it in a matter of hours (even when The Voice was on and that’s a feat for me to read while my fav show is on!). After reading, I instantly thought “This book would be perfect for reluctant middle school readers!” It was funny, easy grammar, and only 135 pages. Paulsen used language that was like a middle school boy and kept it interesting throughout the book.

The book starts with the main character, Kevin, who is so utterly in clumsy love with Tina and he gets all fumbled up when he tries to talk to her. He actually runs into stuff and falls flat on his back whenever she tries talking to him. So he decides to do some recon on love and relationships.

He sets up a romantic dinner for his parents with his little neighbor boy he babysits, Markie, and they hide in the closet to observe. In the meantime though, t he cat jumps in the spaghetti and knocks the candle over and lights the table cloth and sets the smoke alarm off. His parents find out he made this mess and he gets into trouble. But after they get it all cleaned up they have a bowl of cereal together and talk about their day, like it is comfortable, no matter the situation.


Then Kevin decides that isn’t enough information about dating so he sets up his brother’s hockey team with the girls’ ice skating team and they all hit it off and start dating. That was a great source of information for him. He is getting closer to understanding, but still needs more observations in order to get up the nerve to talk to Tina.

So when worse comes to worst, he decides to ask his sister about her relationship with her boyfriend. This causes a big uproar and she invites her friends over to “teach” Kev how to act toward the ladies. It’s not what he expected….kind of depressing for him, but he doesn’t let that keep him down. He tries again and sets up his friends and even volunteers for school projects to watch how opposite sexes interact.

In the meantime, he overlooks the fact that Tina is trying to get his attention this whole time! Kev thinks she is getting swept off her feet by the new guy, Cash, who is handsome and smooth with the ladies. So after all of his experiments, do you think Kevin will have enough courage to ask Tina out or is he too late and lost out to the Handsome Cash? You will have to read Crash by Gary Paulsen to find out! You only need a few hours of undivided attention to zoom through this quick read! 


4 thoughts on “Book Talk #4 Crush

  1. I am a huge Gary Paulsen fan! He’s amazing! I have not read this book though, but Kevin sounds really charming in his own way. The idea of the cat in the spaghetti made me laugh. (I once cooked a turkey for my host family while I was in France. We all decided to have a before dinner drink and the cat climbed inside the turkey and had himself a brief meal before he was discovered.) I’m adding this book to my summer reading list because while I’m sure Kevin gets Tina, I’ll have to read it to be sure. Thanks for recommending it.

  2. I enjoyed your blog about Crush. I too am a Gary Paulson fan. I teach sixth grade and I have been looking for new books to introduce to my students. I will definately check this one out!

  3. What a cute lighthearted story! I love it! Both parents still alive and together! You found one! I mentioned in an earlier blog that I was on a mission to find a good YA book that had a happy family and did not have death and tragedy as its theme. The topic is still relevant to the students and not dark. Great recommendation.

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