The Chocolate War
"The Chocolate War" by Robert Cormier is a realistic fiction book about one boy's struggles to fight for what is right in a school ruled by a group of sharp-witted, clever individuals. This group, known as the Vigils, play the largest role in the story. True, they're not exactly the people you want to be rooting for in the end, but they keep the story interesting. Because of this group, the story never turns out how you think it will or how you want it to. Which is why I would never recommend this book for anyone who is pre-judgmental. I would only recommend this book to someone who has quite a bit of common sense, and isn't totally clue less. I would not recommend this book to anyone who does not enjoy reading or is not a frequent reader or someone who has little to no common sense.
The title of this book is basically what the whole story is about. It is about a boy named Jerry Renault who "defies the system" by refusing to sell the chocolates. It originally started out as an "assignment" given to him by the Vigils. An assignment is a task given to a student to perform within the given time. Usually it is a task that involves risk and defying authority. Such as going crazy every time the teacher said the word environment. Or unscrewing all the desks so that they fall apart when touched. Jerry's assignment was to refuse to sell the chocolates for 10 weeks. But Jerry never sold the chocolates, even when his assignment was over, thus defying the Vigils. The Vigils got very mad about this, and this is where the chocolate war all started.
I, myself was satisfied with the ending of the book, even though it could've gone for another couple of chapters. I like the way that the book never quite ended the way you really wanted it to, but still kept you on your toes. This is one of the better written books I've read by Robert Cormier. I read "I am the cheese" over the summer, and I liked it but it went back and forth between the scenes too much and they didn't connect until the very end. In "the chocolate war", the scenes jump around a bit in the beginning, but they connect almost immediately and gets better from there on. The characters were also well described. You felt like you actually knew them by the way he personally tells the reader what each and every main character is thinking. Mr. Cormier is, in my opinion, a very intelligent man. Just by reading his books, you can get a sense of what he's thinking and what point he's trying to get across. I think the main point in this story was that the good guys don't always win, and instead of sugar coating everything, we should try and fix the major factors in the decline of the Western Civilization.