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Publisher's Summary

Part Friday Night Lights by H. G. Bissinger, part Outsiders by S. E. Hinton, this debut young adult novel tells the incredibly powerful story of bullying and how - taken to the extreme - it can wreak havoc on the lives of teenagers.

Kurt is a talented but emotionally damaged football player. Danny is a rising star on the gymnastics team, an outsider in a school where the football team rules. But the two form an unlikely friendship, and when one member of the gym team is viciously assaulted by the quarterback and his cronies, Kurt rises to his defense and challenges the entrenched stereotypes of high-school sports. 

Reminiscent of the early work of Markus Zusak, this is that rare book that authentically captures the voices, fierce loyalties, and harsh justice of teenage boys.

©2011 Joshua C. Cohen (P)2011 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Sports novels don't hit much harder than this.” (Booklist)

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What listeners say about Leverage

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Disturbing, but worth the read

In one way I wish I had never listen to this book. It is extremely disturbing. On the other hand I do feel that it is a book worth listening to. This is about bullying. It is about jocks. It is about being vulnerable. I know only too well what this is like. Fortunately, the physical abuse that is portrayed here never happened to me is all I can say. Maybe I???m not the person to review this book, but I guess I want people to be aware that this is not a book for children or even young adults, I feel.

2 people found this helpful

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hard hitting truth about todays bullying

Would you consider the audio edition of Leverage to be better than the print version?

Did not read print version

Who was your favorite character and why?

Kurt. For some one to overcome brutal upbringing as he has. Experience the terror and abuse that he did that has left him with a near disability to be strong enough to not only bow to peer pressure in order to keep from becoming the target again but also stand up for those who cant protect themselves is beyond brave. To risk everything to do whats right and buck the system is so near impossible these days. But he did. Regardless of consequence.

What does Kirby Heyborne and Paul Michael Garcia bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

That trimmer of emotion of fear. That true frustration when kirk cant
get his words out. The pure off their rocker rage the 3 captions have when the have lost it and are in that space in time of nothing but rage. They bring that to life like your right there with them.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I could hardly break away. I did not get to Finnish it in one sitting. But did in a 24 hr period!

1 person found this helpful

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Brutal but realistic look at abuse and bullying

TW: child abuse, sexual assault, bullying, violence

This was not an easy book to listen to, and there were moments when I had to stop and take a breather, but I also had trouble putting it down. With all the recent scandals coming to light about years and years of sexual abuse and other forms of abuse happening on sports teams (not just football), this was pretty timely, and I found myself feeling disgusted, sad, and so, so angry with what was happening to these kids. This book also ends up addressing steroid use, although not as directly, and it is clear from the ending that it will be addressed.

This was on a list of recommended books for my student's high school abnormal psychology book, and I decided to read the book along with her so we could have discussions and figure out what the various characters were dealing with. Thus, I ended up reading this story from a psychological perspective. The story was brilliantly narrated in alternating points of view by Danny, a small gymnast who was used to keeping a low profile in order to try escaping bullying, and Kurt, an orphan and a survivor of childhood abuse and the sexual assault of his best friend. He suffers from a stutter, so he has dealt with years of people treating him as if he is stupid, but also trying to keep himself protected as he loses himself in the weight room.

We really had a chance to get into the heads of the two boys as they struggled with their fears and just tried to be left alone to mind their own business, but the three captains of the football team don't allow that to happen.

I could go on and on about this book, but I think it would be better to just read the book (if the TW's aren't triggers for you). The writing is incredible and while Danny and Kurt are the main protagonists, you also get to know many of the other supporting characters, including Tina, who was my favorite secondary character. The two narrators, Kirby Heyborne and Richard Powers were perfect for this story. This is not an easy book to read or listen to, but it's very well done and worth reading.

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stressful but riveting

Not for the faint of heart, this story is disturbing but so riveting that you can't stop listening. It's a stressful read but worth it.

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Wow, Wow Wow

I never write reviews but this is one book that deserves and must get one to highlight what
Some of our kids go through. This was by far the hardest book I have ever listened to,
It took me on such a roller coaster of emotions that I was sure I could get through it! I recommend anyone of any age to listen!
John

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Just breathtaking full of suspense

It’s an amazing book that touches in a lot of sensitive topics that will leave you shaking in thrill .

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I couldn't put it down

What made the experience of listening to Leverage the most enjoyable?

I really enjoyed the way the story was told from different views. It kept me interested and I really got to know the main characters

Have you listened to any of Kirby Heyborne and Paul Michael Garcia ’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I haven't listened to any Paul Michael Garcia, but I have heard Kirby Heyborne do The Long Walk. Also a wonderful read. That is how I found this one I searched for more of his narration.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

I don't want to give anything away but it was the last chapter.

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