By: Jenny Hubbard
At an all-male boarding school 16 year old Alex Stromm witnesses the fatal drowning of a close friend.
Four boys jumped from the rock that day but only three resurfaced in the water below. Was it the vodka that cost Thomas his life or was it something else, something he knew perhaps, something they all knew but only Thomas had the guts to say?
These thoughts haunt Alex’s junior year as he tries to make sense of his friend’s early death.
With the help of a gifted teacher Alex faces his demons through self-reflective writing. But when the boys begin to suspect Ms Dovecraft knows too much about Thomas’s death they hatch a plan to protect themselves at all cost.
Paper Covers Rock reads like a modern version of John Knowles A Separate Peace. Hubbard’s characters are magnificently drawn; the motivations for their actions are never questionable, though they are at times hard to stomach. Fans of John Green’s Looking for Alaska are likely to enjoy Paper Covers Rock as it is set in boarding school, centers around an improbable romance, and is written with the same blend of insight and lyric that make Green’s book stand out to realistic fiction enthusiasts.