Overrated and Disappointing
The plot starts out normally like any other teenager book, with Jerry, the main character going through sexual frustration (what is that?), and mood swings that come with puberty. Then we meet the school bullies: Archie, who does it psychologically, Emlie Janza, who does it physically, and Brother Leon, a teacher. Surely the kids must have told their pare- wait. That never happens. Really? What is it with kids in books these days and not telling their parents their problems? OK, fine. Then Jerry decides to rebel against Archie and Brother Leon by not selling chocolates. Why? Because he wants to, like every single rebellious kid in the world. This part just made me wish he'd get pulverized for being an idiot. At first, all the other kids start to join him too. But, eventually, the kids leave him. Then he get prank calls, violent beatings, taunts and vandalism and he still never tells anybody. Then in the final boxing match, Jerry gets brutally beaten, yet his "friend" does nothing to help him. He could've avoided that by telling ANYBODY to call of the fight. Oh yeah, and they pretty much throw away everything they had building up to this point, not in an anticlimax, but a vague and pointless ending like "The Giver".
Probably the worst part about the book is that it's not even realistic. For starters, how ignorant must the teachers be to not disband the Vigils even though they dismantled an entire freaking classroom, wasted an entire day, and disrupted class hours? And what kind of school allows their teachers to git students on the head? And why do these people not seem to have a life outside of the Vigils or school? This book was meant to be realistic, but it isn't (not unless you still live in the 20th Century).
Ultimately, it's just a teenage angsty book with a bad ending. It's very implausible, littered with cliches, and the characters are the same cop-outs that you see in any other teenager book and just as unrealistic as ever. There's no positive messages OR role models (is being a rebellious brat a good thing?) and little educational value. I'm probably just being really cynical, but I think this book is a waste of an afternoon.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing