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The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

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The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

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Crunch Time offers SAT relief

Through the eyes of teenagers in the novel Crunch Time, the world is full of evil things. Teens might mention high school, the opposite sex, and a college adviser as possible candidates. As for the SATs?well, for some, the SATs are a new kind of evil.

In the four-voiced story, Crunch Time, author Mariah Fredericks explores the living nightmare, SATs. The book is written through the opinions and anecdotes of four juniors, Leo, Daisy, Max, and Jane, who each begin to prepare for the test.

The four start a study group at introverted Jane?s house after walking out of a school practice test session. As the test draws closer, the unlikely friends are pulled into silent competition, hoping that they themselves will be the one to get the perfect 2400.

Things run smoothly after the test. That is, until it is discovered that someone cheated on the SAT. Parents are furious, teachers are baffled, and students theorize who the culprit was. Even as Crunch Time investigates the horrors of the SATs, readers can form ideas of who the cheater is in their own mind.

Unfortunately, author Mariah Fredericks tries too hard to throw the reader off the path of the wrongdoer. While Crunch Time is an interesting book, it is painfully predictable. From page to page, it is obvious what is coming next, no matter how hard the author attempts to throw in mystery.

Crunch Time runs wild with possibilities and depicts characters with distinct personalities. The story creates a world of uncomfortable truth and truly painful situations with confrontation. To state that a reader may cheer for the heroes may be an overstatement, as one still gets hopeful that their favorite character gets what they want.

Despite the complete lack of mystery, Crunch Time is highly addictive, due to the relatable content within the pages. Every student will someday have to sit through the SATs, and some may feel the pressure to beat their classmates.

This story is a sort of comic relief for those who are going through the same things as the characters.

Crunch Time may be found at any local bookstore including Barnes and Noble and online at Prices vary but the December 2005 hard copy edition lists for $15.95 but can be found cheaper using discounts. For more information on books, go to Students can learn more about SATs by going online at

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