Book Review: Black Chuck by Regan McDonell

Orca Book Publishers
TBP April 3rd, 2018

Psycho. Sick. Dangerous. Real Dufresne’s reputation precedes him. When the mangled body of his best friend, Shaun, turns up in a field just east of town, tough-as-hell Real blames himself. But except for the nightmares, all Re remembers is beating the living crap out of Shaun the night of his death.

Shaun’s girlfriend, sixteen-year-old Evie Hawley, keeps her feelings locked up tight. But now she’s pregnant, and the father of her baby is dead. And when Real looks to her to atone for his sins, everything goes sideways. Fast.

The tighter Evie and Real get, the faster things seem to fall apart. And falling in love might just be the card that knocks the whole house down.- Goodreads

This book isn’t exactly what the summary makes it out to be, so I am going to breakdown some things first.


They were all toxic. Shaun was the king of toxic and all the circle of friends had no idea what to do once the toxic was gone. So you know what they did? Became more toxic in their interactions with each other and how they dealt with their own emotions. It was hard to read because the book starts off with the grief process but as you continue reading you realize for the most part this doesn’t have a whole bunch to do with Shaun then you think. What keeps the group together is Shaun’s death but it stopped being about Shaun’s friendship a long time ago.

I understand that everyone grieves differently and I understand first and foremost these are teenagers who do not know how to deal with their emotions.There is a thin line between not knowing what to do and just being reckless and that is Evie.

Evie and Real have next to no personality. The author tries to add to Real by making the religious aspect of his life the driving force to why he does what he does. But there isn’t enough meat to make it believable; there isn’t enough to make me believe that he truly believes what he is saying and that was disappointing.

Evie is confused and rightfully so. But she allows her confusion to force people into things and she makes some really dumb decision that changes so much.


It was forced. . . initially. The author was able to clean it up, where it felt real and the confusion of falling for the best friend of your dead boyfriend was strong. I appreciated the relationship more as the book went on but it was forced when it started up.

What happened to Shaun? 

You know what happens to Shaun. You know the moment when you see his body. However, his friends don’t know and that confuses me. They all speculate what happened when the answer is right in front of their face. I slightly understand Real and why he goes the direction he does but for everyone else, it doesn’t click what happened and there are so many assumptions, which leads to so many issues/confusions. I really did not like that about this book. The author choose to leave the characters in the dark as opposed to building what lead up to what happened and the “forbidden” relationship.

Overall, the book was way too long. It was obvious that is was being dragged out and there was a bit of redundancy.

2 Pickles