Looking for Alaska -- John Green
After two years in a public school, Miles Halter is entering a co-ed boarding school as a junior:
"God, we'll miss you," Mom said suddenly, stepping through the minefield of suitcases to get to the bed. I stood and hugged her. My dad walked over, too, and we formed a sort of huddle. It was too hot, and we were too sweaty, for the hug to last terribly long. I knew I ought to cry, but I'd lived with my parents for sixteen years, and a trial separation seemed overdue.
His first night there, he's dragged out of his room in his underwear, arms and legs duct-taped together, and thrown in a pond. He's told that it's a message to his roommate, Chip—otherwise know as the Colonel. (Who I loved, by the way).
And then there's Alaska. She's the kind of character that you love one minute and want to shake the next—which is the way the boys seem to feel about her. They all love her (and are all in love with her, really). At the same time, there's a piece of each of them that doesn't like her—or, at the very least, a part that doesn't want to love her.
It's a fantastic book—the characters are complex and can be confusing, but it just makes them seem more real. There's a little bit of everything in it—drinking, smoking, sex, comedy, tragedy. Miles is the one telling the story, so we're only getting his understanding of the events as they unfold. There's quite a bit of room for interpretation. It reminded me a bit of A Separate Peace.
Can someone else please read this? It's a YA novel, but I wonder if YAs will really like it as much as adults will. I loved it, and it's been getting super-duper reviews, but I'm really curious about what the teen response will be.