Author: John Green | Page Count: 221
Miles has grown fed up with his Florida high school where he has no friends and, with the help of his habit of memorizing famous people's last words, convinces his parents to let him transfer to a more prestigious boarding school. Despite failing to reinvent his antisocial personality, he gains some new friends and is introduced to and immediately falls in love with Alaska; a beautiful and buxom girl who is everything he is not. She is fearless and impulsive and prone to rash behavior and mood swings. Through her and his new friends he just may manage to break out of his shell and learn more about himself."Not fuck, like in those movies. Not even have sex. Just sleep together, in the most innocent sense of the phrase. But I lacked the courage, and she had a boyfriend and I was gawky and she was gorgeous and I was hopelessly boring and she was endlessly fascinating. So I walked back to my room and collapsed on the bottom bunk, thinking that if people were rain, I was drizzle and she was a hurricane."
The writing is solid with some likeable and interesting characters though I found Miles partly insufferable and his devotion to Alaska felt rushed. Maybe I just read the book too fast, but the time it takes place in is too short to inspire the lifelong love Miles says his infatuation has become. Or maybe that is partly the point as despite his intellectual aptitude he is still an inexperienced teenager in his existential crises, adolescent adventures and hilarious sexual encounters. The "controversial" sexual content isn't, but it is good at conveying what it was meant to and anyone who objects to it must not realize that teenagers somewhere are having sexy times right now. The introspective thoughts and themes still make this flawed book a great read that is worth dissecting and digesting.
4 Homicidal Swans out of 5