some people are careless, and in an adrenaline-fueled all-caps teen reviewing frenzy, will inadvertently give a major spoiler for this book.
avoid these people, even though ordinarily, they are pretty cool.
this is a really well-written teen fiction book. i mean, it won the printz award, i'm not discovering america here. i think i wanted to emphasize that it definitely reads like a book intended for a teen audience. and i think that me as a teen would have numbered this among my very favorite books. however, as an adult, there are a lot of years between me and the characters in this book, and i have read a lot more books than the average teen, so i am mostly jaded and ruined, but imagine me discovering this at say, 13...
1) a group of smart kids going to boarding school who read all the time and take pleasure in learning and have hundreds of books and quote marquez and rabelais. karen would have loved to have had friends like these
2) emotionally unstable female lead who is mysterious and changeable who is not afraid of her sexuality but doesn't use it all the time to get what she wants who says tough and dramatic things like "y'all smoke to enjoy it. i smoke to die" (thirteen year old karen loves this line, grown up karen rolls her eyes)
3) drinking and smoking and fornicating that do not lead to bad grades and ruined lives. there are other causes for those things...
4) blow job tips. 'nuff said
5) brief crash course in eastern religions that would have been so exotic to small town karen.
and the structure would have been novel to young karen: countdown leading up to the event then countdown leading away from it. very cool.
so i see why the kids like it. and i liked it, too, but i think it would have been more important and surprising and enchanting to me as a kid - all the first love and first loss type stuff, all the unwritten behavioral codes between the teens and the authority figures, and the slow unravel of a mystery. very cool.
but i have a question. and it is a spoiltastic question, so i am going to put up a barrier of images to protect anyone who has not read it, and wants to. these will be subliminal suggestions that are so subtle you won't even know what is happening...dude, seriously - why didn't jake go to alaska's funeral?? there is no reason for him not to have and there is absolutely no explanation given. it makes it easier for the author, yeah, to not have to write a confrontation scene between jake and pudge, and to have the mystery unravel more slowly, but it makes zero sense for someone so in love with his girl to not go to her funeral. seriously. dumb. i will accept any private messages about this, to keep the thread spoiler-free, but until john green tells me why, i am going to say "dumb"(less)