So of course, after ALA's lists came out, I had to get a pile of books to read. I do feel like I fell behind on my YA reading since I've had my last little one, and now I think is the time to catch up.
I had heard so much about this title, and kept almost buying it on overstock.com, but I finally got it from the library on Friday and finished it off this morning.
Miles "Pudge" Halter is off to boarding school in Alabama. Once there he hooks up with scholarship student and roomie Chip (the Colonel) and his friend Alaska. On his first night, Pudge is a victim of the traditional hazing activity of being thrown in the lake...but with a twist. Kevin and his boys duct tape Pudge before throwing him in as a piece of revenge for a prior "ratting out". This is what Pudge is about to learn. Loyalty. No matter the cost.
Alaska quickly becomes the unattainable object of Pudge's affections. Alaska is wild, smart and utterly self destructive. She is destined to burn out rather than fade away.
There are pieces of the plot that I won't reveal here, as I hate when reviewers and other mere mortals ruin a book for me. But I do have to say that there is a mystery within that is pretty easily figured out. That said, I don't think it takes too much away from the story if the reader figures it out.
I do think that the characters are uber aware for teenagers...that same criticism that my beloved Dawson's Creek used to get. Specifically a frank discussion about fellatio involving the 2 participants and a demonstrator seems incredibly unrealistic. But, hey....this is fiction, right? And Printz worthy fiction at that!(fyi Printz winner 2005)
I do love the boarding school setting. I would have LOVED to have been sent to boarding school and been released from my hometown prior to turning 18. Mind you, from the fiction (The Chocolate War, Rebel Angels, Catcher in the Rye, and Capt. Hook I should be a bit scared, but hey, there's always Hogwarts!