Teenage Miles Halter, who is obsessed with the last words of famous people, goes away to boarding school in Alabama and becomes even more obsessed with one of his classmates, troubled wild girl Alaska.

If you have read a lot of YA novels, I bet you can correctly predict exactly what happens just from that one-sentence description. Party game: comment right now, without reading the rest, with your prediction of what happens!

It's a well-written novel which I didn't like as much as it probably deserved, primarily because I have read so many YA novels with nearly identical plots, characters, and themes that I always knew exactly where the story was going. For a novel with this plot to really stand out to me it would either have to be extraordinary rather than merely good, or have a narrative voice which I fall in love with, or have other elements which I enjoy for their own sake, like psychic powers.

The totally unsurprising outcome! )
Teenage Miles Halter, who is obsessed with the last words of famous people, goes away to boarding school in Alabama and becomes even more obsessed with one of his classmates, troubled wild girl Alaska.

If you have read a lot of YA novels, I bet you can correctly predict exactly what happens just from that one-sentence description. Party game: comment right now, without reading the rest, with your prediction of what happens!

It's a well-written novel which I didn't like as much as it probably deserved, primarily because I have read so many YA novels with nearly identical plots, characters, and themes that I always knew exactly where the story was going. For a novel with this plot to really stand out to me it would either have to be extraordinary rather than merely good, or have a narrative voice which I fall in love with, or have other elements which I enjoy for their own sake, like psychic powers.

The totally unsurprising outcome! )
.

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