So I've gone through a slump of books that were just sort of ok so now I've bounced back to two back to back books I've rated with 5 stars. Lets discuss this book a little.
First of all, I really only got this book or knew anything about it because I'd read [b:The Fault in Our Stars|11870085|The Fault in Our Stars|John Green|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1360206420s/11870085.jpg|16827462] earlier this year. The book was so powerful painful that I wanted to try out another John Green book, therefore this book was the first I came across.
This book follows from the perspective of a skinny Florida born loner named Miles and affectionately referred to as Pudge by his new friends at his prep school in mid-Alabama. Pudge meets a whole new group of people who he quickly grows entwined in through a series of pranks, friendships, adventured, and tragedy. The whole book is chaptered in terms of "## of days until" and "## of days after" as the book revolves around the coming and passing of a particular event.
The Setting. I had no idea this book took place in Alabama and as someone who's lived most of their life in such a state, I was particularly skeptical. I'm usually annoyed by southern depictions. For this, please refer to my review of [b:Beautiful Creatures|6304335|Beautiful Creatures (Caster Chronicles, #1)|Kami Garcia|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1327873282s/6304335.jpg|6488966]. One of my favorite lines came very early in the book during a description."You can say a lot of bad things about Alabama, but you can't say that Alabamaians as a people are unduly afraid of deep fryers."
After this line, I had no worries, John Green understands the south. His depictions of seasons and characterizations of side and background character further exemplify this.
The Characters. About halfway through this book, I found it hard to differentiate the main 'trio' in this story with that of Charlie, Sam, and Patrick from [b:The Perks of Being a Wallflower|22628|The Perks of Being a Wallflower|Stephen Chbosky|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1363910637s/22628.jpg|2236198]. I quickly abandoned this. In a way, Pudge is like Charlie. He's easily persuaded and prone to being a follower, though not nearly as emotionally problematic as Charlie was. The Colonel (Chip) is one of my favorite characters because his humor and drinking contrast starkly with his intelligence should be decide to actually put forth the effort. In a way he is much like Patrick in his adventurous spirit. Alaska rounds out the trio, and similar to Sam in Perks, she is an outspoken girl who has a boyfriend outside the circle as well as the attention of our main protagonist. I found that I was much more fond of Alaska than I typically am of many characters who serve to trap the men's attention. She has a lot more going for her than that.
I would find it difficult to talk about this book without telling too much of what happens. But I laughed and I cried and well isn't that how a book should make you feel? Like you give a damn about what happens to these people.