This poignant and, often times, harsh novel provides an insightful look at homophobia and religion in the South. The difficulty of the issues makes this book both heart-wrenching and compelling, but the characters are what really help the book stand out as exceptional. The plot was extremely compelling – highly character-driven, of course – and kept me interested at every turn, while the ending left me wanting even more.
– Claire, 9th grade
While I’m hesitant to add to the John Green craze, I must say: Looking for Alaska is an incredible book. The protagonist, Pudge, who has done – more or less – nothing exceptional thus far in his life begins to really start living with the help of his classmates at boarding school. The odd but fearless Colonel, the simple pauper Takumi, and – of course – the witty and self-destructive Alaska fill his life with pranks, love, and life swirling into one big mess – a mess worth living through. A contemporary Catcher in the Rye, this story is worth reading.
– Nick, 9th grade
Klages’s novel – a piece of historical fiction (my favorite genre) set in the early 1940’s in New Mexico – was thoroughly enjoyable due in large part to her strong female protagonist. Although it’s hard not to give away much by saying this, the Manhattan Project is a large factor in the plot.
– Grace, 9th grade