GAH, I want to be able to do half-stars here. This one is firmly in the 3 1/2 star range for me. I really enjoyed it, I cared about the characters, I cried, but I never quite slipped firmly into complete and utter love. But now I've almost talked myself into a 4-star rating. So yeah.
Miles Halter goes to a Florida boarding school, where he ends up with an odd group of friends, including the Colonel and the elusive Alaska Young. I accidentally read a bit in the middle–like a paragraph–and somehow ended up with a really weird conception of who the characters were going to be. So my predominant memory of this book is being surprised by the characters. I did really love the idea of the last words and I thought it was a graceful and sympathetic treatment of the subject matter. [Mar. 2011]