Review for A Separate Peace by John Knowles!
Characters: ***** (5/5)
Plot: ***** (5/5)
Writing Quality: ***** (5/5)
Amazon Rating: **** (4/5)
A Separate Peace is set during World War II, at a boarding school for boys in New England. Gene is a lonely, introverted intellectual. Phineas is a handsome, taunting, daredevil athlete. Their friendship is tested during the summer that will change their lives forever. John Knowles explores the innocence of childhood and the stress the war put on boys at the cusp of manhood.
I had to read this for school in eighth grade. As we all know, most school books are b-o-r-i-n-g. At first, especially the first few pages of the book (it didn’t help that the language wasn’t exactly that modern), I was bored. But then… the book started (wink wink we all know what that means). I was immediately obsessed with the characters. I can relate to Gene (I’m a bit nerdy like him) and I fell in love with Phineas (who is called Finny--like come on!--and is absolutely amazing in every way). At first I thought the style of writing was a bit stiff, but eventually I hardly noticed anything strange about the writing because I was so absorbed in the story. The plot is very tangled, and emotionally tiring yet exciting, like being in a long line for a ride that you are VERY excited about yet it’s tiring waiting so long, yet it’s totally worth it because the actual ride is so exhilarating (damn that was an amazing analogy). I loved the novel so much that I recently reread it, and i felt exactly the same way. A Separate Peace can be described in one word: masterpiece.
If you want to read a classic book but can’t seem to get into them that much, this novel is perfectly mixed with enough classic and page-turner to pull you into Gene and Finny’s world . If you don’t want to read classic books, yet like beautifully complex characters that make your heart beat really fast, this is also the perfect story to read. Everyone will have a unique relationship with this story and the characters in it, but it will be worth it. My only advice if you are unsure if you will like the book is to immerse yourself in the character’s personalities and the little things. Like an adorable expression or a witty comment. I, personally, am intrigued with how teenage boys go through the teenage years, so this novel was very interesting. If you like Lord of the Flies by William Golding (read our review on it!), then you will also enjoy A Separate Peace.
Dare to try something new,