At first, or the "before" part, I saw nothing special with this book. Just another awkward boy falling in love with a girl that he couldn't have. Strangely enough, I was never bored, which is really rare with my small attention span. It kept at a constant pace that kept me going. But nothing really grabbed me to give me the reaction everyone was raving about. That totally changed when I got to the "after" part.
The writing in this book was really beautiful, but also witty and funny at the same time. I enjoyed reading Miles', or Pudge's, inner thoughts because they were full of snarly remarks and hilarious one-liners.
Oh. My. God. You guys, these characters. They all have perfectly depicted personalities. You got a feeling of who they were right away and you saw how they changed along the way. All of them were so unique and I haven't read anything like them. I liked the twist on the classic "nerd" group. All of these people are extremely smart, but you don't associate someone with a perfect GPA with smuggling in booze and sneaking into the woods to smoke. My favorite would have to be Takumi, even though he was only a minor character. I needed more Takumi!
The only bad thing about this book was probably the sudden change between the "before" and "after" parts. I mean, I get that it's supposed to be sudden, judging by what happens, but I felt like it was so jammed packed with emotion that it was a little smothering. Also, the ending left me asking "Well, what now?". It just left a little unfinished.
I hate to say anything bad about this, but there it is. Overall, this is definitely going on my favorite shelf. Warning, don't read this book with make up on. My own copy now has smudged eyeliner stains all over the edges of the pages. Keep a box of tissues at your side through the second half, and good luck.
How do you get out of the labyrinth of suffering?