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A Separate Peace

A Separate Peace

Book - 2003
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Set at a boys' boarding school in New England during the early years of World War II, A Separate Peace is a harrowing and luminous parable of the dark side of adolescence. Gene is a lonely, introverted intellectual. Phineas is a handsome, taunting, daredevil athlete. What happens between the two friends one summer, like the war itself, banishes the innocence of these boys and their world. A bestseller for more than thirty years, A Separate Peace is John Knowles's crowning achievement and an undisputed American classic
Publisher: New York, New York : Scribner, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, Inc., [2003]
Edition: First Scribner trade paperback edition
Copyright Date: 1987
ISBN: 9780743253970
Characteristics: 208 pages ; 22 cm


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#67 The Great American Read

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Dec 19, 2020

I love this book. The first things that struck me was the imagery, the beautiful description of the New England countryside, the beach, and a wealthy boarding school. I believe some people think it is slow, but really the story is told at the pace of real life so you can be truly immersed in the story. I like the point that even when you have done something a million times things can still go wrong, and I think the story is saying that when things go horribly wrong it makes us grow up. Allow yourself to get invested in the main character and sympathize with the others if you read this book, it will give you a good understanding of privilege and failure.

pacl_teens Sep 11, 2020

A Separate Peace by John Knowles is a beautifully written coming of age novel. This book follows the main character, Gene, and his experience living through the era of WWII. Gene attends a boarding school in New England and meets a boy named Phineas. They quickly become fast friends even though they are total opposites. They spend the whole summer and school year together. But will the differences eventually lead to a bigger problem?

This book is the type of life-changing book that people should read. I loved the plot and the characters so much I did not want the book to end. First, I loved each of the main characters. Gene is a shy, introverted, genius while Phineas is an outgoing, athletic, and good looking boy. These characters are total opposites but the author shows that even people that are completely different from each other can have strong friendships. It was interesting to see how both of these characters complemented and contrasted each other. Next, I loved that the author set this story during WWII but did not make it the whole book. He would mention it and some of the sub-plots would be related to it but it was not the whole story instead it focused mostly on the boys’ friendship. Lastly, I loved that this book was able to teach us something. It personally taught me to always try to make friends with people even though it may not seem like they would be a fit for you because you never know until you try it out.

Overall, this was an unforgettable realistic fiction novel. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves reading and enjoys a quick and easy read. -Eunchae, Grade 10

Jun 16, 2020

When Gene Forrestor revisits his old predatory school, he gets flashbacks from his years at Devon. The flashback takes place during the years of WW2 and focuses on the friendship of two teenage boys (Gene & Finny). They form a club together that focuses on jumping off a tall branch into a river, but when both best friends were supposed to jump off together, Finny falls and breaks his leg. The story picks up intensity leading to other students wondering what caused Finny’s fall. Was it just an accident? Was it Gene? I would definitely recommend this book if you like reading about WW2 because it definitely plays a big role on the setting of the story. Even though the main focus are Gene and Finny, there are some other characters that definitely make the story more interesting, such as Leper.

Apr 30, 2020

mom said it's a good book
Downloaded as PDF

Jan 02, 2020

I liked this book, though it would be considered “slow” by today’s standards. I liked how it had me thinking about what Gene did to Finny, and why, and how decisions made in a moment can have long-lasting and far-reaching consequences. I liked how it had me thinking about how we all grow up against a backdrop of time and current events, those in this book being 1942/1943 and World War II and those of today being the realities of mass media, social media and real-time everything, and all that this means. I found the language interesting. It is English, but it is early 1940s English, which sounds quaint to my 50+ year-old ears. I’m glad I read it.

Nov 18, 2019

About a prep school written by an attendee of such a school. About teenage jealousy, guilt, etc. I guess I am too old to feel what the author is trying to convey. Just when the novel picks up in the second half when Leper shows signs of what may be war stress syndrome, the novel seems to revert to its calmer self, which I really was not enjoying. Since the action took place during WWII, instead of going to college, the graduates looked "forward" to enlisting in one of the branches of the military.

Groszerita May 26, 2019

I read this novel in high school and I remember devouring it. I found it achingly beautiful.

Mar 21, 2019

Only because this book was recently reviewed did I get lucky enough to borrow and read it. Having been a less-than-perfect adolescent boy at one time, this book hit me hard. How can one not feel with Gene? How can one imagine a boy as pure as Finny? This is one Tulsa reviewer who parts company with the last two Tulsa comments.

Overrated. And the movie stinks on ice, the acting is pathetic, and the story is a bummer.

Jan 09, 2019

I guess a broken leg qualifies as a life altering tragedy to trust-fund kids.

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Aug 30, 2015

VV12 thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

May 12, 2014

MADKC4Ever thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

Feb 05, 2012

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