Looking for Alaska

Looking for Alaska - This is the first John Green book I ever read. It is about Miles, who attends a quirky boarding school in Alabama. Instead of the cliched cliques that occur in high school, Miles finds his own band of fellow weirdos and achieves a sense of belonging. The set-up was brilliantly executed--it starts with a "before" section and counts down to the middle of the book, and then everything is "after." The big event that it counts down to shocks, and the other half of the novel involves Miles trying to find his place again. It's trademark John Green: witty dialogue, a powerful emotional trauma, and lovably intelligent characters.