Book Review: A Separate Peace (Knowles)


Hey, let’s do that thing where I review a thing and stuff.

Have I read this before: No! I’ve been wanting to read it for a long time, but I’ve never been able to find a copy in a library. But we went to Fair’s Fair’s big book warehouse thingy a while back and I finally found a copy. And now I finally had time to read it!

Review: Oh my god this book is glorious. The writing is simple but impactful. The characters are very believable and the relationship between Gene and Phineas is so genuine and natural and…ugh. I love it. This is how I’ve always wanted to write close friendships in my stories.

And the “climax” (if you want to call it that) was very unexpected and thus very heart-punching. It’s a short little book but so very memorable. Love it.

Favorite part: There are a lot of little quotes and moments that I adore in this, but here are a few:

He (Phineas) was disgusted with that summer’s athletic program – a little tennis, some swimming, clumsy softball games, badminton. “Badminton!” he exploded the day it entered the schedule. He said nothing else, but the shocked, outraged, despairing note of anguish in the word said all the rest. “Badminton!”

Bombs in Central Europe were completely unreal to us here, not because we couldn’t imagine it…but because our place here was too fair for us to accept something like that. We spent that summer in complete selfishness, I’m happy to say. The people in the world who could be selfish in the summer of 1942 were a small band, and we took advantage of it.

One day he (Phineas) broke the school swimming record.

“A. Hopkins Parker?” Finny squinted up at the name. “I don’t remember any A. Hopkins Parker.”
“He graduated before we got here.”
“You mean that record has been up there the whole time we’ve been at Devon and nobody’s busted it yet?”

He said blurringly, “I have a feeling I can swim faster than A. Hopkins Parker.”

Rating: 8/10

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