June 2002
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Book report on "A Separate Peace"
By Lisa Diamant, Tec-Voc High School, Winnipeg, MB

I remember walking down the halls in grade 7 and thinking to myself, I am never going to make it to grade 12. A lot of us probably felt the same way. It seems like just yesterday I had my grade 6 graduation and was nervous entering junior high. I look back on my time spent in high school wondering could there have been something that could have made my time spent in high school more memorable? I think I have life long memories of high school I will carry throughout my life.

People often say to me live today, not the day before today or not tomorrow. That means don't dwell on the past, focus on today because who knows where you would be tomorrow. That saying is relevant in society. People often let small things come between them and others. Sometimes especially in high school people let small things come between them and their friends. It could be as little as what the other person is wearing to being jealous. I remember letting jealousy come between me and my friends and letting it affect my schooling.

You are probably wondering what connection this has with the novel and where I am coming from in terms of describing what the novel is about. There is one major theme we as readers are displayed with and that is jealousy and taking advantage of others. The main idea of the novel is that it takes place during World War 2 at a private school where you sleep. The 2 main characters are Gene and Finny. They are two best friends. Finny is the outcast and the troublemaker and Gene is the smart one. Gene tends to get jealous of Finny because he has more friends and is what we would call a class clown. The novel is emotional but funny in some parts.

This novel takes place at a school called Denver High School. It was a depressing period of history because it was during World War 2. The main idea of the book is, that Gene goes back for his high school reunion as a much older and mature guy. He finds it completely different but there is one thing he goes to check out as soon as he enters the school. In the novel Finny falls out of a tree because Gene pushes him out. Finny denies this and says he fell out without anyone pushing him out. That tree had lots of symbolism in the novel and was so important to Gene to check out.

The ending of the novel was sad. Finny ends up falling down the stairs and breaks both his legs. They rush him to the hospital but during surgery something happens and he ends up dying. That's why it was sad for Gene to go to his reunion knowing what happened in high school to his best friend.

The author was trying to send an important message to the readers. He was trying to say live day by day, don't dwell on the past and don't dwell on the future, think about the present. Who knows what life could bring tomorrow.

I would dedicate this to a student in grade 12 who is going to enter the real world. This book shows you that what you put in is what you will get out of life.

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