This book was not at all what I thought it was about.  I thought it was a book about WWII and while it sort of was, WWII was more of a background, or an extra, than the actual setting of the book.  The book is similar to Catcher in the Rye in the way it's an off-centered humorous look at coming of age.  I hadn't expected this.  There were moments when I smiled to myself, and I almost wish I hadn't guessed the ending, or at least, one aspect of the ending. 

          Whenever I read books about younger characters, I struggle with the way the characters talk.  I've never met a 16 year old boy who talks like any of the characters in the book.  Another comparison to 'Catcher' – I have met boys that talk like Holden.  Again, this made it hard for me to find a rhythm in the book because I kept stumbling over the dialogue.  "Did he really just say that?"  It was hard for me to think about a 16 year old boy talking the way Gene talks.  It was easy for me to see Finny's personality, but again, not the way he talked, either.

          I wasn't expecting Finny's breakdown.  I thought by the way he pushed aside Gene's earlier attempt to confess that he not only knew the truth, but would defend Gene if others suspected because he felt in some way that he deserved it or just that Gene was that good a friend to him that he would protect him.  I didn't think he honestly hadn't come to terms with it.  I did, however, expect Phineas to die.  As soon as he "hit the bank with a weird thud" (or whatever the line says; I already returned the book), I knew he was a dead man.  I also knew he couldn't die right then because half of Gene's character would die, too.

          I need more time to think about this book…