This highly decorated book is fast-paced and intelligently written. Readers will relate to Miles' typical teen feelings of wanting to belong, falling in love, and loyalty to his friends. Parents and teachers are all good role models. Although these characters are not perfect (they sneak out of their boarding school, smoke, drink, fool around, and one character experiences oral sex.), they are human and lovable with good morals. Much is made about their academic smarts. When a main character dies, some interesting themes are examined: grief, coping, and exploring the world's religions to find answers about life and death.