One of my students said he wasn't upset by the end of the novel because "it's just a book." I couldn't even respond to that. My other students laughed.
We had an interesting discussion about (SPOILER ALERT!) why Leslie had to die in the novel. They actually gave pretty well-thought answers about character and lessons learned, etc. In the end, I was like, "Well, sometimes people just die, don't they?"
On Wednesday, I have to remember to tell them that that's a flat answer that's unacceptable in papers, but I wanted them to stop thinking so darn much. The whole point of the book is that sometimes these kinds of tragedies happen, and they are unexpected and just kind of suck. (I mean, there is more and it goes deeper, but that's basically it.)
One student did say that she was mad at Jess for not inviting Leslie along to the musuem, and that she wanted him to somehow prevent Leslie's death, so I thought that was an interesting response.
We did talk about why the book is banned (religion, death), and they seemed interested in that. I don't know. The first couple of weeks are always kind of weird discussion-wise because the students are just getting used to sharing their opinions with the class, so I'm hoping we can start getting a little more interesting/involved as the semester goes. So far, I have a good group. Almost all of them are participating and they have smart things to say, and that's always a plus. We'll see how it goes.