Miles Halter (Pudge)

A 16-year-old high-school junior who is the main character and narrator of the novel. Miles is a new student at Culver Creek Preparatory School. He is good student who is fascinated by the last words of famous people. He is at Culver Creek in search of a “Great Perhaps”—a more meaningful life.

Chip Martin (The Colonel)

Miles’s roommate and best friend at Culver Creek. Chip comes from a poor family and attends the exclusive private school on scholarship. He is a charismatic outsider who often finds himself in conflict with the wealthier students, or Weekday Warriors, at the school. He and Alaska are known for their elaborate pranks.

Alaska Young

Miles’s friend and love interest. Alaska is smart, bold, adventurous, and beautiful, but she can also be moody and unpredictable. She is a complicated character who is haunted by her mother’s death, which she witnessed as a child and feels responsible for. She has a college-aged boyfriend named Jake. Her death is the event around which the story revolves.

Takumi Hikohito

A member of the friend group that includes Miles, Chip, and Alaska. He is a loyal friend who is good at keeping secrets, but he sometimes feels left out by Chip and Miles. Takumi also has romantic feelings for Alaska.

Mr. Starnes (The Eagle)

The eagle-eyed dean of Culver Creek who is responsible for enforcing rules at the boarding school. The Eagle is strict, but he seems to know and respect the students at the school.

Dr. Hyde (The Old Man)

The elderly and frail teacher of religious studies at Culver Creek. Dr. Hyde pushes Miles to think deeply about the meaning of life.

Lara Buterskaya

A classmate at Culver Creek whom Alaska chooses to be Miles’s girlfriend. Lara takes part in some pranks with the friend group and she and Miles date very briefly.

Kevin Richman

One of the wealthy Weekday Warriors at Culver Creek. Kevin believes Chip got his friends expelled and is involved in an ongoing prank war against Chip and Alaska.

Longwell Chase

A Weekday Warrior and junior class president.


Alaska’s boyfriend. He attends Vanderbilt University, is in a band, and looks like a catalog model.


A Weekday Warrior who is also Chip’s girlfriend. They don’t get along very well.

Hank Walston

The weed-loving basketball star of Culver Creek.


A Weekday Warrior and Alaska’s former roommate who was expelled after someone ratted on her and her boyfriend for breaking several rules.


A Former Culver Creek student and Weekday Warrior who was expelled along with his girlfriend Marya.

Mrs. Halter

Miles’s mother.

Mr. Halter

Miles’s father and alumnus of Culver Creek.

Dolores Martin

Chip’s mother, who works at Waffle House and lives in a trailer.

Madame O’Malley

A French teacher at Culver Creek.

Stan (Maxx)

A male stripper hired by Chip to pretend to be an expert on teenage sexuality for Speaker Day.

Mr. Young

Alaska’s father, who Alaska believes blames her for her mother’s death.