Sunday, September 11, 2011

Looking for Alaska by John Green

Genre: social issues
Series and Book #: none
Pages: 221

Before. Miles “Pudge” Halter is done with his safe life at home. His whole existence has been one big nonevent, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave the “Great Perhaps” (Francois Rabelais, poet) even more. He heads off to the sometimes crazy, possibly unstable, and anything-but-boring world of Culver Creek Boarding School, and his life becomes the opposite of safe. Because down the hall is Alaska Young. The gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, self-destructive, screwed-up, and utterly fascinating Alaska Young, who is an event unto herself. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart.

After. Nothing is ever the same.


John Green's first novel (I think) was stellar. His poetic writing, his choice of words, and his metaphors all collaborated to form this amazing story of a plain boy falling in and out of love with a colorful girl.

Miles (but I shall call him Pudge) was like an average kid with a unique hobby: reading the biographies of famous persons and learning their last words. But his life is terribly boring and he chooses instead to go to Culver Creek, where he meets the Colonel, Takumi, Lara, and, of course, Alaska Young.

Alaska was in my opinion the main character of this novel. She was wild, uncertain, emotional, funny, helpful, and she was extremely loyal to all of her friends. But she had ghosts in her past and she was a trainwreck from time to time, and Pudge's feelings for her change so often, but in the end he really loved her. Pudge himself was a great character, and he went with the flow, but it wasn't until After that he really stood up for himself. Alaska's world changes him in so many ways, taking him from this uncaring kid into a guy who's discovered so much, that it's unbelievable he's still a teenager.

Overall, Looking for Alaska is one of those books that you can read again and again but still be surprised and still be enlightened. Sometimes it felt as if John took some things over the top, but most of the time I thought and thought and thought. I didn't know books could make you think this much. If you haven't read any John Green novels, read them. And start with this one. Because as crazy and wild as it is, it's beautiful all the same.

The Cover: Once I finished the novel, I got the symbolizm of the cover more than I had. I like this cover. Very fitting for the book.

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