Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Looking For Alaska by John Green

Looking For Alaska by John Green
Release Date: March 2005
Publisher: Dutton
Pages: 221
Buy The Book: Amazon

"Miles Halter is fascinated by famous last words - and tired of his safe, boring and rather lonely life at home. He leaves for boarding school filled with cautious optimism, to seek what the dying poet Francois Rabelais called the "Great Perhaps." Much awaits Miles at Culver Creek, including Alaska Young. Clever, funny, screwed-up, and dead sexy, Alaska will pull Miles into her labyrinth and catapult him into the Great Perhaps. Looking for Alaska brilliantly chronicles the indelible impact one life can have on another."

Looking For Alaska is a book that truly touched me. I stumbled upon it by accident and I'm so glad that I did. Separated into two sections, "Before" and "After", the book chronicles the months leading up to and immediately after a horrific event in the lives of Miles Halter, Alaska Young and their group of well-crafted, multi-faceted friends. There isn't much in the way of plot, but the inner monologue of Miles (or Pudge as he is christened at Culver Creek) is poignant and more than enough to carry the book.

What I admired most about this novel is the way that John Green created Alaska. She's not perfect - in fact, she's infuriating at times. She squanders her potential, she's a little messed up, she doesn't have any idea what she wants, but Pudge is well aware of this and doesn't make her out to be anything she's not. We see Alaska through his eyes and, though she's flawed, we, as readers, can all empathise with his unyielding feelings for her.

The book tails off a little towards the end of the second section, but I finished it with a bittersweet feeling of satisfaction. Looking For Alaska is a heartrending novel, with themes which every teen (and most adults) can identify with. 

1 comment:

Jennifer A said...

I've been dying to read this one! I don't know why, but my local bookstore just hasn't had any in stock lately.

Have you seen John Green and his brother on Youtube? The Vlogbrothers? They are pure awesome.

Jennifer of Little Shelf