Monday, December 2, 2013
"Looking for Alaska" by John Green
Format: Paperback; 221 pages
Publication: December 28, 2006 by Speak
Cover Rating: 5/5 Stars
From Goodreads: Before. Miles "Pudge" Halter's whole existence has been one big nonevent, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave the "Great Perhaps" (François Rabelais, poet) even more. Then 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
My Thoughts: I think it's safe to say, if you're reading a John Green novel it's going to be amazing. Looking for Alaska is my second JG read and now I don't know which one I love more- this one or The Fault in Our Stars. They're both exceedingly different stories, but they still have that coming of age theme going on.
For me, this story was just so, so fantastic. I live in the city it takes place in, and at first that made me weary to read it. Being southern, I know there are a A LOT of misconceptions about Alabama, and it's a real pet peeve of mine. For instance, we're all suppose to have that southern drawl and be a bunch of rednecks. The first thing that stuck out to me abut this book, is that John Green didn't really mention ANY southern accents... except for one that I can remember. Which I loved, because WE DON'T ALL HAVE THAT SOUTHERN HICK DRAWL. Sorry to burst that bubble, but it's true. Also, the city that I live in is pretty rad, and has a lot going on that has nothing to do with sister lovin' or country concerts lol.
Sorry, back to the book. I found LFA to be so insanely relateable, it was almost scary. Even though I am a girl, I found myself laughing along with Pudge's journey through his young adolescent years, saying "Oh yeah, I remember how that was such a big deal" or "Yep. I felt that way too." The older I get, the more I realize that the passion I carried as a teenager is fading away from me. I just don't get those huge overwhelming feelings about certain things anymore. Which is sad, but something I can be grateful for at the same time (I mean, honestly being a teenager is the best/worst). However, when I read a novel like this one, it all comes flooding back. It makes me sad and nostalgic and brings that "being alive and reckless" feeling back. Looking for Alaska, though, really hit home for me. It was the first time I had ever read a book where I related more to the guy than I did the girl. In school, I felt like the dorky, socially challenged Pudge, and my best-friend Jerm was more like Alaska- eccentric, philosophical trouble-maker, slightly relying too much on booze and cigarettes to get by, with an excellent taste in books and music. It was a hard book for me to read. Especially because the ending was so very similar to my own friendship.
But that is what makes John Green such an amazing author. He tugs at our heartstrings and makes us remember what it was like (or if you are a teenager, he makes you feel like you're not alone in all the crap that's going on in your world). If this book had fallen flat, I wouldn't have been up crying in the middle night, taking a stroll down memory lane. I loved, loved, this book, even though it was painful for me to read. Because if a story can make me cry, well then, it's worth it.