17 November 2016

Looking for Alaska by John Green

Published: 2006
# of Pages: 221
Source: Library Audiobook

Before. Miles “Pudge” Halter is done with his safe life at home. His whole life has been one big non-event, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave “the Great Perhaps” even more (Francois Rabelais, poet). He heads off to the sometimes crazy 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. She is an event unto herself. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart. Then. . . . After. Nothing is ever the same.

Documented as John Green's first novel, Looking for Alaska explores the complex and intricacies related to teenage relationships and what it's like to finally let yourself be free from previous expectations and burdens. This novel, as with a lot of John Green novels, contains a great amount of teenage angst, boys chasing the girl "they can't have," etc; however, for some reason I found this book to be quite different. Maybe it was because of the content within the book or the information tackled by our main characters. Regardless, I found this book enjoyable. Today's review is going to be slightly different as I am going to bullet  point my likes and dislikes of this novel. Each bullet point will contain a small explanation! I hope you enjoy. 

  • Miles' Obsession with Famous Last Words. I have heard of the concept before where one documents the last sayings of famous individuals. It added a unique flare to the feel of the novel. 
  • Boarding School Setting. I don't know what it is but I love a novel that has a good boarding school setting. 
  • Plot Twist. There is a major plot twist (don't worry I won't spoil it) that I saw coming; however, I loved the way it actually affected the outcome of the story. 
  • The character Miles or Pudge has this amazing epiphany that overturned a lot of typical character tropes you find in John Green novels. 
  • The Theme of Redemption. It resonates so loudly in this book. It teaches the reader that one must forgive and be forgiven 
  • Alaska's Recklessness. A lot of the drama and issues that are outlined in this book are caused because Alaska has a tendency to think about no one but herself and I found that to be both annoying and frustrating. 
  • The Theme of Idolizing Someone. Miles idolized Alaska way too much. She clearly has flaws. Lots of them and it was extremely annoying to watch him continuously put someone on a pedestal that clearly didn't deserve it. 
  • Manipulation. I think a lot of the manipulation occurred in the book because of Alaska. I didn't like that element of the book, but it did make sense as to why it was there.
Overall, the book kept me engaged and I really enjoyed what John Green did with this book. I can genuinely say that after reading all of his works this book is not my favorite, but it definitely is a lot better content wise than what I have experienced with others. 


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