Looking for Alaska by John Green
Publication Date: December 26, 2006
Genre: YA Contemporary
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. 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 is slowly becoming one of my favorites. He is funny, charming, smart, and quotable. That is probably the best way to describe this book (and the two other books of his I read).
Looking for Alaska revolves around Miles "Pudge" Halter as he goes to boarding school. There he starts living the high school life he always wanted. He gets friends, a girlfriend, and gets into a prank war with some other students. The basic plot is fine. It takes sometime to settle in, so the beginning felt a bit slow. But once it gets going, it is a fun, quick read. It does get a bit sad and dark after something happens. But it never completely loses it's wit. I do fell that, just as it started slow, it dragged on slightly to long. The middle hundred and fifty pages are probably the book at it's best. And as always, Green gives plenty of quotable lines to his characters. Green's strength, in my opinion, is his dialogue.
The characters were well written and distinct from each other. Miles is a guy who likes knowing famous people last words and has never been the most out going. Alaska was the cool popular girl that you will never figure out. The colonel was smart and sounds like a fun dude to hang out with. Lara was a cute exchange student. And Takumi became a better character as the book went on. They all had a role and they all grew in very real ways after things get darker. But I have one problem. They were hard to connect to. That might just be a personal problem, but it was a slight problem for me.
Looking for Alaska is a fun book that can get a bit dark and deep. Sometimes it felt like it was trying to be a bit deeper than it was but I could live with that. The book is distinctly John Green's. And if you like him as an author, then I see no reason why you can enjoy this. If you want a story about a teen trying to find himself while trying to work through some tough things, then read this book.