Saturday, June 8, 2013

Review: Looking for Alaska by John Green

Looking for Alaska
Title: Looking for Alaska 
Author: John Green 
Release Date: December 28, 2006
Source: Bought 

My Rating: fullfullfullfullhalf

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. (taken from
I adore John Green. He is an absolute genius. Sometimes I'll read a passage of his and just want to cry from the sheer brilliance. Green can make even the simplest of statements beautiful. I'm convinced he could make a scene in which a girl brushes her teeth sound profound and incredible. Reading his books is an experience unlike any other. 

While I didn't enjoy Looking for Alaska as much as I did The Fault in Our Stars, I was still blown away by many of the impressive subjects Green tackles. From suicidal teenagers to the deepest fears of human mortality, the novel delves into a world of hurt and insecurity. It's a difficult read, but it's also one that will stick with you long after you turn the last page. 

The characters are not the kind of people I'd usually be drawn to. Crude and sometimes cruel, they aren't exactly likable. However, their faults seem to reflect many of the flaws within every human. You cannot help but relate to each of them in small ways. Even when I was annoyed with Alaska or Pudge, I found myself rooting for their happiness. 

If you are looking for swoon-worthy romance or a lighthearted read, stay far, far away from Looking for Alaska. This is a dark, heartbreaking novel and not for the fainthearted reader. The inappropriate language, smoking, drinking, sex, and other "unacceptable" subject matter will probably drive many readers away. I'd definitely recommend this one to readers over the age of sixteen. 

Overall, I would highly recommend this novel to my fellow readers. However, my recommendation comes with a warning label: this isn't a book you can just read and forget. It's one that will keep you contemplating deep issues long after you finish. So if you decide to give it a shot, be prepared for the dark story and the deep thoughts Green's words will provoke. 

“Thomas Edison's last words were 'It's very beautiful over there'. I don't know where there is, but I believe it's somewhere, and I hope it's beautiful.”