Sunday, July 21, 2013

Review: Looking for Alaska - John Green

Looking for Alaska by John Green

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" (Fran├žois 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.


I have become some what obsessed with John Green's work, especially since I think I read his best work first (The Fault in our Stars). Looking for Alaska alike his other novels which I have read, explores reality, the real situations in life that cause grief and troubles and excitement. For example, the narrative is told by a teenage boy called Miles, who is nicknamed Pudge for most of the novel, who experiences what it is like to be uprooted into a new school, meeting new people, living with a flat mate and discovering the secrets of these people's lives, falling for someone, and most importantly dealing with the loss of a close one.

Each character that Mile's meets is very distinctive, which I think enhances this feeling of the real world, think about it... the people you know, you remember them through their individual quirks and habits which seemed unusual until you got used to them. For example, his roommate that they call the Colonel smuggles alcohol (vodka) into college by mixing it with milk, he's short and stocky yet affectionate for his mother, who lives in a trailer which he grew up in. Further, Alaska has a strong character, her room is piled high with books, she smokes to die, she's mysterious and cunning, she likes prank people and she's deeply haunted by her past. These characters add something extra to the story, bringing it to life with vibrance. 

Together along with other friends, this group of friends goes through the good and bad together. Green has a fantastic ability to write poetically and beautifully haunting about almost anything, and this really shows through this story which is more about meaning than action. Yet it doesn't lack in action, it is lively with teenage mischiefs. You'll laugh and cry and cringe, and feel a little confused with this book, questioning what has really taken place. 

I'd recommend this to any readers over 14 (due to some scenes in the book, I don't reckon this is for younger children) as it is a fantastic read like all of his work is. If you haven't read a John Green yet, they should defiantly be on your to be read list.  

5/5 of course! what did you expect?

Here is some artwork based on the book I found on the internet... 

“The only way out of the labyrinth of suffering is to forgive.” 

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