Title: Looking for Alaska
Author: John Green
Genre: Young –Adult Fiction
Published: March 2005
Now when we think of John Green we immediately think, oh yeah, duh, the author of that incredibly touching and beautiful story The Fault in our Stars. The one that soon became a best seller and was even made into a movie featuring my queen Shailene Woodley? Sound familiar? Yes of course it does. If not then, chances are you’ve been living under a rock on another planet far far away, in which case, I’m sorry for you.
Anyways, turns out that The Fault in our Stars was Green’s 6th book and it became a hit because it was so real and a story that had never really been written about before. I can vouch for the tear inducing beauty of it 100%. Now hold on a second and let’s travel back 7 years when John Green published his first book ever; Looking for Alaska. Now I happened upon this book after I had read The Fault in our Stars and thought hey, why not see what else this writer has come up with. And I went in thinking, okay this was his first book, it probably wasn’t that great and couldn’t possibly beat his recent release. Oh boy was I wrong!! I have no idea why they haven’t made a movie of this book yet! Hollywood wake up! It absolutely blew me away and got me so emotional that I laughed, cried and screamed out loud with all the characters! Oh the feels could not be stopped! Basically, here’s how it goes: (Don’t worry, no spoilers up ahead!)
Before: Miles “Pudge” Halter is done with his more-than usually boring life in Florida and knows that there must be more to life than what he has seen so far. His obsession with famous last words has him ‘seeking a Great Perhaps’ (last words of the poet ,François Rabelais), So he heads out to the crazy, upturned and utterly not boring life that is Culver Creek Boarding School where his whole life is undeniably turned upside down. There he meets Chip “The Colonel” who promises to show him the true ways of life and just down the hall from room 43 is the beautiful, vivacious, emotional, poetry loving, self-destructive Alaska Young who steals his heart and promises to send him flying into the Great Perhaps.
After: Life will never be the same again
I can assure you that I am aware that that blurb does not do the story justice but I can’t write any more because if I do then you won’t experience the goose bumps that I did while reading. I’m not even kidding right now!
Right from the beginning, John Green creates this boy who all of us I guess can feel pity for or even maybe relate to, but then he dives into the world of Boarding school and the independence that comes with it. Teenagers will be teenagers and Green is not afraid to explore that and go all the way! He explores how the kids make mistakes (and by that I mean drink till they have 20 toes and smoke till they can’t breathe) despite the fact that they are very well aware that it’s wrong. They play some unbelievable pranks, (take notes kids…hahaha just kidding…sort of) which were so well described that I was actually laughing along with Pudge and the Colonel.
However, that’s only the very surface of what the book has to offer. One of the classes that they attend is Religion class. Here they discuss and learn about the beliefs and stories that accompany various religions, the main three that Green discusses in the book are Christianity, Buddhism and the Muslim faith. (I’d like to just make a note that it actually sounds like a really interesting class to have. I mean instead of focusing on the religion that everyone seems to follow in a country, we should be taught about different beliefs which, in my opinion, would actually help us understand the type of world we live in and the people that surround us.) I’ve actually learned some intellectually enlightening things with this book that have actually made me think a lot about…life basically.
I’ve noticed something about John Green’s writing. He’s very philosophical, and his books are actually meant for teens so it’s refreshing that he wants to share this philosophical way of thinking with us, the teens.
One of the main quotes in Looking for Alaska is “How will I ever get out of this labyrinth”. What he’s referring to, and discusses in the book is the labyrinth that is suffering. The suffering that comes hand in hand with the journey that we make through the maze of life. I love how he takes his time to explain what the characters discover about the world and about the suffering of the world and what’s really important for the human race to remember in order for us to ever truly be able to live our lives.
I would recommend this book to anyone! It doesn’t only have an amazing plot and twists but has a philosophical side that is wonderful to read! It’s emotional, wonderfully written and it really did take my breath away.
If you haven’t read this book already I suggest you put off your device and go get yourself a copy immediately!
Over and out,