Review: Looking For Alaska by John Green

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Looking for Alaska by John Green
Genre: YA

Miles Halter is fascinated by famous last words and tired of his safe life at home. He leaves for boarding school to seek what the dying poet Francois Rabelais called the "Great Perhaps." Much awaits Miles at Culver Creek, including Alaska Young. Clever, funny, screwed-up, and dead sexy, Alaska will pull Miles into her labyrinth and catapult him into the Great Perhaps.

Looking for Alaska brilliantly chronicles the indelible impact one life can have on another. A stunning debut, it marks John Green's arrival as an important new voice in contemporary fiction.

Wow. I was hearing many great things about John Green's book around the book blogging community. I do tend to live under a rock (or books rather) and sometimes, things fly by, over, or around me and I don't realize what's "in" these days. I didn't know who he was and what the hype was all about. So I looked into it. It was highly recommended by a plethora of followers and "followees" that I read it asap so I did.

And I'm so glad I did. I really didn't know what I was getting into. As you can see from the summary, it's still a bit vague. All I knew was the main character was going on a life-changing journey to get his "Great Perhaps." That journey is basically what the book was all about.

In the beginning, it counted down in days to a "before the big event." As I read more and more, it became very obvious to me what that big event was going to be and it was confirmed when I got halfway through the book. The second half was the aftermath of what had happened to Miles or Pudge, as he is often called in the book (the MC) after he lives through the event.

This book encourages deep thoughts beyond the norm of the usual YA books these days. You may not think so while you are reading about it when it's prattling on about normal teens in normal teen situation with normal teen angst, but at the end of the book, you realize how much it made you think. Because these are not just normal teens, but intelligent, normal teens. The things they do, the things they say, the things they spout are all philosophically deep and interesting. It certainly made me want to go out and get some biographies and a book about "last words."

All I can say is that I'm glad I read it. It's a great book that I do recommend. It is YA, but don't forget that the "A" stands for "adult." This is not a kids book or a pre-teen book. It's a YOUNG ADULT book. I would recommend this to older teens who read YA even though there are controversial topics (sex, drugs, drinking, etc), but that's just me. It wasn't that long ago that I was in high school and all these were normal topics then and personally, I'm not really strict about things like this. To me, at least they're reading and maybe they can come away with something from the book. Being young doesn't mean that someone is intellectually incompetent to understand the book, but know that there are controversial content in it. Read it first before passing it on to a teen to determine yourself if it is appropriate.

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