Sunday, August 23, 2015

Looking for Alaska | by: John Green

Despite my deep love for the first John Green book I'd ever read, The Fault in Our Stars, it has taken me a few years before even getting my hands on a copy of Looking for Alaska. I tend to avoid situations in which tears are inevitable, and based on what I'd heard about Looking for Alaska, it sounded like tears would be inevitable.

This assumption was proven correct.

I'm sure most people - even the ones that haven't read it - have a general idea of what this book is about due to its massive success and critical acclaim. Pudge (his real name is Miles) narrates the story starting when he first leaves for boarding school. His life hadn't been particularly exciting before and he's hoping to change that in this new setting filled with new people. He joins a group of eccentric and adventurous friends, one of them being Alaska Young, who he may or may not be in love with. She's mysterious, moody, yet full of life, and she's about to change Pudge forever - some ways are intentional, others are not.

Pudge got way more than he asked for... He got what no one would ever ask for. But I loved reading about him and his group of friends. I loved Takumi, and Pudge and the Colonel's friendship was demonstrated so honestly and perfectly. It was so beautiful and sad to see how they'd need each other as the story progressed. But part of the reason they're all so great to read about is that John Green didn't try to make any of them 100% likeable. They're all flawed in some way or another - even aside from Alaska - and that made them more lifelike. Anyone who is going to connect with any of these characters will connect on a deep level because of it. Furthermore, I was just as confused about Alaska as the rest of the characters, and that made it all the more important in making me want to find out what exactly happened to her and what she was feeling.

And of course, John Green's writing is just flawless. Despite the wonderful characterization, the intriguing and easy-to-relate-to themes, his books wouldn't be as amazing as they are if he wasn't so damn great with words. There are a lot of beautiful passages in Looking for Alaska, but that last paragraph has to be one of my favorites in all of literature. Not only does everything he writes sound beautiful, but it's filled with these gut-wrenching emotions that readers can't help but feel along with the characters. I cried - granted, I only cried about 10% as much as I did when reading The Fault in Our Stars, but still. Green's words on forgiveness, loss, and guilt truly resonated with me, and even the quotes he chose to weave into the story were beautiful and perfectly matched... I think I picked an appropriate time in my life to read this, if I'm being honest.

But I doubt that anything I'm saying is any different than what everyone else has said about this one. The entire Internet told me that Looking for Alaska was brilliant, and it was. Once again, John Green got me right in the feels and left me thinking about his characters days after I finished the book. Damn that genius.

1 comment:

  1. Honestly, I'm not a big fan of John Green (I'm one of those people). However, he DOES have a way with language, and his YouTube channel is hilarious. Nevertheless, I do read reviews of all his books, as there is quite a market for them at the store where I work. I know there are a lot of people who love his writing.

    Regardless, this was a good review!