Tuesday, June 5, 2012
Book #26 - Looking for Alaska
“Have you really read all those books in your room?”
Alaska laughing- “Oh God no. I’ve maybe read a third of ‘em. But I’m going to read them all. I call it my Life’s Library. Every summer since I was little, I’ve gone to garage sales and bought all the books that looked interesting. So I always have something to read.” - John Green, Looking For Alaska
When I reached this part I loved it! I wish I had thought to do the same sooner, but just this year I've started ransacking garage sales and used book sales and finding treasures. I highly suggest it, you never know what you'll find. =)
BOOK #26: Looking for Alaska by John Green
No, not Alaska the state, Alaska a character. =) I overheard some friends on campus talking about John Green and this book in particular and became interested. Green is the author of Young Adult novels, and I was not sure that I wanted to read any of his work, but my friends are both English majors and readers like me, yet they seemed excited about Green's work, especially this, his debut novel. Through reading a few Young Adult novels lately, I have come to realize that basically what constitutes a Young Adult novel is that it is written about young people and their experiences; but why does that mean that adults can't read these books? I have become very interested in well-written Young Adult novels by great authors. I don't suggest limiting yourself to only these novels, whether you are a young or older reader, because expanding your reading horizons make you a better reader and thinker. However, I have recently discovered the merit of reading the works of wonderful writers like John Green. Just because he and other authors write about young people, it does not make these books any less relateable or interesting for older readers.
Looking for Alaska was truly an amazing book, for readers of any age. It is divided into two parts: "Before" and "After." Before and after what? You'll just have to read and find out! =) The novel takes place at Culver Creek school - a boarding school in Alabama. The novel's main character, Miles, starts at this school in his junior year, looking for "The Great Perhaps" that he has read about. What I love about Miles is that his hobby is looking up famous people's last words. It was interesting to hear what some political figures and other famous people of the past had said just before they died. He meets his roommate who calls himself "The Colonel" and who ironically nicknames skinny Miles "Pudge". The Colonel introduces Pudge to Alaska (that's her real name, not a nickname), a wild, beautiful young woman with whom Pudge becomes enamored. Together, the three troublemakers go through their junior year, filled with all the drama and memories of high school. However, they are different from your cliche, partying, rich boarding school kids. Alaska and the Colonel are there on scholarships, and they wage war against their snotty, rich classmates. The three friends are also quite intelligent. They're not super nerdy, but I found them hilarious and awesome because of the intellectual subjects they argue about.
While the "Before" half of the novel is an entertaining depiction of high school with all of its drama, it is the second half of the book that makes it so worth reading for adults. I wish I could say more than that but I guess you'll just have to read and find out why. =)
I look forward to reading more by John Green. He has a gift for writing that anyone of any age can appreciate. I loved hearing about last words, which Green says he has always been interested in. His characters were dynamic - not just flat, one-sided high school kids. Overall, I loved the book and can't believe that Green's first novel was so incredible. I can only imagine how well-written his others must be. I can't wait to find out!