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" (François Rabelais, poet) even more. 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.My Thoughts
After. Nothing is ever the same.
Miles "Pudge" Halter's entire life is separated into two sections, before and after. The before time equals his life before meeting Alaska Young and attending Culver Creek Boarding School. Before the terrifying and heartbreaking event that took Alaska from school and from Pudge's life. The after is coming to terms with life, death, and how normal teens deal with absolute loss. Pudge and his friends try to find meaning in something that may never have meaning.
I enjoyed Looking for Alaska but I think if I had read it before reading The Fault in Our Stars, I would have enjoyed it more. Dealing with a possible suicide is always heart wrenching and Green talks in no nonsense terms about life, death and what comes after. The teens are nowhere near perfect and their actions after Alaska's unfortunate death show how imperfect life and death truly is.
Perhaps my favorite part of the book is Pudge's fascination of famous people's last words. The juxtaposition of a dying person's last moments and their life here on Earth worked well for the story and gave extra meaning to Alaska's life and subsequent death. Well written and definitely a page turner, Looking for Alaska will appeal to readers of The Fault in Our Stars quite well and to teens as a general audience.
Date of Publication: December 28, 2006
# of pages: 256