Book Review || Looking For Alaska by John Green
Title: Looking For Alaska
Author: John Green
Genre: Young Adult/Contemporary
Synopsis: Before. Miles “Pudge” Halter is done with his safe life at home. His whole life has been one big non-event, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave “the Great Perhaps” even more (Francois Rabelais, poet). He heads off to the sometimes crazy 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. She is an event unto herself. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart. Then. . . .
After. Nothing is ever the same.
After. Nothing is ever the same.
Rating: (3.5/5) Stars
'"Suffering," she said. "Doing wrong and having wrong things happen to you. That's the problem. Bolivar was talking about the pain, not about the living or dying. How do you get out of the labyrinth of suffering?"'
There are many beautiful words expressed in this book, and I could almost quote everything I have read in the first part. John Green never fails to delight me with his writing style and interesting topics, however his characters seem to lack an element throughout this book. They aren't realistic.
Miles "Pudge" Halter is the most boring character someone could ever write a story about. He simply exists to tell the story of Alaska, the girl he fell in love with from the first glance. Pudge never made a decision for himself and went along with whatever the rest of the group wanted to do or does. The only treat that made him appear "different" is that he memorised people's last words.
I expected to love this book, 1. because it was written by John Green and 2. I loved TFIOS. But as I was reading it, already halfway into the book, I couldn't find the plot. What is the story about? Is it about Alaska? I still don't know much about her after I finished reading the book. It is definitely not about Pudge or his friends, and nothing basically happened before 'After'.
Alaska is the only character that made me continue on reading this book. She is funny, smart and real. Sometimes you could get annoyed by her actions, but it is mainly part of her personality and what she went through. She is the main character of the story so why not tell the story from her perspective, or at least give the book an interesting perspective. I honestly believe that the book could have worked perfectly fine if Alaska told the story, and then John Green might actually have a larger playground to play with the idea of suffering and escaping the labyrinth.
'She smiled with all the delight of a kid on Christmas morning and said, "Y'all smoke to enjoy it. I smoke to die."'
When I read this I had to pause. I stopped reading just to think for a moment. What if Alaska actually smokes to die?
So at this point questions seem to pop from now and then. I read and continued on reading to discover more about Alaska, and I really felt that there was some truth behind that "joke". Maybe I take things a bit more literally, or maybe Alaska is actually suicidal. We will never know as John Green leaves it open to us.
Overall Looking For Alaska is a well written book that I think in my opinion deserves better characters. I loved the premise behind it and enjoyed parts of the journey.
'So I know she forgives me, just as I forgive her. Thomas Edison's last words were: "It's very beautiful over there." I don't know where there is, but I believe it's somewhere, and I hope it's beautiful.'
Reviewer's Note: I have read and reviewed this book in the 11th of June of 2016. I am honestly thinking of giving it a reread, just to see if my thoughts would change.