Title: Looking For Alaska
Author: John Green
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance
First published: 2005
Finished reading: August 21th 2014
“It’s not life or death, the labyrinth. Suffering. 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?”
I can’t exactly put my finger on the why, but this book just wasn’t for me. Maybe it was the wrong time to be reading Looking For Alaska, maybe it’s just that I don’t find the whole boardingschool theme attractive in general. Whatever it was, I just couldn’t warm up to this book. Sure, the story is interesting enough. The fact that John Green divided the book in two parts (before and after) makes you want to continue reading to find out what mayor event causes the division. But somehow the main characters felt a bit cliche, and I suffered of the raised-eyebrow-syndrom during various parts of the book. Miles being the typical outsider trying to fit in and hanging out with the wrong crowd; Alaska being beautiful AND smart… (Supposedly because she reads a lot and is a feminist, can it get more cliche than that?) That just didn’t do it for me. Sure, the main event was definitely shocking and I have to admit I didn’t see it coming. There were some interesting philosophical quotes included in the books as well… But I unfortunately cannot give Looking For Alaska more than the three stars I ended up giving. Don’t give up on reading this book though; if you liked other books by John Green before, you might enjoy this one as well!
The life of Miles Halter changes drastically when he decides to attend the Culver Creek Boarding School. Miles has been a social outcast at his old school, with the strange habit of remembering the last words of famous death persons. But things change when he arrives at Culver Creek and has to share his room with Chip, or the ‘Colonel’. Now being called ‘Pudge’, the Colonel quickly introduces him to Alaska and Takumi… Pudge realizes these three are exactly the troublemaking people his parents warned him about, but he continues hanging out with them anyway… Starting to smoke and drink under their bad influence. Pudge is fascinated by Alaska, a girl both beautiful and intelligent
(sigh). She has a boyfriend though, and arranges a date for Pudge instead. Together they go through the highs and lows of puberty and school… All things go well and they are planning one of the biggest pranks ever seen at Culver Creek; a plan Alaska has created. But one night when the Colonel, Pudge and Alaska are drinking, things go horribly wrong when Alaska gets a phonecall… A call that ends up changing the life of everybody.
I won’t discuss what happens next so I won’t ruin the surprise for those who haven’t read Looking For Alaska yet… But what I can say is that the second part is the most interesting one. If you like contemporary YA and romance, you will probably love this book. People seem to either hate or love Looking For Alaska, so don’t leave this one unread just because my review… Like I said before, this book just wasn’t for me!