So far every book I have read by John Green has been amazing and this one was no exception. I don’t know how he does it but he seems to tap into the teenage mind perfectly, whereas I can barely remember being a teenager whilst caught up in adulthood. One reason I love reading John Green’s books is because I can escape everyday life and travel back in time to what it was like to be a teenager again, I love the novelty of situations, the crazy friends and how the biggest dilemmas in life were boyfriends, girlfriends and homework.
Looking for Alaska is focused on reflection of events through the eyes of Miles Halter whose life is uneventful and whose social life is non-existent. Miles enjoys reading biographies and with this memorises the last words of famous people. This then gives him the motivation to ‘…seek a Great Perhaps’ in his own life. He decides to leave his everyday public school and move to a boarding school, Culver Creek where suddenly his life becomes exciting and wild. At Culver Creek he becomes friends with his roommate, Chip better known as The Colonel and is later introduced to Alaska, a crazy and beautiful girl who captures his heart. Despite knowing that Alaska and Chip are the ‘wrong crowd’ his mother had warned him off, he seems to enjoy their rule-breaking, pranks and unpredictability.
This book sounds like a well-rounded plot about teenage experimentation, misbehaviour and friendships; however it is so much more than that. It is deeply seeded with emotional instability and the reason the characters act in the way they do. It gives a real insight into the saying, what lies behind closed doors and how a brave face can hide so much. This book is a fun read, I love the school setting and the strong, determined characters however the plot is filled with twists and becomes a rollercoasters of emotions.
Alaska is such a dark horse as she is introduced to the reader as a strong, female character with a wild streak and confidence yet it isn’t long before the reader sympathises with her reasons for being that way. As for The Colonel, he is from a poorer background than the majority of his fellow students and understands the importance of loyalty and friendship. He is the genius behind many of the plots he and Alaska concoct and yet I can’t fully understand if he was absorbed into Alaska wild personality similar to the way Miles was. Speaking of Miles, he adopts the nickname Pudge and in a way becomes fascinated with Alaska and The Colonel’s characters at school, it shows him a way of life he hasn’t seen before and suddenly he is part of this friendship triangle. All of the characters have background stories that I think can only make you like them more as you begin to understand the reasons to their personalities and how they all support each other in one way or another.
Overall a very good read filled with twists and turns, I may have suspected the end of the book beforehand but not in its entirety. I can honestly say I enjoyed this book and a debut novel for John Green it must have left the possibility of great things to come. I gave this book a 5 out of 5 stars on goodreads and promise that it has only encouraged me to read the rest of my John Green collection sooner rather than later.