Saturday, 11 May 2013

Review: "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. Then 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.After. Nothing is ever the same. (summary from goodreads)
I'd like to start of this review by saying that John Green is an amazing author, but sometimes I just wish he wasn't. Sometimes, John Green being an amazing author is so incredibly painful that I wish that he just worked in a grocery store or something. After a while, though, I realize that the pain is worth it.
I had only read one John Green book before, The Fault In Our Stars, and so when I realized that the chapters in Looking for Alaska were titled eighty-three days before, nineteen days before, ect, until it got to the last day and then started counting one day after, fifty-six days after, one hundred and twenty-two days after I got really scared. Obviously something big was going to happen, and having read TFIOS, I had an idea of what it might be and I did not like it. But let's get on with the review, shall we?
I love how John Green writes his characters, of course all good characters have flaws, or they wouldn't be very interesting, but I feel like John Green's characters are so much more raw than other's. I constantly felt torn between loving and hating "Pudge", Alaska, and "The Colonel" (Miles' best friend at Culver Creek). They had such high up's such low down's, and I think I'll have to work hard to find characters written by different authors to live up to them.
Green's take on boarding school was different from what I'm used to. Usually the dorm rooms are all in the same building with several floors, and you have long corridors between them. At Culver Creek the dorm rooms were more like a motel, all with doors leading outside instead of to a corridor.
I like how, when you get to the incident that the chapters counted down to, the book continues on for about a hundred pages. You get to see how the characters slowly start to move on. Even though everything has changed and it'll never really be the same, they do their best and you know that it'll be okay again.

Looking for Alaska is a very emotional book, do not read it if you can't handle pain, because unless you're made of stone you will hurt. It'll be worth it, though, because you'll laugh with and at the characters, you'll be embarrassed and excited, and you'll have a great time.