Looking for Alaska
Upon reading The Fault in Our Stars, I was determined to read all the books written by John Green, beginning with his first novel, Looking for Alaska. Although I liked the first book I read by John Green, I did not want to get my hopes up. I need not have concerned myself.
I read it for the first time five years ago, and it was one of those books that I couldn’t put down. I found myself suddenly immersed in its pages and it immediately became one of my favorites. After reading it, it became one of those books you always want to go back and re-read, so I think it is time to go back and read it once more. But this time, unlike the first, I will take it easy and find a few days to enjoy the pleasure of reading it to the fullest.
Miles has no friends. He is a rather timid and dull boy, obsessed with the last words of people on the verge of death. And thanks to one of those quotes, he decides to make a change in his life and moves to the Culver Creek boarding school to find what he refers to as his “Great Perhaps”, his reason to live. At school he meets Alaska, a stunningly sexy and very interesting girl. Alaska is, hands down, one of my favorite characters. A girl with so many problems, she doesn’t know how to get out of her own labyrinth of suffering. An enigmatic girl who is not scared to be herself, a hurricane, according to those close to her.
Thanks to this group of people, and to some excellent pranks, Miles will jump into a world full of new experiences.
When I read it for the first time, the way the book is structured grabbed my attention. There are two parts: the before, which is a countdown to a terrible happening; and the after, that explains the months following that event. The after part is likely the best part. It is where we differentiate the characters and where we find a deeper contemplation of life, mortality, relationships, love, misfortune and remorse.
Even though the story and the characters are very well crafted, the most memorable part of this book is the author’s writing style. He writes in a way that makes him unique: he’s clever, smart and diverting, without a hint of arrogance. He’s himself. Reading one of his novels surely you will have the feeling of listening to a story told by a friend. It may be a sad story, but he always finds a way of making it entertaining and intelligent. No matter what you are reading, if it is from John Green, it will surely be a pleasure to read. If you are expecting a simple book filled with drama, problematic adolescent boys and girls in love, etc., like so much of what is currently being published, then I must say this is not that book. Looking for Alaska by John Green is a profoundly moving read.