Title: Looking for Alaska
Author: John Green
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Book to Film, Contemporary, Death, Young adult
Dates read: 24th September – 4th October 2020
5th sentence, 74th page: She only goes home over Christmas ad the summer, when Jake is there.
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” (Francois Rabelais, poet) even more. 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.
I had to choose a banned book for a reading challenge. And I absolutely love the fact that this is the banned book that I chose. It was freaking awesome. And didn’t make me cry like The Fault in Our Stars which was a nice side benefit. Don’t get me wrong, I came close. But it didn’t quite get me…
It was obvious from the very beginning of this book that there was a pretty serious “before” and “after”. I did guess what the event was in this circumstance. But I didn’t guess the how of the event. I won’t give any spoilers here, you should read this and see if you too can guess what it is. I’d be interested now to see the Netflix (?)show that is based on this. They normally do good adaptations and I wonder how they would take all of the different issues covered in this and use that on the screen…
One of my favourite things about this book was the total open-endedness of the ending. Pudge had questions and tried to find answers. But in the end, he didn’t get any certainty. Which is kind of the way life is anyway. So it made for a nice, slightly more realistic ending. That, combined with his obsession with last words and the vagueness of whether or not the reports are correct… I really liked how this story dealt with endings and final moments.
Even though there were some fairly sad moments throughout this story. I absolutely adored the whole idea of the Great Perhaps. Apparently (reading the final words of John Green) it was actually something to do with famous last words. But, I just loved that sense of hope. That idea that there is always a great perhaps out there for us, we just have to be willing to take the risk…
Ultimately, this story has a whole heap of themes throughout it. But the one that I enjoyed the most was the creation of friendships, loves and memories. It might have sad moments throughout. But it was also filled with those friendships, that even if they don’t last a lifetime, they’re remembered for a lifetime.
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