The first John Green novel I read was The Fault in Our Stars and I fell in love. I was linked to his YouTube channel by a friend (her blog is totes amaze, you should check it out). TFIOS (as the trendy kids on Twitter refer to it, now that it’s being made into a movie staring Shailene Who-The-Heck Woodley) made me laugh. It made my cry. It made me sob and then it made me smile ruefully in that I’ve-had-my-heart-shattered-but-made-a-great-memory kinda way.) Looking For Alaska wasn’t much different in the emotions department.
Miles Halter, obsessed with learning (famous) people’s last words, is bored with his life. School holds no excitement, he has no friends and life is just, well, dull. He decides to go in search of his Great Perhaps. He convinces his parents to send him to Culver Creek, a boarding school his dad went to. His parents warn him about ‘falling in with the wrong crowd’ and ‘being a good boy’.
And, like all great literary turns, when he arrives at school, he’s roommates with the Colonel, a good kid rebel if there ever was one. The Colonel introduces him to Takumi and, our novel’s title character, Alaska. Soon he’s doing all the things he told his parents he wouldn’t do – smoking, drinking and even skipping the occasional class. But he feels he’s on the edge of something – the great discovery of himself, of life, of meaning.
And then, everything changes. Forever.
Want your heart made all warm and fuzzy and glowy only to have it broken and leave you awkwardly sobbing on the train into your book? Yeah. This is the book. Beautifully written, so many great lines and the dialogue between the characters feels flawless and natural.
John Green, don’t you ever change.
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