Title: Looking for Alaska
Author: John Green
Publisher: Dutton (Penguin)
Length: Audio book: 7hrs
Miles Halter is mostly friendless and obsessed with famous last words. He’s more than ready to leave his safe life at home for boarding school at Culver Creek and experience what the dying poet Francois Rabelais called the “Great Perhaps.” At Culver Creek he meets his roommate Chip “The Colonel” Martin, and sexy, unstable Alaska Young. These two, their friends, and the adventures they seek will change Miles’s life forever.
Maybe if I had gone to boarding school, my high school years wouldn’t have been so comparatively tame. This book includes drinking, alcohol, and sexually explicit situations. Naturally, it’s both a banned book and a cult favorite. It also contains a deep and reflective look at world religions and values. Not to mention an intense look at the value of life.
It’s safe to say that John Green is a king/giant/awesome dude in YA literature. This is his debut novel from 2005, and while I didn’t love it, I can completely understand why it was so well received. Maybe it’s just that I didn’t particularly like Alaska, while our main character Miles adored her. I did however enjoy its frank portrayal of the transition from youth to young adulthood, and importance of finding yourself within that transition. Plus, it’s quite hilarious at many moments and deeply thoughtful at others (which I suppose captures my teen years quite nicely).
Oh Google, not that Alaska!