Title: Looking for Alaska
Author: John Green
Release Date: August 14th, 2008 (first published 2005)
Page Count: 270 pages
Status: Read on October 2nd, 2014
Genre: Young Adults, Coming of Age.
Literary Awards: School Library Journal Best Book of the Year (2005), Booklist Editors’ Choice (2005), NYPL Best Book for the Teen Age, An ALA/YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers (2006), Los Angeles Times Book Prize Nominee for Young Adult Fiction (2005), Printz Award (2006), YALSA Teens’ Top Ten (2005), Michigan Library Association Thumbs Up! Award Nominee (2006), Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis Nominee for Jugendbuch (2008), The Inky Awards for Silver Inky (2007), Abraham Lincoln Award Nominee (2009), YALSA Best Books for Young Adults (Top Ten) (2006), Bronzener Lufti (2007).
A deeply affecting coming-of-age story, Looking for Alaska traces the journey of Miles Halter, a misfit Florida teenager who leaves the safety of home for a boarding school in Alabama and a chance to explore the Great Perhaps. John Green perfectly captures the intensity of feeling and despair that defines adolescence in this hip, shocking, and emotionally charged work of fiction.
Miles has a quirky interest in famous people’s last words, especially Francois Rabelais’s final statement, I go to seek a Great Perhaps. Determined not to wait for death to begin a similar quest, Miles convinces his parents to let him leave home. Once settled at Culver Creek Preparatory School, he befriends a couple of equally gifted outcasts: his roommate Chip – commonly known as the Colonel – who has a predilection for memorizing long, alphabetical lists for fun; and the beautiful and unpredictable Alaska, whom Miles comes to adore.
The kids grow closer as they make their way through a school year filled with contraband, tests, pranks, breakups, and revelations about family and life. But as the story hurtles toward its shattering climax, chapter headings like “forty-six days before” and “the last day” portend a tragic event – one that will change Miles forever and lead him to new conclusions about the value of his cherished Great Perhaps.
This novel is not that affecting, for me. I don’t know why I can not see the things that makes other readers love it. Alaska, the center of the story (or I guess she is) is attractive, according to Pudge’s narration. But I don’t fall for her. She’s a mess. A beautiful mess for Pudge. But I don’t get why she’s so pessimistic about life (she seems pessimistic to me), it looks unnatural since she’s an easy-going person and quite cheerful. She’s surrounded with good friends, why can’t she be more positive and not let herself drowned by her guilty?
On the other hand, John Green always sure to make his work do the magic in making the readers think about life. So he used phylosophy here and there by making Pudge a quirky character that experted in famous people’s last words. Through that specialty, our main character Pudge, lead us to think and dig up the wisdom out of it.
Well, I guess I’m not a really a fan of John Green.