Looking For Alaska is a young adult novel by the highly acclaimed, John Green. This book follows a teenage boy dubbed “Pudge” (which is ironic because he is actually quite skinny) who moves to a new boarding school. There he meets Alaska Young, a vivacious and bustling girl who instantly captures his attention. Looking For Alaska tackles the issues of young love, self hatred and family. The novel is an extremely real book that makes me feel such raw and real emotions.
When I read this book (although it didn’t take me too long because I refused to put it down) I absolutely loved every single minute of it. I laughed, I cried and I spent the whole time thinking about how much of a genius John Green is. I have no idea how he knows exactly what a teenager wants to read when majority of us have no idea ourselves. Looking For Alaska is one of those books that make you feel as if you are living out the story with the characters.
I think that Looking For Alaska is John’s main book that brings up some issues that are really affecting teenagers today. Alaska suffers through depression and works through the issues of her mother’s death and stress of drinking and smoking. It shows the harder side to growing up that not many kids have to go through. I personally felt like my life paled ( in how hard it is) compared to Alaska that seriously brought me to question myself every time I complain about the little things.
The twist in the plot that I didn’t see coming, brought me to literal tears and still makes me feel extremely upset every time I think about it. Looking For Alaska is appropriate for people thirteen or older. The reason for this is it isn’t quite appropriate for younger kids because it has a lot of smoking, drugs, alcohol and other inappropriate things. I would most definitely suggest that everyone read Looking For Alaska.
Looking for Alaska by John Green is his first novel and a wonderful, if not controversial, piece of young adult literature. The story is set in a boarding school in Alabama and is based around a first year student, Miles Halter (better known as Pudge). Pudge’s room mate Colonel, a short but well-built strategic prankster, form an instant friendship and Colonel introduces Pudge to the ‘real’ life of boarding school. Alaska, a moody, enigmatic teenager forms an integral part of their lives, with Pudge becoming obsessed and eventually falling in love with her. The friendship group are serial pranksters, continually trying to out do each other, while competing against the ‘rich’ kids at school, always trying to prove their worth.
When one of the friendship group falls victim to a tragic accident late one evening after heavily drinking, the group are left to find out what actually happened. The story reveals that the private lives of those closest to you may not be as they seem. Childhood tragedies affect people in ways those untouched could never understand and often never see the victims cries for help.
A beautifully written novel, with enough twists and turns to keep the reader deeply involved. The ideal audience is ‘young adult’, however, the content includes drinking, smoking and sexual material, which should be monitored by parents. I found the book a little predictable for my age group but an easy, light read.
Check out another John Green novel Ashlea and I have reviewed ‘The Fault in our Stars’.