John Green’s Looking for Alaska is an easy read with a powerful message. Alaska Young is the craziest, most beautiful and self-destructive girl that Miles “Pudge” Halter has ever met. Miles leaves is lonely friendless life in Florida for Culver Creek Boarding School in Birmingham, Alabama. He allows the gorgeous and impulsive Alaska to turn his world upside down and inside out in order to find his “Great Perhaps” the reason, meaning and purpose for his life.
Because chapters do not start on new pages it is hard to find a place to stop and it is quite easy to tell yourself “oh I’ll just read a little more” I read this novel in one sitting; it’s haunting and compelling in the simplest of ways. The writing is thought-provoking, funny, and passionate. Green does not shy away from controversial topics; this novel deals with underage drinking, smoking, sex and vulgar language. Though Green addresses these issues in a way that leaves readers understanding of the consequences of such choices, he certainly does not endorse those actions and this is evident from the climax.
The characters act like the teenagers they are, they break rules, pull pranks on fellow students and act rebellious for the sake of being rebellious, but they are complex and vividly-real. The first half of the novel is an adventure of self discovery, lust, friendship and seeking the “Great Perhaps” readers will laugh their way thorough it – the end is an adventure of another matter, seeking the truth and understanding of loss and strengthening the bonds of friendship.
Looking for Alaska is the perfect story for any teenager. Readers will laugh at the witty narration, smile at innocent love, and cry for the realistic truths that this novel holds.