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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Blake Reviews Looking for Alaska

Author: John Green
Publisher: Speak
Release Date: 28 December 2006
Format: Paperback
Series: None
Source: Gift
Pages: 231
Before. Miles "Pudge" Halter's whole existence has been one big nonevent, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave the "Great Perhaps" (Fran├žois Rabelais, poet) even more. Then he heads off to the sometimes crazy, possibly unstable, and anything-but-boring world of Culver Creek Boarding School, and his life becomes the opposite of safe. Because down the hall is Alaska Young. The gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, self-destructive, screwed-up, and utterly fascinating Alaska Young, who is an event unto herself. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart.

After. Nothing is ever the same
Last year my boyfriend bought me all of John Green's books. He worked at a bookstore and seemed really surprised that I had never read book by him. I've heard a lot about Green and his stories, but I had never experienced one for myself. What is wrong with me, you ask? I have been asking myself the same question. I really enjoyed Looking for Alaska, and I'm looking forward to reading all of his other books on my shelf.

It's hard to put my finger on exactly what it was about this book that kept me engrossed in it's pages. I think it had something to do with how realistic the story and the characters were. Nothing seemed too farfetched or unbelievable. The boarding school experience seemed accurate, although I have never been to a boarding school myself. Maybe I'm wrong? I've always been curious about boarding schools, and what they're really like on the inside... like a secret society full of teenagers.

If you're thinking about reading this book, but you have an issue with swearing, I would not recommend this book for you. They are legit teenagers that drink, smoke, and swear. They sneak off campus, play pranks on others, and generally see how much trouble they can make without getting expelled. It was interesting to see what they would come up with next. 

There is a thick layer of mystery surrounding the main group of friends in this book. Their lives before Culver Creek aren't really discussed, and the author isn't forthcoming with very many details. We see them for who they are at the Creek, and not much else. I think that's why The Big Sad Event didn't make me all that sad. I was sorry that it happened, but it didn't cause me throw the book down and cry. (That has happened to me before.)

Miles, or Pudge, had an interest in last words. I loved discovering what people had said right before they died. I've never thought much about my own death, but now I know I want to say something meaningful before I go. Maybe something funny? I don't know. I guess it won't really matter at that point. 

Looking for Alaska was good. I didn't want to put the book down once I picked it up, but I still can't explain why. There's just something about the writing and the overall feel of the book that made it great. Also, there are some amazing quotes. I used a lot of sticky notes while I read this.
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