Looking For Alaska by John Green This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

December 27, 2011
By , Livonia, MI
It is currently 3:30 am. Ten minutes ago I was re-reading a book and now I am eating cookies and writing a review of that book because there is something about John Green’s writing that makes you want to share it.

Looking for Alaska was John Green’s first novel. It’s about a boy who is obsessed with last words and what happens to him after he leaves Florida and his parents and his non-existent friends to go to a boarding school in Alabama. At Culver Creek he makes actual friends - The Colonel and Takumi and Lara and the eponymous Alaska.

Miles - dubbed Pudge by The Colonel shortly after moving in - becomes obsessed with Alaska. Pudge is a quiet, kind of literal kid. He reads biographies of writers without reading any of their writing. He memorizes last words. Alaska is a master prankster, and a dramatic, Katy-Perry-Hot-n-Cold literary enthusiast.

The thing about John Green is, he can write believable teenagers. Pudge takes time in his narration to count the layers of fabric between him and the nearest hot girl. The Colonel puts much of his impressive brain to work on hiding smokes and booze from the dean. Alaska hangs over her boyfriend like any love-sick teenage girl.

Looking for Alaska is full of thought and meaning, the sort of thinking that has kids posting inspirational song lyrics on Facebook, but the metaphors and the metacognition are sprinkled with milk-and-vodka cocktails and fox hats and attack geese and fried bean burritos.

I think I like John Green’s writing because it feels real. Every last one of his characters feels like someone I could meet in real life, but there’s enough hijinks and mayhem - massive pranks, mad geese and that “instant” between the Before and After in the book - that I’m not wracked with psychological distress.

In short: I liked Looking for Alaska. I liked it the second time too. I like John Green’s other books as well.

It is now 3:45 am, and I am going to sleep.

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