Looking For Alaska

February 27, 2013
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Imagine yourself as a quiet seventeen year old kid from Florida who doesn’t have any friends and has overprotective parents who constantly worry about you. You are tired of your boring and uneventful life so you convince your parents to let you go to a boarding school in Alabama. When you arrive, you seem to fall in line and make friends with the “wrong crowd” your parents have always warned you about and told you stay away from. You begin to fall into your new friends’ peer pressure and start to smoke cigarettes and drink bottle on top of bottle of alcohol. Now, imagine you fall in love with the person that turns your life from uneventful and boring to dark, depressing, exciting and unpredictable, all the same time. This is Miles Halter’s story in the book Looking For Alaska, which is one of the greatest novels I’ve ever read, and it’s definitely worth a read by you.

John Green, the author of Looking For Alaska, is an accomplished author who has many other incredible novels under his belt. I’m sure he attained some of the inspiration for writing this novel because Mr. Green actually attended a boarding school in Alabama. After graduating from Kenyon College, he decided to become an author of books such as An Abundance of Katherines, Paper Towns, and The Fault in Our Stars and was also a commentator for National Public Radio’s All Things Considered. Mr. Green now lives in Indianapolis, Indiana and working on new novels for the future.

This novel is about a seventeen-year-old boy named Miles Halter. Miles is tired of his boring life in hot and sunny Florida. Miles is looking for The Great Perhaps, a unique and alternate world that is different than his life already. Although he is an extremely intelligent and nice young man, he has no friends and lives the life of a depressed loner. Miles wants something new in life and gets his parents to allow him to go to a boarding school in Alabama called Culver Creek. They reluctantly agree, and drive him to Culver Creek for him to start his new life. When Miles arrives, he meets his new roommate Chip, also known as “The Colonel.” Miles makes friends with The Colonel and he introduces him to Alaska. Alaska is a bipolar yet sweet, beautiful young girl who Miles slowly begins to fall in love with. As the days at Culver Creek go by, Miles starts a cigarette and binge drinking habit thanks to his new friends. He then meets Alaska’s friend Lara. Alaska feels sorry for Miles being a lonely, pathetic loser so she gets them to date each other. Of course, Miles is still madly in love with Alaska. As the months go by, Alaska starts having frantic mood swings and soon becomes a bit of an alcoholic. With drugs, girls, and other things distracting him, Miles grades begin to plummet. He begins acting out in class and in front of friends. And when you think life couldn’t get worse for him, the unbelievable happens, and the lives of the kids that go to Culver Creek will be changed forever.

John Green is without my favorite author now because of this novel. He knows how to craft humor and pain in such a wonderful concoction, it was hard for me to put this book down. Looking For Alaska is an emotional rollercoaster. It talks about a variety of topics from peer pressure, alcoholism, drugs, sex and other things. Though the language can be very explicit and might not be suitable for middle school students and below, it’s a classic novel about how far a person would go to find out what happened to his one true love. If you want to read a thrilling novel that will have you guessing until the last page, read this book.

John Green has more amazing novels in store for us in the future, but for now, you can sit back, relax, and read the novel that won the Michael L. Printz Award For Excellence In Young Adult Literature, Looking For Alaska. Be warned: You might have trouble putting this book down and may develop muscle pain. Enjoy.

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