Looking for Alaska by John Green | Teen Ink

Looking for Alaska by John Green MAG

October 17, 2012
By efisher27 GOLD, Pittsford, New York
efisher27 GOLD, Pittsford, New York
18 articles 0 photos 2 comments

Favorite Quote:
“Thomas Edison's last words were 'It's very beautiful over there'. I don't know where there is, but I believe it's somewhere, and I hope it's beautiful.”

John Green's book, Looking for Alaska, is a riveting and inspiring novel that will capture the attention of teens from every demographic. It is based on the story of Miles “Pudge” Halter, a scrawny, cerebral teen who has a major obsession with famous last words. In search of what Pudge refers to as “a great perhaps,” he makes new friends, enemies and ­discovers himself. Green's
use of language makes the book real, and the story line is undeniably relatable.

Before Pudge's adventure at Culver Creek Boarding School began, Pudge was just your typical nerd living in a small town in Florida. His studies were most important and he loved reading biographies. So when Pudge announces he wants to attend Culver Creek, “Why?” pops into everyone's mind. “So this guy, Francois Rabelais. He was a poet. And his last words were ‘I go to seek a Great Perhaps.' That's why I'm going. So I don't have to wait until I die to start ­seeking a Great Perhaps,” he explains.

So, when Pudge is launched into the rebellious world of Culver Creek Boarding School, he is only looking for one thing – his “great perhaps.” In the end, he walks away with an understanding of life and death, a best friend and bittersweet memories. Along the way he meets Chip (a.k.a. Colonel), who introduced him to Takumi, cigarettes, booze, and Alaska Young (a.k.a. the love of his life). The more he gets to know Alaska the more he loves her moody, quick-­witted ways.

Chip, Takumi and Alaska lead Pudge into the unknown, allowing him to put full trust in them. The group seems invincible, witty and powerful with a record of pranks and ­mischief – until it all comes crashing down. After that, nothing is ever the same.

Green's style makes this an effortless read with beautiful, natural language. He draws the reader in using catchy, recyclable lines, “If people were like rain, I was a drizzle and she was a hurricane.”

While reading the book readers will find themselves laughing and crying with the characters. Every quote stands on its own with witty metaphors and raw emotion. As the story unfolds, questions arise: “How will we ever get out of this labyrinth of suffering?” and “What happens to us after we pass?” By the end all these questions are answered, with a feeling of hope.

John Green has outdone himself with this touching novel. Its powerful language is thought-provoking in the most positive, intellectual ways that will leave the reader thinking for years.

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This article has 1 comment.

maddiefraz said...
on May. 3 2013 at 1:58 pm
John Green did an excellent job with his book, Looking for Alaska. He is one of my new favorite authors and is definitely extremely talented. This book was pretty clear throughout the whole story. Nothing was difficult to read or impossible to decipher. It moved swiftly which made it an easy read, and kept me interested the whole time. You stay in the real world when reading this book, it faces real life situations teenagers go through. No fantasy or science fiction is relevant at all. It reflected reality well because anyone could face some of the situations these teenagers faced. Peer pressure, moving to a new school, tragedy and school in general. It truly displayed realistic situations that readers could relate to. John Green seemed to me as a very descriptive writer. He would describe little things such as Alaska’s electric blue toe nail polish. He made it easy for me to create a scene in my head as I read along. Inside the story it flows. There are no alternating chapters or jumping from conflict to conflict. The story moves fluidly and keeps you interested. You will not want to put the book down. This book is not for all ages because it has sex, drugs and alcohol so I would not recommend it to anyone under the age of a teenager. Or to someone who disagrees strongly with the actions made by the character. But, it is real life and that is what happens after all even though it is just a story. Teenage temptation exists in the world and the story, whether it is sex and drugs, or taking one’s life. This is something the reader’s see all the time and they are big issues in the world so it was significant. What I liked the most about the book was how clear it was for me to read and how real it was. John Green keeps the reader engaged and makes you want to keep reading. It was suspenseful and kept you wondering that’s for sure. This book is wonderfully written, you may find yourself laughing out loud or even crying it definitely hits some sort of emotion. I am not an avid reader and I could not put this book down I thoroughly enjoyed it. Looking for Alaska deserves the award it was given because it is not like other books. If your parents don’t approve you reading where alcohol, sex and drugs are involved I do not recommend this book. It is not too risky but it definitely present. In conclusion, I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good thrill with a love story attached to it and teenage experiences. I loved this book.