September 11, 2011

Part Manic Pixie Dream Girl • Looking for Alaska

Looking for Alaska book cover
Looking for Alaska by John Green
Publisher: Speak
Publication Date: September 28, 2006
Source/Format: Bought || Paperback

Miles Halter is fascinated by famous last words and tired of his safe life at home. He leaves for boarding school to seek what the dying poet Francois Rabelais called the "Great Perhaps." Much awaits Miles at Culver Creek, including Alaska Young. Clever, funny, screwed-up, and dead sexy, Alaska will pull Miles into her labyrinth and catapult him into the Great Perhaps.

I've heard a lot about Looking for Alaska from my friends, so I was relieved to finally be able to pick up a copy of it when Borders went on sale. The sequence of the story was appealing to me - I like how Green writes about moments leading up to Looking for Alaska's big "event" and then writes about what happens after without actually ever describing the event itself happening. It provided incentive for me to continue reading Looking for Alaska and allowed me, in a roundabout way, to get to know the characters in the book quite intimately based on their reactions and chosen actions.

Though I didn't care much for our main protagonist Miles, I did understand his personality because I'm a little bit like him. I wanted (and still want) things to change, so I'm constantly contemplating how to make things different. And what I would give to be able to pack up and just go somewhere to reinvent myself... and to do that constantly. I also understand him wanting to fit in with these people who are completely different because that's all a part of reinventing who is (or in his case, embracing his true personality).

I did like Alaska though because she just seemed really mysterious. It was like she lived in a world of her own making, with her own rules and thoughts governing it completely. She seemed like such an enigma and trying to discover who she is proved to be an interesting (if fruitless) search throughout the whole novel. I mean, I'd get glimpses of her personality, but it formed such a puzzling caricature that I can't be sure of what I know about her.

Looking for Alaska was well-written, well-paced and interesting. It definitely deserved the rave reviews that I read and I'm happy to have it in my collection.


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