Thursday, February 2, 2012

book review: looking for alaska by john green

Book Review: Looking for Alaska by John Green
Publisher: Penguin Group

Before. Miles “Pudge” Halter's whole life has been one big non-event. Then he heads off to the sometimes crazy, possibly unstable, and anything-butboring 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 pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into a new life, and steals his heart.

After. Nothing is ever the same.

I recently learned that Looking for Alaska was the brilliant John Green's first mainstream book. Unlike other authors whose first books seem exactly like a first book (or series, ahem Suzanne *cough* Collins), John Green does wonders with "Alaska."

As you can see from the overview above, Miles goes to a boarding school called Culver Creek, gets nick-named Pudge, and meets the amazing Alaska Young. And let me tell you, she is fantastic. I just said this in my last post about Green's latest book, The Fault in Our Stars, that I rather enjoy his use of male protagonists and stories. I assure you. This first read does not disappoint. In fact, I was rather surprised that it was his first book since it's so well written.

At any rate, what I most liked about this book (among many, MANY other things) are the characters. It takes something special for certain characters to be remembered. In this book, it's pretty hard to forget them. It's their "quirks!" I tell you! :) According to kids at Culver Creek, everybody has something that they do. For Miles/Pudge, it's memorizing last words (I loved how this fit into the plot). For Chip/The Colonel, it's just memorizing things. For Alaska, it's poetry.

It also made me laugh out loud. (ahem... this is an indicator of a fantastic book for you readers out there... I hope you agree.) I seriously had to put myself in seclusion when Lara stands up and yells in her hard-to-speak-"i"'s accent towards the end... Oh, man! If you read it, you know what part I mean! :D I'm laughing just thinking about it.

The final verdict...

Despite being his first book, Looking for Alaska has John Green delivering a modern YA classic that will have pranksters, planners, and parents scrambling for centuries to come.

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