Saturday, 15 February 2014
Looking For Alaska by John Green|Book Review
My Star Rating: ★★★★★
Blurb: "If people were rain, I was drizzle and she was a hurricane."
Miles Halter's whole life has been one big non-event, until he meets Alaska Young.
Gorgeous, clever and undoubtedly screwed up, Alaska draws Miles into her reckless world and irrevocably steals his heart. For Miles. nothing can ever be the same again.
Looking For Alaska is split into two parts; before and after. The title of each chapter is a number eg. one hundred and nineteen days before, so the entire first section is leading up to one big event. At first when there are still a hundred days left you're cool but when it gets to about eight days before, that's when you really go into panic mode.
I was pleasantly surprised to discover that was a boarding school story, however it wasn't quite Malory Towers. This group of friends didn't sneak out to have midnight feasts, they sat in the showers smoking and getting pissed.
One thing that I sometimes find a slight issue with John Green's novels (okay this one and Paper Towns) is that to me the main protagonist (in this case Miles, otherwise known as Pudge) was just okay and I much preferred his friends.
The Colonel was funny and unexpected, Takumi was hilarious in the prank scene and of course Alaska was just all round brilliant.
In some ways Alaska very much reminded me of my self: book obsessed; mysterious and very defensive of the female gender but in some ways we're completely different as I am neither addicted to smoking or sex.
I loved the scene when Pudge walked into Alaska's room for the first time and saw all her books. When he asked her if she'd read them all she replied with
"Oh god no!" I think we can all relate to that. Whilst we're on the subject of Alaska's love for books I noticed she had very similar taste to my dad. Gabriel García Márquez and Kurt Vonnegut are both authors he enjoys.
I liked the way they kept going back on the subject of the labyrinth and how they'll get out of it and I think it's good for a story to have a kind of question that it keeps going back to.
I thought it was really cool how they all had their weird little talents: memorizing countries, knowing last words, rapping and it got me thinking about what my weird little talent was.
This book does have rather a lot of swearing and a sexualISH scene or two so not really a book for particularly young readers and it is terribly sad. Don't say I didn't warn you! Anyway it was great (hard to believe it was his debut) and you should definitely give it a go.