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.
Looking for Alaska brilliantly chronicles the indelible impact one life can have on another. A stunning debut, it marks John Green's arrival as an important new voice in contemporary fiction.
To say that this book is sad, insightful, touching, hilarious, inspiring, and truthful (all at the same time) is an understatement.
John Green has taken a wholly ordinary character, Miles, and turned him into one of us. He is the quintessential "ordinary" person, which is what sparks his journey to find that "great perhaps." The more that we read about said journey, the more that we realize that either a) we're already on that journey, or b) we're about to go on one. We want to jump for joy at his successes and cry along with his pain. We can all find a piece of ourselves in Miles.
The incorporation of last words, both as Miles' hobby/ love and as an element of the story, was a brilliant move on Green's part. Not once did they feel cumbersome, or like they were just there for show. Every quote mentioned does something to either enhance the story or clarify something to the reader. I walked away with a few new favorites to scrawl in assorted places.
And Alaska Young... How do you begin to describe her? Enticing and enthralling, I didn't know if I wanted her to kiss me or punch me in the face. At times I was left wondering if she was actually there in the story or some glorious figment of Miles' imagination; she seems to transcend existence itself. Contrary to Miles' relatability, Alaska is like some sort of separate entity, from all of us. She is both what we strive to be and what we never hope that we become.
Do yourself a favor and find a copy of this book. Read it. Banned in your area? Honor Alaska Young and seek it out. You'll have no regrets.
Amazon, Goodreads, John Green's website
Title: Looking for Alaska
Author: John Green
Publication Date: December 28th, 2006
Page #: 221