Looking for Alaska

I took the plunge into the world of John Green, and though I knew what to expect from him (tragedy), I’ll admit, I wasn’t quite expecting that.

In Looking for Alaska, a Florida high schooler decides to transfer to a boarding school in Alabama in search of “a great perhaps.” Once there, he makes fast friends with his roommate, the Colonel, and Alaska, a tempestuous, impulsive girl who thrives on mystery and drama.

Naturally, Pudge, as he quickly becomes christened, falls in love with Alaska, who, rather surprisingly, stays very loyal to her boyfriend, despite the long-distance nature of the relationship. But Pudge and his friends have a splendid first half of the school year, getting up to all kinds of shenanigans and pranks. Then one night, Alaska convinces them to stage a distraction so she can leave campus, and nothing is ever the same.

John Green writes in such a way that you really do expect things to end happily. Despite knowing his track record, I still felt myself lulled into believing things were going to work out. Ha. I didn’t know there would be so many unresolved questions, though, in light of everything, answers would have been too convenient.

All in all, Looking for Alaska is, I believe, probably a pretty accurate snapshot into the lives of teens. The drama, the pranks, the rebellion, and the tragedy. Even as I rolled my eyes at certain things (I outgrew high school in about 9th grade), I recognized them as traits of my generation.

It additionally poses some rather deep philosophical questions, ones I think every one is searching answers to, even if we don’t recognize it. How do we escape the labyrinth? How do we find our great perhapses?

Despite being a teen book, I did enjoy Looking for Alaska.

I know, I know, I say that every time.

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