|image from wikipedia|
I finally finished reading the first YA book of John Green, Looking for Alaska. And I must say it has been a great read but compared to The Fault in Our Stars, it was not much of a tear-jerker. But I was pretty much amazed on how the story wound up to a rather haunting end.
BE WARNED. The following review would be much of a spoiler considering the need for summarizing the story and pointing out the highlights of the book.
You might wonder why the book’s title is “Looking for Alaska”. I thought that the story will center on the journey of two friends searching for their inner selves and venturing into an unexpected adventure set in the country of Alaska. But I was wrong.
The book is plotted in a chronological manner starting from the date before and after the fateful incident happened.
It starts with the main character, Miles Halter leaving his family and Florida to go to a boarding school in Alabama(Culver Creek Preparatory School).He meets there Chip Martin, Takumi Hikohito, Lara Buterskaya, and Alaska Young, his new set of friends.
The book chronicles the lives of Miles and his friends and their participations in the rollercoaster ride of high school life.
Miles then realized that this was the life he has always wanted, the long-awaited freedom to explore his individuality with the company of his friends and the opportunity to try different things at a tender age.
The story continues with the growing interest Miles has for Alaska. In their daily routine Miles and his friends willbecome closer to each other creating a friendship bonded for life. And one fateful night a tragic incident will shake the very foundation of the groups’ integrity and will later on create a ripple effect too inevitable to avoid–the death of Alaska.
(Read the book for the details of Alaska’s death.)
Alaska’s death scarred and left them a mystery: how Alaska died and what series of events led her to her tragic death. And from there, Chip, Takumi, and Miles started their own investigation to unravel the reason behind the demise of their friend. From that moment until the very last page [of the book], the characters will face a life changing turn in their lives and would later on realize the significance that the incident has brought to them.
One of the many highlights of the book is the fascination of Miles for “famous last words”. You will be able to encounter Simon Bolivar’s"How will I ever get out of this labyrinth!”,Francois Rabelais’ "I go to seek a Great Perhaps." and many other notable person’s last words.
John Green employs his impressive knack of incorporating real life experiences to cement the portrayal of each character. He also makes each character vividly real.
In this critically acclaimed novel, Green gives us a sensible explanation of how frail and uncertain life is. And his point of view on the many complexities of life successfully transcends in this heart-wrenching and inspiring read.
Looking for Alaska also tackles issues faced by teenagers nowadays, from the journey to self-discovery, the freedom and the highs and lows of being a teenager to controversial concerns such as drugs, premarital sex, and many more.
And as the story reveals its unexpected twist, expect yourself to pause for a while to internalize and absorb the thoughts and ideas revealed by the book.