Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Book Review: Looking For Alaska by John Green

Title: Looking For Alaska
Author: John Green
Series: N/A
Published:  1st January 2005
Publisher: Speak
Rating: 5/5 stars
Source: Bought
Goodreads 

Before. Miles "Pudge" Halter's whole existence has been one big nonevent, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave the "Great Perhaps" (François Rabelais, poet) even more. He heads off to the sometimes crazy, possibly unstable, and anything-but-boring 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, who is an event unto herself. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart.
  After. Nothing is ever the same.


Looking For Alaska is the second book I have read by the marvelous John Green, after The Fault in Our Stars. I'd heard mixed things about this book but, thankfully, I really loved it. A definite favourite for sure. 


“Imagining the future is a kind of nostalgia. (...) You spend your whole life stuck in the labyrinth, thinking about how you'll escape it one day, and how awesome it will be, and imagining that future keeps you going, but you never do it. You just use the future to escape the present.” 
I love how real this book was and how realistic and believeable the characters were. I sympathised for the characters who we are introduced to through Miles' eyes. I found Miles' obsession over last words very interesting even though he looks at himself as uninteresting. 



“I found myself thinking about President William McKinley, the third American president to be assassinated. He lived for several days after he was shot, and towards the end, his wife started crying and screaming, "I want to go too! I want to go too!" And with his last measure of strength, McKinley turned to her and spoke his last words: "We are all going.” 

Alaska Young. We all have one of them in our lives don't we? The girl we think we know but don't. She was quite a character. She touches everyone around her, even if she didn't intend to. I loved how we had a strong yet not emotionless female lead who loves books because those are not combinations you see often. Alaska was a really thought-provoking character, with Chip second behind. 
“What is an "instant" death anyway? How long is an instant? Is it one second? Ten? The pain of those seconds must have been awful as her heart burst and her lungs collapsed and there was no air and no blood to her brain and only raw panic. What the hell is instant? Nothing is instant. Instant rice takes five minutes, instant pudding an hour. I doubt that an instant of blinding pain feels particularly instantaneous.”


“I found myself thinking about President William McKinley, the third American president to be assassinated. He lived for several days after he was shot, and towards the end, his wife started crying and screaming, "I want to go too! I want to go too!" And with his last measure of strength, McKinley turned to her and spoke his last words: "We are all going.” 

People have said before that this book is depressing. I'm not going to lie, it is sad but the humour in this story balances it out perfectly. I cannot even count the times I had a huge grin plastered in my face or how many times I laughed out loud and my family looking at me like I was crazy.  John Green has a gift in having a sad book funny at the same time *round of applause*
"If people were rain, I was drizzle and she was a hurricane.” 
This book made me laugh, made me cry and made me want to quote all the lines I found inspiring in real life. It being John Green's debut, it is fantastic. Truly a masterpiece, 5/5 stars!

Hagar Manssour x