Looking for Alaska is a young adult novel centered on Miles Halter a.k.a Pudge and his fascination over famous last words.
He’s gone tired of his life in Florida so he decided to leave for boarding school, in the hopes of finding the “Great Perhaps” ( François Rabelais’ famous last words ). At Culver Creek, he meets his roommate, Chip a.k.a Colonel, and Alaska Young, a funny, clever, sexy, but screwed up girl who’s obsessed in finding her way out of the labyrinth. Being friends with two of the most furious pranksters in school, Pudge learns to break school rules and indulge into illicit activities such as smoking and drinking. He falls in love with Alaska, who pushes him to the pit of his “Great Perhaps.”
John Green is one of the few young writers I know who actually make sense. He’s only written a few books, but his pieces have already garnered some recognition, not to mention, his books made it to the list of New York Time’s Best Sellers. Although Looking for Alaska is labeled Young Adult Fiction, there’s some depth to it. There’s a sense of maturity, while keeping the teen spirit and youth enthusiasm.
As the three main characters journey towards finding the way out of the “Labyrinth” and seeking the “Great Perhaps”, I cannot help but muse over my own journey towards life. There’s so much to learn from this book. Alaska reminds me of a typical rebellious girl, who conceals her weakness by smoking and drinking relentlessly, and throwing pranks. She’s furious on the outside, but soft and fragile inside. Her character is quite moving that I found myself weeping for a good 20 seconds when she died.
The novel mainly reflects teenage angst and raging hormones, but at the same time, presents teenagers’ vulnerability and how their sad affairs in life affect them. How easily they freak out and fall apart when things don’t go their way. The best part of the book, for me, is when the three teenagers showed their profoundness about their lives, about how they deal with the labyrinth (life’s sufferings) or the Great Perhaps (life’s future). If every teenager in this world are like them, then the world would’ve been a better place.
Its nothing fancy actually. It’s plain, simple, and direct to the point. But nonetheless, it’s one of the best young adult books there is. It’s well written for its target audience, if I may say so.
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