Book Review: Looking for Alaska
“When adults say ‘Teenagers think they are invincible’ with that sly, stupid smile on their faces, they don’t know how right they are. We need never be hopeless because we can never be irreparably broken. We think we are invincible because we are.”
To begin this regular column of book reviews, I have decided to choose one of my all-time favorite books, Looking for Alaska by John Green. Having read a myriad of Young Adult authors, I found that John Green is able to capture to essence of youth in a way no other YA author can. As a “seasonal’ reader (meaning that I probably read most of my books for the year during the school year), I find that this book is perfect for this back to school or school reading because it is more slow-paced, and gives off a calming vibe. When I first read this book, I was not a big reader like I am today. I think that is because I did not think books could be about people like me, who face real problems, and John Green really showed me otherwise. Looking For Alaska is a great book for people who don’t necessarily identify as a reading, but are looking to broaden their horizons.
Looking for Alaska follows main character Miles, better known as Pudge, and his experiences at Culver Creek, the boarding school he began attending in search of his “Great Perhaps.” While staying at Culver Creek, Pudge befriends a ragtag group of kids that consist of Chip Martin aka “The Colonel”, and Takumi Hikohito the mastermind, and the enigma that is Alaska Young. Throughout the year at Pudge partakes in many shenanigans with his new friends that include blue hair dye, and several close encounters with the principal, whom they call “The Eagle.” This is until something terrible happens, and their fun is brought to a halt.
In attempts to find answers to questions that are in many ways unanswerable, Pudge finds closure in a question presented to him by his Religious Studies teacher, Dr. Hyde. So, I leave you with that same question, “How will we ever get out of this labyrinth of suffering?” Suffering is something that is universal, but is unique to every person. This labyrinth may be something we never get out of, but it is just something we learn to live with.