Saturday, March 4, 2017

Looking For Alaska - John Green


Title - Looking For Alaska
Author - John Green
Genre - Young Adult
Pages - 221

Before. Miles “Pudge” Halter is done with his safe life at home. His whole life has been one big non-event, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave “the Great Perhaps” even more (Francois Rabelais, poet). He heads off to the sometimes crazy 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. She is an event unto herself. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart. Then. . . .
After. Nothing is ever the same.
 




Premise      : 3
Writing        : 4
Characters  : 3
Journey      : 3
Ending        : 4


           

Looking for Alaska (by John Green) was originally published in 2005 and I read it now, in 2017. It took me almost 12 years to read this book, I was 12 years old when the book released and I didn't even know. Clueless. Somehow it's taking me some effort to wrap this insignificant fact round my head.

Anyway, I was excited to get into this book as I chose to venture into audio books and Looking For Alaska was my first (and absolutely random) choice. The audio book was about 426 minutes long and the actual book is only about 221 pages. So I guess I would've finished it faster if I had to just read it instead.

Coming to my opinion on this book after listening to it for 8 days - I thought the book was OK. It did deal with the very delicate topic of teenage suicide, but it didn't make as much of an impact on me as I thought it should've made after realizing what the story was trying to tell, which frankly dawned on me only once I had, with great difficulty, gotten through halfway with the audio. It was torturous.

Lets speak about the good parts first. Hands down, John Green is an excellent and a very gifted writer. His metaphorical style of writing was one of the reasons I kept going. His language, not too hard not too easy, makes the simplest of things sound more intense and significant. The AFTER part had me hooked, and magically the book was so much more easier to listen to. The struggle of Pudge and The Kernel to get over Alaska's death and find some sort of closure kind of spoke to me. Their emotions felt real, not too intense but real. I had kind of already figured out why Alaska died the way she did, but it was heart-warming to see the persistence of the other characters to find out why.

The first half of the book, to my dismay, was tortuously slow and unbearably boring. Neither the characters nor any event particularly held my interest. Nonetheless, I'm glad I got through it and got to the second half, cause that's when the events and conversations of the first half made sense and seemed almost necessary and contributory to the wholeness of the story.

I liked the repeated mention of the Labyrinth and how Pudge had a liking, or, in a more definitive term, a compulsion to remember the last words of prominent people. I don't know of people who have such disparate interests, but the quotes brought an emotional edge to the book, a facet reader's seem to have a great hunger for.

I could go on and on about the book since I only completed it this morning, but I think the book gives out a very strong message that I dearly appreciate.
a. Drinking and driving is NOT ok.
b. Do NOT drink and drive, it might be too late to realize that it's NOT ok!

Take care and be safe guys, and do your part to save those around you.

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