Looking for Alaska by John Green
Release Date: March 3, 2005
Target Audience: Young Adult (YA)
How I found out about it: Estelle recommended Will Grayson, Will Grayson. It wasn’t available at my library, but this was AND it was a 2006 Michael L. Printz Award winner.
Summary: Miles (aka: Pudge) is seeking his Great Perhaps – his one chance in life to do something he might regret later in life if he didn’t make a change in his life. He’s a nobody at his school in Florida, so he decides to leave his hometown to attend the boarding school his father went to in Alabama. It’s there that he meets Alaska – a girl with a crazy life story, who does a lot of drinking, and has little care for the school rules.
When I saw that Looking for Alaska was a Printz award winner and is holding steady at a 4.24 rating on Goodreads, I knew I had to add this book to my stack from the library. The story begins with a glimpse into Miles’ life in Florida – lonely and dreadful – where his parents are throwing him a going away party. Two people who stay no longer than an hour show up; everyone else invited skips the party. I connected immediately to this story as Miles is heading to Alabama in search of his own Great Perhaps. He’s hoping to make friends, to have stories to tell later in life, and he’d like to have a girlfriend.
The story begins at ‘one hundred thirty-six days before’. There is no indicator as to what the before will be. Before what? When Miles arrives at the boarding school, he meets his roommate, The Colonel, and the most beautiful girl he’s ever seen, Alaska. Miles has a huge crush on Alaska, and I sort of hoped that the moment defining before and after would be something amazing between these two characters. Green kept me guessing right up until the second everything happened. I have to be honest and say that what happened isn’t what I was expecting; though I loved the book and how everything tied up, this moment changed the dynamic of the book entirely.
I’m at a loss for words because I don’t know how to describe how beautifully this story was written without giving away every secret. Things I can share are how much I loved The Colonel and Miles’ relationship. They were two completely different guys coming from two very different worlds. They meshed together so well, and I couldn’t have been happier when I found out I was going to like the roommate. Miles’ wittiness came out at the new school and his deadpan attitude was perfect.
This review seems so vague, but if anything I encourage you to read this book.
I definitely cannot wait to read more by John Green, and I’m looking forward to getting my hands on Will Grayson, Will Grayson.