Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Looking for Alaska

by John Green

My current author obsession? John Green. Why? Tots obvs. He's brilliant. The Fault in Our Stars? And now, after reading Looking for Alaska? I must immediately read everything this man has ever put down on paper. He writes for a "young adult" audience, and his stories typically revolve around teenage characters. However, I love how he doesn't write his characters as people who are too young to know any better, or with shallow emotions. He writes his characters with depth, with true and heartbreaking emotion. They struggle with finding themselves, discovering love and making their way through the "labyrinth of suffering".

Looking for Alaska centers around our narrator "Pudge" as ventures to boarding school (voluntarily) to seek his "great perhaps". He meets an array of  characters who break him out of his daily stupor and essentially change who he is, no one more than Alaska. Sure, this process involves a lot of smoking cigarettes and getting drunk out in the woods... but it also involves great friendship, love, and loss. I'm still thinking about this story and Pudge's revelations days after finishing it. Let me just include some quotes from the book to spark some interest...

"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 that we are invincible because we are. We cannot be born, and we cannot die. Like all energy, we can only change shapes and sizes and manifestations. They forget that when they get old. They get scared of losing and failing. But that part of us greater than the sum of our parts cannot begin and cannot end, and so it cannot fail." - John Green, Looking for Alaska

"So I walked back to my room and collapse on the bottom bunk, thinking that if people were rain, I was drizzle and she was a hurricane." -John Green, Looking for Alaska

Please read this, and call me so we can talk about this modern day Breakfast Club of a novel.