Friday, December 27, 2013

Looking for Alaska by John Green

Looking for Alaska
This book has been on my shelf for at least 5 years, possibly more. I was lucky enough to meet John at the McConnell Conference and have this book signed, but still I let it sit for another 3 years. I finally read it and of course loved it and have waited almost a month to sit down and write the review. I am not for sure what is wrong with me, but finally I am going to review it. I usually have to sit awhile and think after reading one of Green's books, because they are very deep and there is so much to deliberate about.

Miles is tired of his mundane high school experience and is excited to try life at a boarding school, a school his father attended and remembers with fondness. Miles loves last lines, words that people speak with their dying breaths and loves reading biographies. He is particularly attracted to the idea of a "Great Perhaps," that we should find the path that leads to our destiny and not regret a thing. For Miles, one great perhaps is Alaska. Alaska, along with Takumi, the Colonel, and Lara, are friends Miles makes at boarding school, but more importantly they are the ones who help him truly live. When the unthinkable happens, Miles and his friends must learn to live with their mistakes, but also learn that life goes on even in the face of loss.

Wow is about all I can say about this book. It was heartbreaking and wonderful and breaks you and rebuilds you within its 200 or so pages. I read this almost entirely in one sitting and felt a little lost when I finished it. I love that he divided the book into a before and after and that although the characters are shattered, there is still hope. I am trying to write this review without spoilers and it is very difficult, but that is about all I can say without getting into spoilers.

Favorite Character: Probably Takumi, he is a caring character and even though he also messes up in the story, he seems to be the one who genuinely cares about the rest of them. I love all of the flawed characters in the book and you can't help but love them, even when it is hard to like them.

Favorite Quotes: Wow, this is an extremely hard one. I could just put almost the entire book in quotes and be done with it, but I will try to pick.
"If only we could see the endless string of consequences that result from our smallest actions. But we can't know better until knowing better is useless."
"But that part of us greater than the sum of our parts cannot begin and cannot end, and so it cannot fail."

This book makes you think about so many things, life, death, growth, mistakes, and forgiveness. It speaks to both teens and adults, because it is fairly true to life and loss. 5 cups of cocoa!

1 comment:

  1. I just finished Looking for Alaska. I agree with everything you said in this review Sarah. I read the After portion of the book in one sitting. It was a hard book not to give away spoilers with. I'm emotionally torn because of this book. I fell in love with the characters John Green created and I was devastated by the loss in this novel. I am having a hard time picking up another novel after reading this one.