Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Whacha Readin? Looking For Alaska by John Green

I listened to the Looking For Alaska audio book last month and it was pretty good.  I picked it up while browsing the stacks at my local library.  I must say I checked it out because I thought the movie had recently come out (only to find out I was mistaken... the movie was Paper Towns.)
Before.  Miles "Pudge" Halter's whole existence has been one big nonevent, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave the "Great Perhaps" (Francois Rabelais, poet) even more.  He heads off to the sometimes crazy, possibly unstable, 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, who is an even unto herself.  She pulls Pudge into her worlds, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart.
After.  Nothing is ever the same.
What I Liked 
  • Each chapter starts with a countdown.  So the entire time I'm trying to figure out what will happen at day zero.  What are we counting down to?  The anticipation was thick as butter...
  • Culver Creek Boarding School is located down I-65 south of Birmingham.  I loved that detail because I use to live in Huntsville and drove I-65 a lot.  It made me feel closer to the characters.
  • I loved the way Alaska floated through her moods.  She would be in a good mood at one moment and then a thought would cross and she'd be back in the darkness.  That's very real to me.
  • In the audio book each character had a voice.  The Colonel and Alaska were quite country and it made me miss the south sooo much. lol ^.^
  • I've never been into reading biographies, but it was interesting to hear all the last words that are peppered throughout the story.
Not So Much
  • The bulk of the story centers around the Colonel, Alaska, and Pudge, but they had two other friends, Lara and Takumi.  Those two seemed to disappear at one point.  I kept thinking 'I wonder what/how they are doing...'  I guess they were basically supporting characters but they were so important in helping me get to know the other three that I felt a bit jilted on their behalf when they faded into the background.
  • I wanted Day Zero to be addressed in some big way.  I listened to the chapter two or three times just because I didn't want to believe that Day Zero just floated by and then it was one day after.
There were lots of moments in this book.  Moments that imprint themselves on your memory and you smile when you think of them.  Like when Pudge tells his parents he "goes to seek a great perhaps."  When Alaska reads him the excerpt about getting out of the labyrinth of suffering.  The pranks.  Colonel and Pudge's drive.  The freestyle cypher.  These moments brought me back to college when I lived and learned with my friends.  We were all discovering new things about ourselves and moving closer to the adults we are today.  We were there for each other through so much.  This story really made me think back on the friends that came into my life and left deep footprints.  Friends that came in and made me different.

This is my favorite quote.  It's from the very end when Pudge is reading his final paper for his religion class.
"Those awful things are survivable because we are as indestructible as we believe ourselves to be... We need never be hopeless because we can never be irreparably broken."
Dear John Green, Please stop making me cry my eyeballs out while reading your books. Thankx!

If you've read Looking for Alaska, or any other John Green books, what did you think?  What was your favorite part?  Leave me a recommendation for my next book to read. Have a great day!

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