Miles Halter is fascinated by famous last words and tired of his safe life at home. He leaves for boarding school to seek what the dying poet Francois Rabelais called the "Great Perhaps." Much awaits Miles at Culver Creek, including Alaska Young. Clever, funny, screwed-up, and dead sexy, Alaska will pull Miles into her labyrinth and catapult him into the Great Perhaps.
Looking for Alaskabrilliantly chronicles the indelible impact one life can have on another. A stunning debut, it marks John Green's arrival as an important new voice in contemporary fiction.
This. Book. Is. Brilliant. Just oh my wow is John Green an amazing writer. His prose is seriously some of the best I've ever read. It's all so deep, raw, and just completely honest. I could relate to some of his words so well that I'd find my breath catching as I was reading. Pair that with some realistic and hilarious dialogue and you've got yourself an amazing read.
His characterization is incredible. I got so attached to Miles "Pudge" Halter (the nickname irony because he's skinny.) I loved his obsession with last words. Nobody does male POV better than a male, obviously. Females try to replicate it, but only guys can write characters that can be somewhat crude in that male way and still be meaningful and likable. But every single character is quirky and flawed and I loved that. Alaska has a "Life's Library" consisting of hundreds of books stacked everywhere. She is extremely moody, and can be such a bitch sometimes, but she's mostly smart and funny and daring and you end up getting extremely attached to her despite her flaws. That's the greatest thing a writer can do. All the side characters are well developed as well. Chip "The Colonel", Pudge's roommate and friend, was a great partner in crime. He was hilarious. Some of the things he said had me cracking up.
Honestly, concerning the plot, with writing this amazing, he could've written about anything. It was one of those boarding school stories with a tragic spin that I will not reveal. It was all done so well. The pranks the kids came up with, the rule breaking. I seriously cannot stop raving. Just a warning though, there is swearing and some crude jokes. It didn't bother me, but I know that it bothers some, so just a heads up!
My favorite subplot that tied into the main plot was the religion classes. Dr. Hyde was so smart. "And in my classes, I will talk most of the time, and you will listen most of the time. Because you may be smart, but I've been smart longer." The things he said about finding meaning in life, and just everything else he said was so interesting and really resonated with me, more so than I expected.
And the labyrinth metaphor? Brilliant and so thought provoking. It had my mind running in circles throughout the entire book.
It's not life or death, the labyrinth. Suffering. Doing wrong and having wrong things happen to you. That's the problem. Bolivar was talking about the pain, not about the living or dying. How do you get out of the labyrinth of suffering?
I would give this book more than five stars if I could. For me, it was just that good. Epic writing, and quotes that will forever resonate with me trumps any flaws. This is going on my favorites shelf, for sure. I definitely recommend it to anyone!