Looking For Alaska: A Review


A Book That Brings Out A New You

If my memory serves me right the last time I shut myself in a room, away from the noises was when I was preparing for my literature papers. But today, no knock on the door disturbed me.

Winding my work early, I sent my family out to the market so that I could read my newly selected book at ease. Little did I know that I would fall so deeply in love with it. To my surprise I finished the entire book in three hours.

Although I have heard and read a lot about his work, Looking For Alaska is my first John Green book. And did I regret reading it? Hell no!

It is the story of skinny and nerdy looking sixteen-year-old Miles Halter. He is lonely, friendless and his biggest strength is his ability to remember famous peoples’ last words. For example when poet Francois Rabelais died, he said, “I go to seek a Great Perhaps.” And it is in his search for his “Great Perhaps” that Halter decides to join the Culver Creek Boarding School—the same one which his father attended.

While at Culver Creek, Halter finally makes some friends which includes Chip or the Colonel (a scholarship student from an impoverished background), Takumi (a Japanese kid who likes to rap) and Alaska Young (a smart, irreverent and complicated girl, who loves playing pranks). What transpires through Halter’s first year of boarding school is hilarious, alarming, amazing, touching, heart-breaking and enlightening. Mistakes are made, decisions cause pain, excitement, discovery and fear—something that we all have experienced in our school or college life. However, Halter and his friends also come face to face with tragedy that changes their lives forever.

The book is divided into two parts—Before and After. The first part is made up of the mundane, daily incidents of school life—kids going to classes, planning pranks, drinking, smoking, hooking up and doing stupid things. Then there occurs the calamitous event that brings all of their lives to a halt. That’s when the book loses the mundane and becomes momentous. The After is a grave, painful and genuine journey that teaches the friends the most important lessons of life.

The beauty of the book is the way Green has explored young bonds of friendship and love. The simplistic way in which he has structured his characters not only makes it easy for the reader to identify with them but rather fall in love them.  My personal favourite is Alaska Young who despite her mysterious self, reminded me of how I was at the age of sixteen.

John Green’s writes in very simple language and his writing style is such that it creeps in little by little. What I mean by that is that, it reads like a normal paragraph until you reach the end. Its in the end that you realize that he has captured more emotions in that paragraph than in the entire book.

But the reason why Looking For Alaska is special to me is because hours after finishing the book, I’m still thinking about. No book has ever had that sort of an effect on me so much so that now I can’t wait to grab a copy of another one of Green’s books.

So if you want to relive your teenage days, better grab a copy of Looking For Alaska!

Shraddha Jandial

Have you read any of John Green’s books? What do you think? Write your opinion in the comment box below.

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