I’d seen mostly decent reviews of John Green’s stuff, but never really taken much notice, sure he was on my bookmooch wishlist, but I wasn’t in any rush to grab a copy, however a couple of incredibly positive reviews at Stuff as Dreams are Made on and Things Mean a Lot convinced me to make more of an effort to find a copy, in the end I ordered a copy from my local bookshop, started reading it on the way home from work and stopping only to eat etc. I read it in one sitting, so engrossed was I in the story.
The book follows teenager Miles Halter, as he leaves home for boarding school, eager to leave behind his safe and rather lonely life at home to seek what the dying poet Francois Rabelais called the “Great Perhaps.” (Miles is a collector of “last words” and Rabelais’ quote is his favourite).
Much awaits Miles, at Culver Creek as he finds friends who truly seem to like and understand him. Not necessarily the friends his parents would have chosen, as they introduce Miles to cigarettes, getting drunk and playing pranks, but real, true friends. One of these friends is Alaska Young. Clever, funny, screwed-up, and dead sexy. Alaska will change Miles’ life forever.
It’s difficult to talk about the plot too much without spoiling it for those who have not read it, but while the “Great Perhaps” is Mile’s favourite quote, “How will I ever get out of this labyrinth?” is Alaska’s, taken from from Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s book, “The General in His Labyrinth.” It is the exploration of both of these that turns this into an incredible page-turner.
I decided to leave writing this review for a few days, hoping I’d better be able to capture my thoughts about this powerful novel, not sure it’s worked because I’m still struggling to put them into words without sounding sycophantic or clichéd. Because words like, wonderful, powerful, thoughtful, beautifully written all leap to mind.
So sod it! Go. Read. Now!
Buy, Looking for Alaska from Amazon.
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