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” (François Rabelais, poet) even more. Then 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 event unto herself. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart.
After. Nothing is ever the same
What I Liked:
I’m just gonna say it: I love John Green. He could literally write anything and I would be smitten – so admittedly there is a bias.
But Looking for Alaska was superbly written. It hooked me from page one, and kept me interested until the final chapter.
AND THE CHARACTERS. Pudge is brilliant: intelligent, a little goinky (ITS A WORD), hopelessly in love with an unattainable girl, and attempting to seek a great perhaps. As far as protagonists go, Pudge was excellent.Then there’s Alaska: gorgeous, genius, incredibly sad. I feel like a lot of people can relate to her – happy one minute, but always that underlying sadness. Her depression is subtle: the reader is just aware enough to think about it – and I thought that was incredibly clever of John Green.
And I also loved the style of the novel. With half the book being before and half after, it really gives the reader a feel of reality: how life doesn’t suddenly stop with a happy ending. It shows the characters trying to cope with grief, and struggling to move on. It was just so real. In my opinion: brilliant.
What I Didn’t Like:
I didn’t like how moments seemed to drag. For example, when Pudge and the General were trying to uncover exactly what had been going through Alaska’s mind, I kind of wanted to scream at them: ISN’T IT OBVIOUS, SHE LITERALLY TOLD YOU THE SHE SMOKES TO DIE AND SHE’S SAD ALL THE TIME, WHAT DO YOU REALLY THINK WAS GOING THROUGH HER MIND? But then again, part of me adored the complexities of their search.