I absolutely adore reading - my love for books has had a huge impact on my life! I'm going to grad school to be a children's/YA librarian.
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. 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. (source)
I really, really enjoyed this book. I wasn't really expecting it to because, while I liked The Fault in Our Stars, I do think it's pretty overrated. This book was John Green's first, and maybe that's why I haven't encountered so much hype about it. Anyway, this is another assignment for my Resources for Young Adults course and I'm so glad that the class gave me an incentive to read the book!
One wonderful result of there not being as much hype about this book as Green's others is that I knew absolutely nothing about it going in. There's a pretty big event in the middle of this book and if I'd known about it, I probably wouldn't have enjoyed the book as much. As it was, the event shocked me just as much as it shocked the characters and even when I realized what would happen, I was basically in denial for several pages. What a great plot twist!
I also loved the characters. They were all wonderfully flawed, but not excessively so, and they each contributed something different to the story. I honestly don't know who I liked best, and there wasn't a single one who I disliked, except for those who the reader's supposed to dislike, of course. And, like The Fault in Our Stars, this book featured John Green's wit, but unlike TFiOS, I didn't feel like it did so to an excessive degree.
This book made me want to read more of John Green's works. Though I liked TFiOS, it didn't make me want to read other books by him, so Looking for Alaska is definitely an improvement in this way. Which is kind of disappointing, considering that it was written first - does this mean that Green's writing abilities have deteriorated as he's published more books? I hope not! If Green's other novels are anything like this one, I can definitely see why teens today love them so much. Definitely recommend reading this if you like boarding school stories, but are looking for one that's a bit different from the other ones out there.