The book centers around Miles Halter, a teenage boy who is unsatisfied with his life in public school and his lack of friends, who spends his days reading about famous last words. In his junior year, he goes searching for a “Great Perhaps” and decides to transfer to Culver Creek, a boarding school. He soon receives the nickname “Pudge” by his new friends there, including a girl named Alaska. He immediately falls in love with Alaska, but between his pursuits and his search he follows his friends in smoking, drinking, and pulling pranks on the Weekday Warriors, all the while him and his friends growing and learning about each other and themselves.
One of the best things about this book is the personality of the protagonist. He is fun, humorous, and his dialogue was very sarcastic and witty, to everyone including himself. Something I could find some people not liking also has to do with the main character, you can’t take him too seriously or you might end up getting annoyed with him, and he does end up changing a lot between the beginning and the end. All the characters are very believable and are easy to empathize with, with almost everybody in the book saying something or doing something at one point that you probably have done. Anybody familiar with John Green books know that the last chapter or several pages are always the best part and often very beautiful and intricate, and Looking for Alaska does not differ from this pattern.
There are so many great quotes that derive from this book, but one of my favorites was the comparison Pudge makes to himself and Alaska. “…Thinking that if people were rain, I was drizzle and she was hurricane.” I think the quote is very profound and really reflects on both of their characters, with Pudge thinking that he was too boring and awkward to the beautiful, feisty, and fascinating Alaska Young.
Reviewed by Emily, Grade 9, Twin Hickory Area Library