12 October 2011
Book Review: Looking for Alaska
Author: John Green
Publisher/Year: Dutton / 2005
Date Finished: 9 October 2011
Source/Format: Library / Print
Book #: 79
Buy | Borrow | Accept | Avoid
The Short and Sweet of It
Upon first entering Culver Creek Boarding School, Miles is a friendless gawky teen with a fascination for last words. Soon he is befriended by his roommate, the Colonel, and through him meets Alaska Young, a stunning, intelligent, rebellious prankster. And his life will never be the same.
A Bit of a Ramble
This book makes me think that John Green has a type. Alaska Young reminds me very much of Margo Roth Spiegelman, the main character in another John Green book, Paper Towns, not in details but in impression and feel. Both girls possess that quality expressed in Paper Towns: "Young. Goofy. Infinite." It is that "infinite" quality, that not-quite-of-this-world characteristic that defines Alaska and Margo. They are mysteries, ever-evolving ouroboros who are bent on boundless renewal and simultaneous self-destruction, beings with bottomless joie de vivre and abject depression. Bi-polar perfection.
What makes this type of person so intriguing? In my opinion, it is that they make you live. Truly live. In the moment. Without fear. At the same time, I honestly believe they are only healthy for a person in the world of literature. These are the type of girls that can really fuck you up.
This is my third John Green book after Paper Towns and An Abundance of Katherines. Actually, I guess this is my fourth as I also read will grayson, will grayson which he co-authored with David Levithan. I can safely say that I really enjoy his style, his characters, and his stories. If you have not yet read a Green, go do so. Now.
So many reviews have been written about this book that I feel pretty safe in leaving my totally insightful insights to the above paragraphs. Now I want to focus on Things This Book Made Me Want to Do:
Read The Oxford Book of Death: "The inescapable reality of death has given rise to much of literature's most profound and moving work. D.J. Enright's wonderfully eclectic selection presents the words of poet and novelist, scientist and philosopher, mystic and sceptic. And alongside these "professional" writers, he allows the voices of ordinary people to be heard; for this is a subject on which there are no real experts and wisdom lies in many unexpected places." Last words and other perspectives on death? Sounds like good reading.
Drink until my blood alcohol reaches .24: Okay, so this one will probably never happen (or at least it won't happen until baby is no longer squatting in my uterus), but I did find myself quite curious as to how drunk one is at .24....
Bury something in secret: The "something" in the book is alcohol, but I'm leaving my options open since I'm not a big drinker (even when not pregnant). I just like the idea of burying something no one knows about but me.
I fully intend on fulfilling the first and the last, but the middle? Eh. Maybe I'll convince someone else to get that drunk - which probably wouldn't be a problem for me. What would be a problem is getting my hands on a breathalyzer. Not quite sure how to go about doing that...
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