Looking for Alaska
Before. Miles "Pudge" Halter is done with his safe life at home. His whole existence has been one big nonevent, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave the "Great Perhaps" (Francois Rabelais, poet) even more. He heads off to the sometimes crazy, possibly stable, 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.
~description taken from book jacket
Well, most people reading this blog will have already read this one. For good reason- it's kind of amazing. I figure I'd review it anyway, if only to get the word out!
Last summer I read An Abundance of Katherines, one of John Green's other books. Looking for Alaska follows the same formula: Nerdy guy with a quirky interest decides he needs something new in his life, goes to a new location and meets an equally quirky girl who changes him. Generally, it annoys me when an author does the (almost) exact plot twice, but in this case I didn't really mind. This is because John Green is simply a really, really funny author. It takes a lot for me to laugh aloud when I'm sitting alone reading, but Green had me doing so several times throughout the course of Looking for Alaska. Also, the amount of obscure information he packs into his books is mind-boggling. He seems like one of those people who must have read every book ever printed. If I ever get the chance I want to hear him speak.
As a whole, Looking for Alaska is a bit of a heavy read, but not depressingly so. I think this is because you're meant to figure out what event separates the 'before' and 'after' of Miles' life, so it lessens the blow somewhat. The large doses of comedic dialogue also help with this. However, if you're looking just for a 'light' read I'd recommend An Abundance of Katherines. Actually, never mind that. Read both of them. John Green is excellent and I want to help spread the love.