Looking for Alaska
by John Green
reviewed by Jinan Al-Marayati
Looking for Alaska is an insightful, compelling young adult novel written by a famous author, who goes by the name of John Green. The story begins with the story of a teenage boy named Miles Halter; he has had the pleasure of growing up in one most humid areas, Florida. During his past two years of high school, he has had the maximum of two unreal friends. That couple of friends did not necessarily matter to Miles, since he would be starting a new high school career at Culver Creek High School, a boarding school located in Alabama. Miles is a boy with a very unique personality. He is intelligent, a bit of an introvert, memorizes last words of famous individuals, and hopes to discover Great Perhaps of his life.
Miles enters the school with an optimistic attitude, hoping that he will find his pride and joy in this high school. He also significantly hopes to make more than two friends. At one point, he finally meets his roommate, Chip Martin, who also goes by “Colonel”. Later, Miles, or “Pudge” at this point, meets the Colonel’s friends. Most importantly, he meets the “love of his life”, Alaska Young. Little does he know the type of catastrophe and depression she will bring him towards the end of the novel. Miles also develops more friends of the Colonel’s named Takumi, and a friend of Alaska’s, named Lara. This group of friends goes through a countless amount of trouble, happiness, and significant events together.
John Green wrote Looking for Alaska in a very interesting and unique style. This book included no chapters what so ever, but a number of days that begun each sequence in the book. In the first half, the numbers of days were leading up to an occurrence. For example, “one hundred and twenty-six days before” (Green 29). Then, in the middle of the book, a page separates “before” from “after”. For instance, “one hundred and two days after” (Green 203). The mystery of the novel is discovering what the event is, and how it can change lives in a matter of seconds.
Looking for Alaska is a great novel that many young adults will be able to relate to. There is young romance, a bit of mystery, and comedy in the novel. John Green does a tremendous job of putting this novel together, by connecting parts of the novel to modern teen problems. He does this by showing the complicated love between a boy and girl, forbidden acts that teenagers completely disobey, self-destruction, and how a person’s Great Perhaps can change in an instant. Looking for Alaska is a great novel to read, and many teenagers and adults will thoroughly enjoy the story.