Miles “Pudge Halter is done with his safe life at home. His whole existence has been on 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 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.
My dear Lord this book. Looking for Alaska is my all time favorite book and has been for the four years. I’ve read this book six or seven times and my reaction hasn’t changed for any of them. Every time I read this book I laugh, I cry, I hurt, I love along with all the characters. This time reading it was no different. I always get so emotional with the book. I love the storyline, the characters and the fact that it makes me think. I love everything about this book.
I guess I’ll start with the storyline. Yeah, there’s a countless number of books about kids that go to a new school and want fun adventures. They want exciting stories to tell. But the way John Green writes his books makes it so much more than what it is. This kid Miles is inspired to “seek a great perhaps”. How awesome is that? And of course, he does. But the friends that he makes at his new school aren’t the popular kids. He joins a group of what seems like troublemakers. Miles and his friends are normal boarding school kids with a whole lot of secrets. The plot twist in this story was one I never saw coming the first time I read it. I had no idea of the heartbreak that headed my way as soon as I opened this book. So many things that I read in this book made me think about some seriously intense things. It made me reevaluate a bit. I love every thought John Green’s words cause.
Now, on to the characters. There’s Miles “Pudge” Halter, Takumi, Chip “The Colonel” Martin, Lara, and, of course, the wonderful Alaska Young. Nothing can ever compete for the amount of love I have for these five characters. Which might be slightly frowned upon and probably not very healthy, but that’s okay. I’ll start with Pudge. I adored Pudge from the first page. He’s the typical slightly awkward high school boy who’s forever in love with a girl he’ll never get. But regardless of that, I loved him. He’s so sweet and innocent at the beginning of the book. By the end, Pudge has been through so much and changed because of it. I love that we get to see Pudge change. And I know that I definitely grew and changed with him. I love Pudge because he never loses hope throughout the whole book. With everything he goes through, he always has hope and that’s why I love him.
Let’s talk about Takumi next. The one thing that would have made me love Looking for Alaska more was that if Takumi had played a bigger part in the whole story. (The same goes for Lara, but we’ll get to her.) but I really liked Takumi’s character. He was always cracking jokes about everything. He was a very upbeat kind of guy. And I really liked that. Another thing was that Takumi gave Pudge and The Colonel their space when he knew it was needed. He also helped Lara with everything that was happening. I just found Takumi to be a stand-up guy. Someone who I’d love to be friends with.
We can go to The Colonel next. The first couple of times I read this book, The Colonel was my favorite. The guy knows every capital of every country in the world. How fucking cool is that? But there’s more. He also knows each country’s population as well. How ridiculous is that? I wish I was that smart. I also love how much of a no bullshit person he is. He’s very proud of what he has, even though it’s not a lot. The Colonel is very stubborn in his ways. Which isn’t really a bad thing because his values are basically, “Don’t rat anyone out ever. We look out for our own, even when it’s someone we don’t get along with. You don’t rat. It’s simple.” He has such loyalty even to those he doesn’t like. He has such strong morals and I love that.
And to Lara. Another character I really would have loved to see more of. She played a good part but there should have been more of her. She just plays this quiet little girl and all she wants is for Pudge to like her. But he loves Alaska. She deals with so much of his crap and still sticks around to be there as his friend when he needs one. Lara’s just so innocent and pure and just truly kind. I wish I knew her as a real person.
Last, but nowhere near least, my dear friend Alaska Young. Alaska Young is that girl that everyone secretly wants to be. She’s basically the most badass girl you’ve ever seen. Imagine yourself, a boy in small-town Florida, going to a new school, better yet a boarding school, and you’ve never really had many friends. Especially girlfriends. So you’re immediately infatuated with her. Then the more you get to know her, you start to fall in love with her. This kickass person who loves books, pranking people, and crazy adventures. This girl that makes you say “you can’t just make me different and then leave. Because I was fine before, Alaska. I was fine with just me and last words and school friends. And you can’t just make me different … Alaska, because now I’m irretrievably different, and I’m sorry I let you go, yes, but you made the choice. You left me. Perhaps-less stuck in your goddamn labyrinth.” Imagine feeling all the things this high school boy was feeling with everything this girl caused. I love her the way that Pudge loves her because that’s the only way I know Alaska. Alaska Young will be my dream girl for the rest of my life. There’s no way for us to not understand how Pudge feels because we feel everything with him. I fell in love with Alaska just like Pudge did.
As a whole, I love this story more than life itself. Looking for Alaska is one of those books that I need to share with the world and make everyone be as crazy about it as I am. So my only suggestion is to buy this book, read it, and fall hopelessly in love like I did.
Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.
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