Looking For Alaska Book Review
Looking for Alaska is the first Novel from John Green, published in 2005. John Green grew up in Orlando, Florida, before attending Indian Springs School, a boarding and day school outside of Birmingham, Alabama. He graduated from Kenyon College in 2000 with a double major in English and Religious Studies. After leaving college, Green spent five months working as a student chaplain in a children’s hospital, and was enrolled at the University of Chicago Divinity School at the time, although he never actually attended.
The story is narrated by a young boy named Miles Halter who leaves his home in Florida to attend Culver Creek Preparatory High School in Alabama for his junior year. He meets and makes friends there including Alaska young and Chip Marten who is often called “The Colonel”.
Miles, tired of his friendless, dull life in Florida, convinces his parents to send him away to boarding school in Alabama so that he can seek “the Great Perhaps.” There he meets his roommate and soon-to-be best friend, Chip, called the Colonel, and Alaska Young, the moody, gorgeous, wild girl who instantly becomes the object of his lust. Miles is quickly enlisted in their war against the Weekday Warriors, the rich kids who go home every weekend, and they bond over elaborate pranks, studying, and assorted rule-breaking. About halfway through the book a tragedy occurs, and those left spend the rest of the book trying to make sense of it, to solve the mystery it leaves behind, and to pull off one last, greatest-ever prank
Soon after arriving at Culver Creek, Miles meets his roommate, Chip “The Colonel” Martin. The Colonel soon provides Miles with his very own nickname: “Pudge,” The friendship between the two roommates leads to an introduction to the Colonel’s friend, Alaska Young. Alaska is described as an attractive and emotionally unstable girl. Pushing aside the moments of her rage, Pudge develops his first crush. The eve of his first day at Culver Creek, Pudge is grabbed out of his bed, duct-taped, and tossed into a nearby lake by the “Weekday Warriors,” a group of rich, stuck up, Birmingham-area students of Culver Creek. The “Weekday Warriors” earned their title because during the weekdays they stay at the school, while over the weekends, they get to go back to their “perfect, air-conditioned lives in Birmingham.” The tossing of new students into the school lake is a customary prank, the duct-taping, however, is not, leading the Colonel to understand that this was not just an ordinary prank. After taking part in a prank war with the weekday warriors, the Colonel and his friends become closer to one another. Pudge eventually ends up falling for Alaska. One night, whilst drinking, Alaska and Pudge hook up. Alaska then receives a phone call and then freaks out. She enlists the help of the Colonel and Pudge in order for her to escape from Culver Creek. They comply, but do not know where or why Alaska is acting the way she is. The first chapter of the “After” shows The Colonel and Pudge finding that letting Alaska go resulted in her death. Devastated, the remainder of the book revolves around the Colonel and Pudge try to uncover the mystery behind her death. Pudge and his gang also plan a prank in Alaska’s honor. In the end, they find out that she was off to see her mother’s grave, as Alaska felt responsible for her death and had visited the grave every year on the anniversary of her mother’s death. However, she forgot this year and was in a rush to go to her mother’s grave.
John Green’s books is really good writing because it is the kind of writing that creeps in little by little and it’s like I start reading a paragraph and it seems like any regular paragraph in a book, until I reach its end and notice that there is more detail in one single paragraph of a John Green book than in entire book collections out there. If you’re really into teen fiction then Looking for Alaska is the book for you.