Challenges - American Journey and Young Adult.
Published in 2006 by Harper Collins.
The week before I left my family and Florida and the rest of my minor life to go to boarding school in Alabama, my mother insisted on throwing me a going-away party. To say that I had low expectations would be to underestimate the matter dramatically. Although, I was more or less forced to invite all my 'school friends', i.e.e the ragtag bunch of drama people and English geeks I sate with by social necessity in the cavernous cafeteria of my public school, I knew they wouldn't come.
Miles Halter leaves for boarding school in Alabama, hoping to find what the dying poet Rabelais called the 'Great Perhaps'. Miles has lived his life up until the present, as a social nobody and can't wait to reinvent himself and find the new Miles.
When he arrives at Culver Creek, he soon makes friends with his room mate, the Colonel and falls heavily for the charms of Alaska Young. Alaska is clever, funny, self destructive and dead sexy. Alaska pulls Miles into her web of charm and he falls completely for her.
Wow, what a book. This is the book of coming of age, that I wish I had read when I was a teen. It took me straight back to my teenage years with each turn of the page. I was back to the big haired, shoulder padded, puffball years of my youth.
Miles is the imperfect teenager that we all had inside us, full of insecurities on the inside and spots on the outside. It was interesting reading the story from a male point of view, as I realised it was something I didn't often do. Miles is a sympathetic narrator and I loved reading the book from his point of view. Alaska is the dark, misunderstood, heart wrenching James Dean style character that we all fell for during high school. She is the one every boy wants to date and every girl wants to be, but no one understands what hides within her heart and mind.
This book deals with a lot of emotional issues that even many adults would struggle to overcome. Alaska has had a painful past and you cannot help but want to hug her and make her feel better.
I loved this book completely. I couldn't put it down, once I started to read it. I loved the way the book is set out in a sort of diary format, although it isn't a diary. It reminded me a lot of Tully by Paullina Simons, which is just as heart wrenching in the end as Looking for Alaska.
John Green is quite a new author to me, but he is definitely one I want to read more from. I will be looking out at his new book Paper Towns soon.
Other reviews of this book
The Literary Stew
Lost In Books
Things Mean Alot