Friday, March 13, 2015

Flashback Friday (#6): Mini Review: Looking For Alaska by John Green

This is a more irregular feature. Flashback Friday is where I review, or possibly discuss, an old TV show, movie, book, or album. So what's considered old? Anything that was not released within the past year and a half. By years, I mean calendar year (so for this year, June 2014-December 2015 would NOT be old).

Looking for Alaska by John Green
Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers
Release Date: March 3rd, 2005
Before. Miles "Pudge" Halter's whole existence has been one big nonevent, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave the "Great Perhaps" (Fran├žois Rabelais, poet) even more. Then 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.

After. Nothing is ever the same.
"[Looking for Alaska] is decent, but it didn't really work for me."

To be honest, I was disappointed. So many people love this book, and I guess I could see why. Maybe I went into it expecting too much. But I don't think I would have liked it much two or five years ago either.

Pudge's voice just didn't work for me in the way Charlie's voice didn't work for me in Perks. I didn't particularly feel anything for any of the characters, and though I understood them and ther actions to some extent, I personally didn't connect or feel compelled by the story. I was able to predict the ending well in advance, despite this being one of the few books in which I didn't read ahead. There was just something missing here that worked so well for me in TFiOS. I've been told that people who know someone who committed suicide got much more out of it though. 

However, the one thing that made me keep reading and made me give the book the additional .5 was the deep implications found in the novel. The book did make me think. It made me question. It made me talk to people about some of the issues brought up in the book. 

All in all, the book isn't horrible. It's decent, but it didn't really work for me. I liked how it made me think, but it didn't do so much for me beyond that. People mention Alaska being a MPDG, and I can definitely see why. I feel like this is a book that I'd only recommend to certain people.
[To be honest, do I even need to include these links?]
Looking for Alaska: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository

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