weekend read: Looking for Alaska

Looking for Alaska

Remember how I discovered John Green through a friend and professed my undying love?

Well, I happened to have another one of his books on my shelf and wasted no time in devouring that one also.  It was just as good, I loved the characters just as much, and, at times, it was just as painfully beautiful as the last one.

I’m not sure if this is a John Green theme or it just happens to be in the only two books I’ve read of his, but dang, when teenagers die, that messes me up.  And even when you see it coming–which I kind of did–you’re still messed up by it.

The main character, Pudge (real name: Miles), goes off to boarding school to find his Great Perhaps and finally makes friends.  Two of his new friends, the Colonel and Alaska, introduce him to all the things his parents told him to avoid: cigarettes, drinking, girls, and pranks. 

Pudge falls hard for Alaska and while immersing himself in boarding school life, comes to realize what his life was lacking back home when he avoided relationships.  But as with most teenagers, Pudge and his friends often forget that they aren’t indestructible and some things can’t be undone.

Looking for Alaska, just like The Fault in Our Stars is a quick, smart read.  The banter between the characters might be lost on the majority of my students and there are a couple awkward makeout scenes, so I would definitely say this book is more appropriate for the high school crowd than the middle schoolers I teach.  I’m not going to book talk this one because that peeks too much interest and I wouldn’t want some kids to read this.  Instead it’s going quietly to my shelf where it will wait patiently for the right student.

(Random side note: on the Nerd Book Clubs post last week, they referenced this book’s characters and I felt a little moment of happiness when they did.  Just a little dorky bibliophile moment, I guess.)

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