Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Looking for Alaska by John Green

Looking for Alaska
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. 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.

When you've read a book and absolutely loved it *coughs TFiOS* sometimes you create an expectation in your head that the other books that author has wrote will be just as good in different ways. Looking For Alaska didn't live up to that expectation.

Looking For Alaska follows Miles, who has decided to move away to a boarding school in Alabama. Whilst there he meets the Colonel (his roommate) and Alaska, the Colonel's friend. Slowly he falls in love with Alaska.

It is really hard to do a spoiler free review on this book, given that "After" begins halfway through the book and so much of my unhappiness rests on that second half of the book. I loved the characters, well, most of them. Miles was a character whose eyes I really enjoyed viewing life through. He was witty, clever and could recite quotes off the top of his head. Alaska... Alaska was such an interesting character with this dynamic to her which means you never know what's going to come from her next. The characters were easy to warm to but it was definitely the plot that let this book down.

Like I said without spoiling this for anyone, it's pretty hard to sum up why I didn't like this book. The first part was interesting, but not great, and it was incredibly slow paced. Then came the AFTER. The after was a huge let down. To be honest in the most strange of ways After was the part I was looking forward to most, but it was just a bit dreary. *SPOILER* I feel that the way that death was depicted in this book wasn't that accurate. I know that everyone deals with death in very different ways and that the way that Miles is in denial is apparent grief. However, I know from experience that when you lose someone you truly love, isn't anywhere near as painless as the way John Green portrayed it in Looking For Alaska. I admit the book was sad, but the emotion of someone dying just wasn't there. It felt like everything had been watered down. "After" dragged and whilst it was upsetting to find out how Alaska died, I think the how discovery of find out how it happened could have been wrote to a far more powerful level.

Holly x

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