Title: Looking for Alaska
Author: John Green
Genre: Young adult literature/Philosophical literature
Before. Miles “Pudge” Halter is done with his safe life at home. His whole life has been one big non-event, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave “the Great Perhaps” even more (Francois Rabelais, poet). He heads off to the sometimes crazy 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. She is an event unto herself. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart. Then. . . .
After. Nothing is ever the same.
I keep coming back to this book. I was obsessed with it when I was 16. This story is about growing up, maturing, friendship, first love, first painful experiences of life. Shy boy falls in love with a girl who's a walking mystery. I remember aspiring to be like Alaska. Smart, clever, funny. I loved books just as much she did. Alaska's Life's Library partially inspired Jo's Library. In this book, John Green underlines the timeless value of the events and draws attention to important issues such as lack of acceptance, exclusion, pain after the loss of a loved one. He doesn't color reality and calls things by name, so when reading it, you can not feel a bucket of cold water poured on your head. I admit that this story is emotionally shattering, even now when I'm no longer a teenager. John Green doesn't write trivial novels and this one is certainly an opposite of triviality.
“The only way out of the labyrinth of suffering is to forgive.”
“When I look at my room, I see a girl who loves books.”
“I may die young, but at least I'll die smart.”
“What is an "instant" death anyway? How long is an instant? Is it one second? Ten? The pain of those seconds must have been awful as her heart burst and her lungs collapsed and there was no air and no blood to her brain and only raw panic. What the hell is instant? Nothing is instant. Instant rice takes five minutes, instant pudding an hour. I doubt that an instant of blinding pain feels particularly instantaneous.”