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” (François 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.
My Take, Why it’s worth a read:
I’m going to keep this review short, because so much has been said on this book. It’s a book aimed to a teenage demographic but it’s a short read with a great storyline full of lessons. Of all the John Green books I’ve read this one is easily my favorite and yes that includes The Fault in Our Stars. Green makes ‘seeking a Great Perhaps’ the cornerstone of this story. Not waiting to live your life but instead constantly be seeking what makes you feel alive and fills you with passion.
The writing is as great as I always expect now from JG, and the story unfolds with a great pace that makes you never want to put the book down. You will feel excitement, sadness, and maybe even a little anger reading this book, but this book will be memorable. This is an outstanding coming-of-age novel that doesn’t resort to a “happily ever after” ending, but the characters each seek closure on their own terms. The characters are well drawn, witty, and full of individual quirks.
This book also includes some fun pranks, some great humor, and some shocking turns of events. I loved the “before”/”after” and the whole countdown. I thought that was a really neat tool that helped build suspense.
Looking For Alaska is a book I still love and recommend years later, and occasionally still think about.
“Francois Rabelais. He was a poet. And his last words were “I go to seek a Great Perhaps.” That’s why I’m going. So I don’t have to wait until I die to start seeking a Great Perhaps.”
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