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Looking for Alaska by John Green

May 7, 2014

looking alaskaLooking for Alaska by John Green. Pub. HarperCollins, 2013.

The most enjoyable and satisfying novel for High school students i have read this year. Why? because the four major characters in it are just superb.

Miles Halter goes to the same High School in steamy Alabama as his father went to and stays as a boarder. Miles is looking for the Big Perhaps and he meets it alright in the shape of three friends at the school that are to change his life for ever.

He rooms with Chip alias the Colonel, a poor boy, with a deep resentment of the rich, due to his upbringing in a trailer park. He is on a scholarship to the school, is witty and a risk taker. Just what Miles needs. He nicknames Miles Pudge because he is tall and thin and Pudge he becomes.

He is introduced to a brilliant girl named Alaska and is instantly attracted to her and hungers after her for the rest of the book. She in turn flirts with him and other boys but when it comes down to it she holds them all at bay by saying she is true to her boyfriend Jake who is hung like a horse and is an attentive lover. You innocents cannot compete with that.

The fourth character is Takumi, a Japanese boarder who is a true friend and for all the others holds a key position in their friendship.

The book is in two parts and is structured in the days counting down to the beginning of a relationship. Miles or Pudge narrates the story as we count down from136 days Before the event. When it happens everything is blown out of the water but you will have to read it to find out what.

Part 2 is 136 days After the event and wow it is brilliant. As I read it I said why can’t I write like this? and you will too.

The novel is underpinned by a deep philosophical argument about the meaning of life and growing up. Highly recommended.

 

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