Saturday, May 26, 2012

Looking For Alaska

Is it better to write a review immediately after finishing a book, while you're still all emotionally torn-up from it? Or should you wait a few hours or a day until you can make a objective point? Either way, I finished this about 30 seconds ago. Looking for Alaska is the Printz award-winning book by John Green. I can see why it won the award. But it didn't rip me apart like The Fault in our Stars.

A synopsis, from BN:
BEFORE. Miles “Pudge” Halter’s whole life has been one big non-event. Then 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 pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into a new life, and steals his heart. AFTER. Nothing is ever the same.

This book is a charming-but-serious coming of age story. It's also John Green's first published book, and I can see the differences right away from his newest release, The Fault in Our Stars. I don't want to make this a comparison between the two, but needless to say, TFIOS made me bawl my eyes out and piss myself laughing, and this book didn't have that kind of emotional range. The characters were hilarious, and they acted exactly like teenagers. They were funny and naive and stupid.

To be honest, I thought the story was comparable to any other really-good-but-not-amazing contemporary YA. What makes this book really great is the quotability of it. Practically ever page has a tattoo-worthy declaration. Read it with a pencil so you can underline the good ones.

When adults say, "Teenagers think they are invincible" with that sly, stupid smile on their faces, they don't know how right they are. We need never be hopeless, because we can never be irreparably broken. We think that we are invincible because we are. We cannot be born, and we cannot die. Like all energy, we can only change shapes and sizes and manifestations. They forget that when they get old. They get scared of losing and failing. But the part of us greater than the sum of our parts cannot begin and cannot end, and so it cannot fail. (Page 220)

And that's not even the quote I wanted to share with you, but I couldn't find the one I wanted.

All in all, everyone should be reading John Green. It doesn't have to be Looking for Alaska, it should definitely include The Fault in Our Stars, and just revel in his awesome.

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