My Thoughts on: Looking for Alaska by John Green
A deeply affecting coming-of-age story, Looking for Alaska traces the journey of Miles Halter, a misfit Florida teenager who leaves the safety of home for a boarding school in Alabama and a chance to explore the "Great Perhaps." Debut novelist and NPR commentator Green perfectly captures the intensity of feeling and despair that defines adolescence in this hip, shocking, and emotionally charged work of fiction.
Miles has a quirky interest in famous people's last words, especially François Rabelais's final statement, "I go to seek a Great Perhaps." Determined not to wait for death to begin a similar quest, Miles convinces his parents to let him leave home. Once settled at Culver Creek Preparatory School, he befriends a couple of equally gifted outcasts: his roommate Chip―commonly known as the Colonel—who has a predilection for memorizing long, alphabetical lists for fun; and the beautiful and unpredictable Alaska, whom Miles comes to adore.
The kids grow closer as they make their way through a school year filled with contraband, tests, pranks, breakups, and revelations about family and life. But as the story hurtles toward its shattering climax, chapter headings like "forty-six days before" and "the last day" portend a tragic event―one that will change Miles forever and lead him to new conclusions about the value of his cherished "Great Perhaps."
“If people were like rain, I was like drizzle and she was a hurricane.”
I don't know how much of a hurricane Alaska Young was. She sure was a mystery, but the real hurricane was what John Green caused yet another time in my heart when I read this book.
“It always shocked me when I realized that I wasn’t the only person in the world who thought and felt such strange and awful things.”
Truth be told, I knew I was going to go through a lot of feelings with this one from the moment I saw it was divided into parts entitled "X days before". Before what? My heart knew the answer, and there I was, lying to myself it might be something else. But then... why would everyone have said they cried reading this book? So... I didn't cry, fortunately. Or maybe it would've been better if I did. Here I am, one hour after finishing this, and I feel hopelessly lost.
"“Thomas Edison's last words were 'It's very beautiful over there'. I don't know where there is, but I believe it's somewhere, and I hope it's beautiful.”"
I can't even put it in words... all that I feel right now. It basically put out there everything each and every one of us questions about life, love, death. But there are no answers to those, there never will be any. I guess we each have to find them on our own. This is not a review, this is just myself trying to get over this book... this book that I don't even know why I liked so much.
“He was gone, and I did not have time to tell him what I had just now realized: that I forgave him, and that she forgave us, and that we had to forgive to survive in the labyrinth. There were so many of us who would have to live with things done and things left undone that day. Things that did not go right, things that seemed okay at the time because we could not see the future. If only we could see the endless string of consequences that result from our smallest actions. But we can’t know better until knowing better is useless. And as I walked back to give Takumi’s note to the Colonel, I saw that I would never know. I would never know her well enough to know her thoughts in those last minutes, would never know if she left us on purpose. But the not-knowing would not keep me from caring, and I would always love Alaska Young, my crooked neighbor, with all my crooked heart.”