Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Reads: Looking for Alaska by John Green

Continuing what seems to have become a bit of a fad where I'm reading anything I can, I just finished Looking for Alaska by John Green Yesterday. 

The book is quite well known already and as it's written for the young adult audience and heavily quoted online it seems to be quite "angsty". Even if you haven't read it you've probably heard the quote
"If people were rain I was a drizzle and she was a hurricane"
See the Tumblr tag of angsty teens if you don't believe me. (here)The book really is a coming of age story for teens who seem to relate to it a lot - alas I'm a bit outside of my teenage years now *sob* but still with a good amount of anxiety keeping me young I suppose!

As the quote suggests the novel has two central characters, Pudge and his love interest and title character Alaska. Pudge moves to a private boarding school his father attended in search of a The Great Perhaps and with no friends or siblings to leave behind, nothing to lose.

He immediately meets his room mate The Colonel and his friend Alaska. They amble through the school year together, pulling pranks, breaking the rules and generally being tearaways. Pudge gradually falls in love with Alaska until one fateful night where it all goes terribly wrong.

The novel is really a coming of age story, but the characters are likable and it keeps you turning to pages to find out what happens next. The central character Pudge is brilliantly written and compelling to read about as he tries copes with his new environment and suddenly faced with prospect of having and keeping friends.

It really is written for teens who can relate to the central characters social anxiety, still being in the school system and the complications it throws at you and the struggle to go along with your friends who you may not have much in common with or agree with at all.

The book can get quite philosophical at times following Pudge to his Religious Studies class and looking at how different religions try to understand the world around them and human suffering.

All in all this is a moving book and again, I'd recommend you read it yourself.

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