Looking for Alaska by John Green
I recently fell down a Green brothers k-hole on the internet. If you are not familiar with them, John and Hank Green compromise "VlogBrothers". They are responsible for such YouTube gems as The Lizzie Bennett Diaries and CrashCourse... and too many wasted (but totally worth it) hours of BearAllen's life. However, one half of VlogBrothers is the author of a "little known" book called The Fault in Our Stars. On the recommendation of a trusted friend, I decided to begin my venture into the work of John Green, beginning with his very first book... Looking for Alaska.
This book had a surprising effect on me. I really didn't have any emotional reaction to the big event in the book, but as I read the last few lines, the real tragedy of being a teenager hit me. As a 32 (*gulp*) year old woman, I know now how insignificant all the problems I had in my teen years were. But at the time, those problems were very real and seemingly insurmountable. For the most part, these teenagers will grow up and be given the chance to laugh at their angsty 17 year old self. Unfortunately, there are many teenagers who never get the opportunity to find out that the whole "it gets better" mantra is true. The beauty of John Green's work is that he gives teenagers a voice and respects their experience, while poking fun at his own teenage dramatics. It'll all be funny one day... but today, it feels like the end of the world. Amazon's Synopsis: Winner of the Michael L. Printz Award An ALA Best Book for Young Adults An ALA Quick Pick A Los Angeles Times 2005 Book Prize Finalist A New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age A 2005 Booklist Editor’s Choice A 2005 School Library Journal Best Book of the Year Before. Miles “Pudge” Halter is done with his safe life at home. His whole life has been one big non-event, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave “the Great Perhaps” even more (Francois Rabelais, poet). He heads off to the sometimes crazy 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. She is an event unto herself. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart. Then. . . . After. Nothing is ever the same.