Michael's Reviews > Looking for Alaska

Looking for Alaska by John Green
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M_50x66
's review
Feb 17, 11


** spoiler alert ** SPOILER ALERT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh. My. God. This book is AMAZING!!!!! John Green made an amazing debut. So amazing that as soon as I read this I went out and bought all of his other books.

So "Alaska" is about Miles Halter, who decides to go to Culver Creek Boarding School and promptly falls in love with a girl named Alaska Young.

As soon as I finished this book, I was thinking about it. It raises a lot of questions about life and death, where you go when you die, and the purpose of life, moreover: how to escape from "the labyrinth of suffering, not the life, not the death, but the pain."

Though I already knew that Alaska was going to die at some point in the novel, I still sobbed when it happened. I didn't expect to grow as attached to Alaska as I did.

One thing I love about the novel is the end. I think it is no coincidence that Mr. John Green chose to make Miles alone at the end, Takumi in Japan, the Colonel and Lara some place not mentioned, and Alaska dead. I feel like Miles exited the novel more wise than before.

I sobbed throughout all of the "after" section, but it was a good kind of a sob. I feel that if an author can get you to cry, he/she is very talented.

Despite that consumption of alcohol, cigarettes, many mentions of sex, and one oral sex scene that Miles had with Lara, I loved the novel, and I usually hate novels with any sex scene at all or any alcohol consumption. This book continues to be the exception.

So if you disregarded the Spoiler Warning and read this review, I HIGHLY recommend this book. It is EASILY the best book I have EVER read. I highly anticipate Mr. John Green's next work.
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Quotes Michael Liked

John Green
“Before I got here, I thought that the way out of the labyrinth was to pretend that it didn't exist, to build a small, self-sufficient world in the back corner of the endless maze and to pretend that I was not lost, but home. But that only led to a lonely life accompanied by the last words of the already dead, so I came here looking for a Great Perhaps, for real friends and a more-than-minor life.”
John Green, Looking for Alaska

John Green
“When she fucked up, all those years ago, just a little girl terrified into paralysis, she collapsed into the enigma of herself. And that could have happened to me, but I saw where it led for her. So I still believe in the Great Perhaps, and I can believe in it in spite of having lost her.”
John Green, Looking for Alaska

John Green
“And I will forget her, yes. That which came together will fall apart slowly, but she will forgive my forgetting, just as I forgive her for forgetting me and the Colonel and nothing but herself and her mom in those last moments as she spent as a person.”
John Green, Looking for Alaska

John Green
“someday no one will remember that she ever existed, i wrote in my notebook, and then, or that i did. because memories fall apart, too. and then you’re left with nothing, left not even with a ghost but with its shadow.”
John Green, Looking for Alaska

John Green
“There comes a time when we realize that our parents cannot save themselves or save us, that everyone who wades through time eventually gets dragged out to sea by the undertow- that, in short, we are all going.”
John Green, Looking for Alaska

John Green
“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.”
John Green, Looking for Alaska

John Green
“Imagining the future is a kind of nostalgia. (...) You spend your whole life stuck in the labyrinth, thinking about how you'll escape it one day, and how awesome it will be, and imagining that future keeps you going, but you never do it. You just use the future to escape the present.”
John Green, Looking for Alaska


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