Review: Looking for Alaska
Author: John Green
By Kitty Turpin
Looking For Alaska made me want to look for a better book to read. This was Green’s first published book in 2005, and it is considered a classic teenage love story, for its “classic” stereotypical teenage characters and themes.
Miles Halter, an unpopular teenage boy, leaves the comfort of his mum’s home, for a fresh start, living in a boarding school where he meets his first real friends. He gets nicknamed “Pudge”, because he’s skinny, and meets the title’s namesake, Alaska, who he instantly falls in love with.
Alaska is your stereotypical “I am a 30 year old man writing a teenage girl” creation. She is a vulnerable–but-tough nut that plays hard to get. She is obviously depressed, which fuels her cryptic personality and makes the Holden Caulfield of the book (Miles) utterly bewitched by her. They do stupid teenage things like smoking, drinking and driving while drunk.
The heavy part of the book comes with the second half, where it turns into a Looking For a Way Out of Grief featuring Miles Halter and friends, by John Green. After the success of Looking for Alaska, Green has continued to write books in this vein, often exploring how teenagers deal with loss and grief, which are incredibly “deep” subjects for his shallow writing. His fixation with these ideas is often at the cost of writing a decent plot line.
The blurb on the back exclaims “this novel will stay with you forever”, and it surely has, for all the wrong reasons.