I came across a little novel the other day by reading an article about favorite quotes from current literature; a quote from Looking for Alaska was included. Reading the little blurb had me hooked and I knew I had to download the book. It’s a short read and I could not put it down from the time I started reading. Written by John Green (The Fault in our Stars), it is extremely easy to read but is full of beautiful, almost poetic, prose.
Miles Halter is a high school junior from Florida obsessed with last words; he is inspired by the last words of Francois Ravelais, “I go to seek a Great Perhaps” and decides to leave his boring life behind to attend Culver Creek boarding school in Alabama. He is introduced to a group of friends that changes his life, including Alaska Young. It’s not so much a love story as it as a coming of age story. Any more info would definitely ruin the novel, so I will remain free of spoilers here.
“…I was gawky and she was gorgeous and I was hopelessly boring and she was endlessly fascinating. So I walked back to my room and collapsed on the bottom bunk, thinking that if people were rain, I was a drizzle and she was a hurricane.” -Miles
“…they needed me, just like comets need tails.” – Miles
“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 the future keeps you going, but you never do it. You just use the future to escape the present.” -Alaska Young
Honestly, if I were an English teacher, I would definitely have this on my student list. Of course since it is a coming of age story, it deals with mature issues, but does so in a “real-life” way. It’s incredibly relative, especially to any teenager; because of this, it has ended up on many banned books list, but what good work of literature hasn’t?!
Now I am trying to persuade Lindsay to read a scary book in honor of our favorite holiday, Halloween!! Until then, I am re-reading the great work Game of Thrones because I have a problem.