Characters: 4.9Plot: 4.7Cover Art: 4Favorite Line:"I still think that, sometimes, think that maybe "the afterlife" is just something we made up to ease the pain of loss, to make our time in the labyrinth bearable."
Synopsis: Miles "Pudge" Halter is abandoning his safe-okay, boring -life. Fascinated by the last words of famous people, Pudge leaves for boarding school to seek what a dying Rabelais called the "Great Perhaps." Pudge becomes encircled by friends whose lives are everything but safe and boring. Their nucleus is razor-sharp, sexy, and self-destructive Alaska, who has perfected the arts of pranking and evading school rules. Pudge falls impossibly in love. When tragedy strikes the close-knit group, it is only in coming face-to-face with death that Pudge discovers the value of living and loving unconditionally.
Looking For Alaska is brilliance in book form. I cannot stress this enough. John Green's voice is distinct and real, giving the novel a personal feel. When I finished, I felt I could take a trip to Culver Creek and find Pudge and the Colonel walking around.
I also loved- loved loved loved loved- the set-up of the story. The book is divided into two sections, 'before' and 'after.' In 'before,' each chapter title is the countdown until The Event, as I called it. 'After' counts forward away from The Event. This style really makes you focus on the main event of the story. The entire first half of the book has you on the edge of your seat waiting to see what happens, and when you find out, well, saying it's shocking is an understatement. Also, it emphasizes how no one in the story expected anything, as their lives continue on normally leading up to it. Plus, it shows the evolution of the characters 'after.'
Onto the characters. Oh, my dear Pudge. His voice is incredible to read in, and his emotions are so clean cut. He loves you, he hates you. There is no in between. Then there's Alaska, I can't even begin to describe her. Come to think of it, no one seems to know that. The entire book is basically spent trying to figure the girl out, and no one comes close. She's such a complex and fun character; she's truly fun to read about. The Colonel is just an oddball. He's very his own person, and I give him credit for that, but he's in his own little world a lot. Those three together are a memorable combination that while hilarious are also very endearing.
To sum all of those random thoughts up:
1) Read this book.
2) It's brilliant.
3) ...seriously, read it.
4) John Green's a genius.
Yup, I'm pretty sure that's it.
How will we ever get out of this labyrinth of suffering?
*In other news, my signed Maureen Johnson book came in the mail today! Yahoo!