Source: Purchased (paperback).
Genre: YA contemporary.
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.
I finally read my second John Green novel. I read The Fault in Our Stars before I started blogging so I never reviewed it here – and while I knew the book was fabulously famous, I also didn’t really understand just how much hype there is around Green’s books. I really liked TFIOS but because of all the pomp surrounding his books, I was really afraid to read Alaska for some reason.
I shouldn’t have been. It didn’t hit me as hard as TFIOS but it was a very nice novel all the same. I don’t often read YA contemporaries (I recently read The DUFF and liked it!) and I’m glad I made another exception. I don’t exactly know how to write this review – or what to say about a book that’s been sitting on top of the NYT Bestseller list for ages.
I liked Miles. I liked Colonel. I even liked the Eagle. My only real problem (and the reason for a slightly lower rating) was Alaska – I didn’t, couldn’t care for her as much as I was supposed to. Miles is a socially awkward boy who collects famous people’s last words. He’s new to this school and finds the first friends of his life there – as well as his first love. I really liked the relationship he had with his parents! They didn’t understand him but they still loved him unconditionally.
I admired the pacing in this story. It’s one of those things that can make of break a book for me. Chapters are numbered in a descending order – they count down the days to some EVENT and up until it happens, it’s unclear what it is. I assumed it was something bad because the countdown seemed vaguely ominous. Then we have the “after” part, which is just as interesting because the way Miles deals with this EVENT changes as time passes.
As with TFIOS, this book is full of quotable quotes. These are just two of them – I hope they catch the vibe of the text. If not, sorry! They sounded great to me.
Want more YA contemporary? I will never stop recommending Ketchup Clouds. It’s that good.
Have you read Looking for Alaska? Or The Fault in Our Stars?
Are you ever afraid of reading over-hyped books?
Should I read any other Green books?
I’d love to hear from you! :)