Looking for Alaska

398px-LookingForAlaska-cover

I’m not sure why many book reviews begin with a synopsis, but I’m not going to bother, because

  1. It’s 2AM, and
  2. I’m a particularly bad writer.

I decided to give this book a try because The Great Tree holds it in high regard, and also it was only $10 (… just kidding!!).

Certainly did not expect the book to turn out the way it did. I was expecting something more spiritual and philosophical (don’t ask. I think it’s the name – I’m very good at judging books by their covers), and definitely did not expect to be an epic story of suffering, mischief, chivalry, friendship, feminism (in the most non-cheesy way possible), and romance, composed of dark humour, cunning, plenty of crude language, LOL-worthy jokes, sexy times, and dirty talks.

To write about such weighty matters in such an engaging way is not an easy task, and John Green did it.

The best part, I believe, is Alaska, the main character (I believe the story is really her story, and the narrator is just that, a narrator).

She is a real person. She is not just constructed to deliver the message the author wants to deliver. She is a person just like any other – with highs and lows, passions, shortcomings, cravings, intense suffering, and incredible amount of depth, but not so multi-dimensional to feel artificial.

As the story progresses, we learn more and more about her, and each layer we peel always seem to contradict with what we already knew about her. She is like a Matryoshka doll that wears a different mask on every page of the book. Yet, John Green still managed to carve her into a very┬álikable┬ácharacter, that I have no doubt most readers feel strongly attached to… despite her very hard to ignore furry little problem.

… and I will stop before I give the story away.

Go read it!

I wanted so badly to lie down next to her on the couch, to wrap my arms around her and sleep. Not fuck, like in those movies. Not even have sex. Just sleep together, in the most innocent sense of the phrase. But I lacked the courage and she had a boyfriend and 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 drizzle and she was a hurricane.
Green, John (2008-08-14). Looking for Alaska (p. 88). Speak. Kindle Edition.

I wanted so badly to lie down next to her on the couch, to wrap my arms around her and sleep. Not fuck, like in those movies. Not even have sex. Just sleep together, in the most innocent sense of the phrase. But I lacked the courage and she had a boyfriend and 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 drizzle and she was a hurricane.

Green, John (2008-08-14). Looking for Alaska (p. 88). Speak. Kindle Edition.