John Green leaves readers ‘Looking for Alaska’

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By: Tom Scearce 

After finishing “The Fault in Our Stars,” John Green’s most recent novel, I knew it wouldn’t be the last I would be reading of him. So this summer, I decided to start from the beginning. I read his first novel, “Looking for Alaska,” to see if I would have that same feeling at the end.

Miles Halter, tired of his dull, friendless life in Florida, departs to Culver Creek preparatory school in Alabama in search of a “Great Perhaps.” There, he quickly becomes aquainted with his roomate Chip, aka “The Colonel,” Takumi, the Japanese whiz kid, and Alaska Young, the moody, gorgeous wild girl, who quickly becomes the his object of interest. Miles is instantly enlisted in their war against the Weekday Warriors, the rich kids who go home every weekend, and they all connect over elaborate pranks, assorted rule breaking and studying.

About halfway through the book, a tragedy unfolds, and those left spend the rest of the novel trying to make sense of it, to solve the mystery it leaves behind, and pull off one last, mind blowing prank.

There are not enough adjectives to describe the plot. It is beautiful, heartwarming, and still very funny. I cannot tell you how many times I found myself breaking out in laughter while reading. Some may find the plot to be simple, but I found that to be the beauty of the book. That any teenager can relate to the controversial pulse points – bad language, drinking, smoking and sex – discussed in the book. The plot was simple, yet profound in many ways. There was not a single point were the story dragged. As for the characters, they were all relatable, yet still unique.

Miles is your typical intelligent kid, but has a odd obsession with last words. Alaska is your gorgeous, wild, rebellious girl, but she has a hidden dark side that plays a role with the tragedy that occurs.

Chip is your friendly, nice guy. However, it becomes apparent he has a true sensitive side. Of all of the characters, I feel that Takumi was the least developed. I wish the readers learned more about him.

All in all, this was an amazing read. The only thing I disliked about it was that it ended. I wanted it to continue. And that’s exactly how I felt at the end of “The Fault In Our Stars.” This goes to show that John Green was as great as he is now, six years ago when this book was published. It was an outstanding debut novel, and I look forward to reading his other works of art.