The fascination with last words is an intriguing one and Miles ‘Pudge’ Halter is obsessed with them. John Green’s debut novel, Looking For Alaska, is a wonderful exhibition of his talent to have a reader clinging onto every page and word.
Miles Halter, better known as ‘Pudge’ in the novel, is the socially naive protagonist who meets the beautiful yet rather allusive Alaska Young when he moves to a new school, Culver Creek. The story revolves around Pudge and his new friends, Alaska, the Colonel, Takumi Hikohito and Lara Buterskaya pulling pranks and generally fooling around as they go through two years of school together. We explore their hangouts like the Smoking Hole, the Barn and the Lake where, when they are not scheming, they just relax, smoke and philosophise about their lives.
My Rating: 5/5
Looking For Alaska isn’t a novel about boy meets girl but the way in which we distinguish love as a ferocious emotion that has us dangling from strings in order to achieve perfect happiness.
This novel is so wonderfully honest about school life and how students live; it hides nothing and never attempts to divert your attention from the mischief. Their relationships and fantastically hilarious pranks are not only depicted in full but highly analysed.
The structure of the novel progresses day-by-day but skips out the ones that may be slightly tedious or boring and jumps straight into the hilarity and thought-provoking conversations.
This novel may not leave you crying in bed for weeks (like his novel, The Fault in Our Stars may have/do) but it hits you so deeply with emotion that when you have finished your mind will stand still as you stare at the final words, over and over again, in the hopes that your questions may be answered and the story will go on.