Publish Date: December 28, 2006
Miles Halter is fascinated by famous last words and tired of his safe life at home. He leaves for boarding school to seek what the dying poet Francois Rabelais called the "Great Perhaps." Much awaits Miles at Culver Creek, including Alaska Young. Clever, funny, screwed up, and dead sexy, Alaska will pull Miles into her labyrinth and catapault him into the Great Perhaps.
*I would like to keep this review spoiler-free, but I highly doubt that will happen as it reached me in a very emotional place that deserves to be talked about. Read with caution or consider yourself warned.*
Looking For Alaska is the first book that has ever made me immediately look forward to rereading it upon turning the last page. My grandmother recently died and though she’d lived a long life, it’s the first death in my life that’s ever reached into my very soul and twisted it all up. For that reason, I believe I connected more with the melancholy in Looking For Alaska which leads me to believe a reread sometime in the future will open up the story even more for me.
I love Pudge. He’s not the type of boy I ever would have liked in that way, but I love him all the same. I love the way he’s okay with living in invisibility and the way he grows to not be okay with it anymore. I love how awkward and sincere and so incredibly real he is. I love how he actually has a brain and uses it to drink or smoke when he wants but to also to turn it down when he doesn’t. I love how he actually grieves. He doesn’t just mourn for a few days and commence the moving on. He gets angry and he gets sad. He gets annoyed and he gets nostalgic. Ultimately, he learns.
I’m going to be quite honest here and say that I really didn’t like Alaska. I hated the way she tried so hard to be an enigma. I hated that she seemed to refuse to deal with the grief and depression that seemed to be living inside her. I hated the way she led on poor Pudge. I did, in fact, love the way that Pudge was honest enough with himself to admit that she annoyed the crap out of him at times.
The Nusthell: Looking For Alaska is the story of a boy’s attempt at finding out what may wait for him outside his box. It’s also a story of grief and loss and drinking and first everythings. Despite the short length of this story, it’s likely to make you feel an entire gauntlet of emotions from happiness and laughter to sadness and possibly tears.
Rating: Direct Hit