Reading (and re-reading) all of John Green’s books became a resolve of mine after I read the heart aching romance of Hazel Grace Lancaster and Augustus Waters in one breathtaking novel, The Fault In Our Stars. Honoring the feat, I happened to catch hold of his debut novel, Looking For Alaska.
What is it all about?
Alaska Young (the name has a good history), the prank queen of Culver Creek Preparatory School acquaints a new friend that year, Miles Halter aka Pudge. Now Pudge moved to this boarding school in search of ‘Great Perhaps’ which, unfortunately, he couldn’t find in his old place.
Chip Martin aka The Colonel happens to be the room mate of Miles. The school’s prank trio, Chip, Takumi and Alaska gets a new addition that year with Miles. Alaska likes Miles from the very beginning but she follows her theory of ‘never cheat your boyfriend’. Time flies by and they all become good friends by pulling off pranks splendidly.
Meanwhile Alaska goes on a girlfriend hunt for Miles and gets hold of Lara, a Romanian girl, with an accent. Now, the gang plans for the prank of all time to piss off the Weekday Warriors (the rich kids) nad the Eagle (The Dean). I would become a traitor if I shared the impeccable details of the prank, so I leave it to you for the pleasure of reading from the novel.
It’s all a victory for them before a miserable tragedy hits them.
The book is neatly partitioned into two , ‘Before’ and ‘After’. Before what? After what? I would leave it for you to figure out. The plot is clean, even as there are twists and turns, it just flows like the Creek. At some point of the book you will be able to guess the answers to the questions that the characters have been searching for. But then, Come on! A man can make his mistakes in his first novel. You can never, at any point, say that this was a debutant book.
What I liked…
Pudge’s obsession with peoples Last Words, Colonel’s almanac, Alaska’s love for books, the significance of the while tulips, the religious study classes and all such small details make the book a whole.
Few quotes from the book…
‘If People were rain, I was drizzle and she was a hurricane.’
‘The only way out of the labyrinth of suffering is to forgive’
‘ Thomas Edison’s last words were “It’s very beautiful over there“. I don’t know where there is, but I believe it’s somewhere, and I hope it’s beautiful.’
Did they really find Alaska? Of course they did! But how when where why what, find it out!
P.S : I might have exaggerated for the fact that he is one among by favorite authors. Your views welcome!