Opinion, Reviews

A review: Looking for Alaska

I read “Looking for Alaska” by John Green.  “Looking for Alaska” is about a boy named Miles who is a new student at a boarding school.  There, he meets a girl named Alaska, who is wild and crazy by pulling pranks, smoking cigarettes, and getting them into trouble with their dorm keeper.  While at school, Miles starts to fall in love with Alaska, but Alaska has a boyfriend.  Miles comes to find out that Alaska is not as happy and free-spirited as she seems.  She has a lot of problems at home, struggles with depression, and has issues with her father.  Her mother had an aneurism and died in front of her when she was little, and she has a lot of self-blame for her death because she didn’t do anything to help her mom.  Alaska has serious mood swings and is reckless with her decisions.  She’s goofy and funny one minute, then angry the next.

“Looking for Alaska” is one of my favorite books by John Green because it is so different from a lot of his other romance books.  Instead of it being really romantic and as I like to say, “lovey dovey,” it’s more tragic and heart-aching.  Alaska is so caught up in her problems and pain that she never notices that Miles is in love with her.  It is a very different kind of love story, because Miles is in love with her, but he never tells her straight up, so Alaska never really knows.

I also like some of John Green’s quotes and figurative language.  A quote I really like that Alaska says is, “How will I ever get out of this labyrinth?”  Alaska describes her suffering and sadness as a labyrinth.  She feels lost in her depression, and can’t find a way out.  A quote I like from Miles is, “If people were rain, I was a drizzle, she was a hurricane.”  This quote really makes you see how damaged and messed up Alaska is inside.  It also compares Miles to Alaska, and how different they are from each other.  Another quote I like from Alaska is, “I’m scared of ghosts, Miles, and home is full of them.”  Alaska has a lot of issues at home and with her father.  This is another reason why Alaska has so many problems.

I find “Looking For Alaska” very heartbreaking, but also very beautiful.  It taught me that even if you only know someone for a short time, you can fall in love pretty fast.  It also taught me that if you really feel like you love somebody, you should say it, before it’s too late.  If you like a touching, but grief-stricken story, I think you would like this book.

Merrin Guthrie is a THRIVE intern reporting for the Muleskinner. THRIVE is a two-year program to help intellectually- or developmentally-challenged young adults build skills for transitioning from home to independence. 

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