Miles is looking for the “Great Perhaps,” and he knows he’s not going to find it in any of the ordinary places. So he’s off to boarding school, where he will be free to reinvent himself and shed his safe (read, “boring”) image. Once ensconced at Culver Creek, he is befriended by the Colonel, a Culver Creek veteran who shows him the ropes, and the unbelievably sexy Alaska, who’s husky voice and gorgeous face keep him up at night. Miles finally learns what it is like to belong, as he is adopted into Alaska’s inner circle and nicknamed “Pudge,” (because he is so skinny) The novel starts each chapter with a countdown that is marching towards what? Miles’ discovery of his “great perhaps”? He and Alaska’s first kiss? Or something deeper, more sinister? As Alaska’s self destructive behavior is demonstrated over and over, readers will begin to fear not only for her, but also for the fragile Miles. Head over heels for the first time in his life, what will Miles do if something happens to Alaska? Is this your typical coming of age novel? Yes, but in many ways it is so much more. If you’re tired of the same old “life lesson learned” YA novel, try Looking for Alaska. I promise you’ll find something different and better within these pages.
One thought on “Looking for Alaska by John Green”
This book, along with all other john green books, has left an imprint on my heart. It manages to be witty, insightful, romantic, and beautiful. The characters are not perfect role models and yes, are flawed. But that’s what makes them so real, real. We travel through boarding school behind the eyes of miles. He begins to fall in love with the mysterious Alaska, and it is unclear weather or not this is a victory. Unlike most YA novels, this book doesn’t underestimate the intelligents of it’s readers by creating a perfectly black and white world with happy endings and clear choices. In the end, we may not be happy, but we have learned something from our experience, so that, like miles, we may move on with our lives. Throughout the book, miles is searching for a “great perhaps”. But he discovers that life in its entirety is one big, unpredictable “great perhaps”.