I have just read this book again for the third time and it still manages to amaze me.
The story revolves around a teenage boy called Miles (or Pudge as his friends call him). Miles is unhappy with his life and becomes fixated on famous last words. When he comes across François Rabelais‘ last words (“I go to seek a great perhaps”) he decides that HE needs to find his “great perhaps”.
His way is by moving to Culver Creek, the same boarding school his father once attended. At the school Miles meets Chip (his roommate), everyone calls Chip “The Colonel”. Chip introduces Miles to Alaska who then falls in love with Alaska (although Alaska has a boyfriend).
Unfortunately at the height of Miles’ happiness the book takes a dramatic and tragic turn leaving Miles and Chip to uncover the truth behind the events.
The book is told in two parts ‘Before’ and ‘After’ the event. What I especially like about the book is they way it is written in days, it means you can read it in small digestible bites without feeling the need to end a whole chapter.
While reading the book I was reminded of ‘The Perks Of Being A Wallflower’, another coming of age drama written by American novelist Stephen Chbosky. There are certain similarities in the characters and circumstances, and incidentally is another good book worth searching for. In addition the lead character Miles has similarities to Holden Caulfield of J.D. Salinger’s novel, The Catcher in the Rye.
Looking for Alaska is a great read, and one I thoroughly recommend. You’ll find yourself laughing and crying in equal measures. If you do decide to buy the book – get ready, it could be the biggest emotional roller-coaster you will have ever been on.
If you’re like me however, it will be one you’ll want to keep riding again and again.
Footnote: There has been whispers of a movie being made about this film, with Josh Schwartz the creator of ‘The OC’ rumoured to be involved. Stay tuned to Flush the Fashion for news on this. Also a couple of years ago the author John Green defended some of the content of the book on a Vlog. You can watch it below.
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