Monday, May 4, 2015

Teen review: Finding John Green

Looking for Alaska is John Green’s first novel and arguably his most life-like novel to date. John Green’s mastery of the written word is shown in full in Looking for Alaska because not only does he cram humor and emotion into each of the 221 pages in his novel, but he does so in the exceptionally talented way of misleading the reader into a false sense of security and then shattering that security with a single word spoken with such realness that instead of reading a fiction novel, it feels like reading a biography.

This book is a young adult novel and because of the inclusion of coarse language this book might be better suited for a freshman (like me) through senior reading level. It is, however, an incredibly easy and interesting read.

In the novel, the very unsocial Miles Halter (nicknamed Pudge) transfers to a private school in Alabama. Pudge is obsessed with the last words of famous people. Alaska Young is described as the “hottest girl ever,” and she, Miles, and their other friends, The Colonel and Takumi try to get through high school. Every character is so in depth that it feels real. Everything is great for a short while and Pudge even gets his first girlfriend, but then the tragedy strikes. The cover of the book is of a black background with smoke in front of it. The first time I saw this background I immediately thought that the smoke was cigarette smoke, but it turns out that the smoke is from a candle.

I would rate this book at a solid 5 simply because it is pure literary genius. This novel is smart, witty, funny, sad, tragic, and so well thought out that it actually does feel like a work of art. It feels like a piece of art that needs to be titled “ The Great Perhaps.”

Reviewed by Basil, grade 9

Editor's note: As much as you all love the books of John Green, there is a lot more to him. Check out his biography, which will lead you to all his YouTube ventures, individually and with his brother, Hank. He's a pretty cool guy!

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