Saturday, 18 October 2014

Book #28 Looking For Alaska by John Green

Looking For Alaska

Miles isn't a popular kid, and when the opportunity arises elects to go to his father's old boarding school Culver Creek 'to seek a Great Perhaps'. Once there he quickly makes friends with the cooler crowd by virtue of his new room-mate, and falls in love with a girl, the beautiful, unobtainable, Alaska  

Looking For Alaska is a genuinely lovely, well written, reflective novel about life, love, loss and the search for meaning.  What it feels like to be a teenage boy trying to become a man and find your place in the world.

In it's own right, for its own sake, I really enjoyed it. What struck me most though was how much it resembles Paper Towns,  which I happened to read first, published in 2008, 3 years after this, his debut.

Two very similar boys in Miles & Quentin, two very similar girls in Alaska & Margot, are the leads in each, and it somehow feels like Paper Towns IS Looking For Alaska rewritten with a different high school setting and a different ending.

This, though it diminishes Paper Towns as a book and makes it somewhat superfluous it should not diminish Looking For Alaska seeing as it came first, but I have to say, a) I wish I'd read these the opposite way around and b) if I had not also read The Fault In Our Stars I might conclude that John Green only had one novel in him, recycled.

That criticism aside, I have to say that though I liked Paper Towns I really, really, thought Looking For Alaska was fab, and moving and so very worth reading that I have started recommending it about the place already.

Though the similarities were overt, I did love it, and really admired it as a piece of writing.


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