“Looking for Alaska” is a young adult novel written by John Green and published in 2005. The story centers on the sixteen years old Miles Halter who falls in love with the gorgeous, clever and unpredictable Alaska Young. Although the book may seem a little bit light, it brings up deep, meaningful subjects, that make you think twice about life and its labyrinth.
The book begins with the main character, Miles, who leaves his family in order to go to a boarding school in Alabama. There, he becomes friend with his roommate, the Colonel, with Takumi and Alaska, an apparently mysterious but unique girl, passionate about literature. She intrigues the boy and she unwillingly makes him fall in love with her, without ever fully understanding her complex personality. Containing only two main chapters, namely “Before” and “After”, the book explores the thoughts and experiences, the achievements and losses of the four high school students and creates an absorbing, gripping atmosphere, as they proceed towards the event that will change their lives forever, namely a car accident.
Written by a modern author, “Looking for Alaska” is an extremely enjoyable book, excelling not by having an overcomplicated plot, but by treating serious, thought-provoking problems in a captivating way: even if the protagonists may seem just a group of ordinary teenagers, they are in fact capable of debating some existential questions and feeling strong, intense emotions. Miles’ passion for collecting the last words of the famous people brings originality to the book while the plot and the convincing, realistic characters evolve.
If you like to read a simple but compelling book with young but fascinating characters, then I would definitely recommend you “Looking for Alaska”. Throughout the book you will experience all kind of different emotions and you will be carried away in an universe of love, strong friendships and high school pranks, where a theme question continuingly haunts its characters: “How will we ever get out of this labyrinth?”