It is not a book about a man in search of Alaska. It’s about a boy, a girl, their friends and figuring out what the labyrinth is and how to get out of it. Let me get my facts straight – it is not a romantic novel where the book is so full of misunderstanding and French kisses, it is not a book of thrilling, electrifying guys in masks holding hostage, it is not book that has stonking magic spells/noseless villains and it is not a book where our future world is in ruins and it’s civil war every direction you turn and it is not a book where the leading lady has interminable sex with a copper-haired Grey. Plus, it is not a book where at least one person has cancer (you have The Fault In Our Stars for that).
Personally, Looking For Alaska is reality. Some (or mostly) books are written of unimaginable or too perfect circumstances. You have Hogwarts and Magic and School of America at Paris and congenial parents and Success + Happy Endings with a kiss. If you expect or crave these while reading a book then Looking For Alaska is not for you. The thing about this book is reality. Unfazed reality. You ache for Alaska with Pudge. You undergo the fear of being expelled and abhor poverty though knee deep in it with the Colonnel. And munch bufriedos with Takumi.
Maybe it’s my hormones but I languished to live the parts of Alaska and Pudge together be it reading Vonnegut after midnight at the soccer field or porn hunting or playing Decapitation. I want to live them. Why, John Green, why? Alaska has this big Question – figuring out what the labyrinth is and how to get out of it. She is a deeply sad person (by her own words), very smart; well, she teaches calculus to her mates, smokes and drinks hard and loves sex. Oh, did I mention? She has a rich boyfriend, Jake.
To write down one favorite scene/chapter/moment would mean doing the ten other scene/chapter/moment injustice. There are lots of brilliant lines to quote and fathomless thoughts to ponder over. But the one I love the most is
“There comes a time when we realise that our parents cannot save themselves or save us, that everyone who wades through time eventually gets dragged out to sea by the undertow – that, in short, we are all going.”