Book report

Title: Looking for Alaska

Author: John Green

First published: 2005

 

Summary

We meet a male student attending Culver Creed boarding school.  Miles soon makes close friends, the Colonel, Takumi, Alaska and Lara. They introduce him to the social order, smoking, drinking and mischief-making.

Miles takes a special interest in Alaska. He grows feelings for her and falls in love. Alaska however already has a boyfriend, Jake. One night Alaska gets a phone call from Jake and leaves the school in a hurry. On her way she dies in a car accident.

Both Miles and the Colonel feel guilt as they could have prevented Alaska from driving under the influence of alcohol. They get stuck in thinking of her and forgets their friends for a while, trying to figure out if she committed suicide or not and who she really was. Miles eventually figures out that the Alaska he loved, was the girl he wanted her to be, the idealized version, and not necessarily the girl she actually was.

Miles find it easier to move on after an epic prank, finding more answers from Alaska’s notes and an confession. And in his final exam, Miles write himself out of the labyrinth of suffering and feelings for Alaska.

 

Setting

The story is set at a high school in Alabama, USA, in modern time. A fatal car accident devices the book into two, 136 days before and 136 days after the accident. The story is told through a male student and gives a picture of social order, student life in US and the mind of a young man.

 

Main character

The main character in this novel is Miles Halter, a skinny boy with a funny sense for people’s last word. He lives with his parents in Florida. He has few, if any, friends and is bored by his predictable life. He decides to go to Alabama and attend Culver Creed boarding school for his junior years of high school.

 

What I think of this book

It is easy to relate to the story as the characters are at my age and are at the same stage in life as I am. It is well written and easy to read, even though it is in English. The length of the book, is appropriate and not too long. I’m looking forward to the movie made from the book, released in 2017.

Task 12 – What I learned

During the blog work, I had to rethink what I just read. What did just happen to the main persons and how did they feel about it. This made me get more into the story and prepared for answering the tasks. That also made me think of; is there a deeper meaning or do the author has a message he likes to tell the reader.

I’m not very fond of reading and needed to work on my own and in my own tempo. That is also why I have spent more time with this work than scheduled.  Neither am I very fond of writing and prefer to read other’s stories than writing them myself. I will never be an author, but hope to read more books.

flower-looking-for-alaska-looking-for-alaska-quotes-Favim.com-2117472  – Quote from the book

Task 10 – What is the book really about?

I think the book is really about how relationships between young people in America work and what is behind the surfaces of people’s lives. I think it describes differences in social background and the moral of today’s people. I also think it is about how to deal with unexpected, tragic happenings like others death and dark secrets and how that impact ones thinking and doing – what choices one makes. Love, sex and alcohol are also themes of the book, not to mention mortality. You can find death on pretty much every page; Miles is obsessed with last words, Alaska’s mom’s death is the central moment in her life, Alaska dies herself and Miles and the Colonel speak of it a lot.

Task 8 – point of view

The point of view is from the main character of the book, Miles Halter. We get to hear of his thoughts about happenings, situations and feelings. It is easy to connect with him and feel on his side during conversations and conflicts, as he appears to be a very nice and likeable guy. His thinking slightly change in the second part of the book, after Alaska’s death. He forgets his friends and misremember Alaska and by that gets more unreliable as a first person narrator. That is challenging for the reader, but by taking notice of how the other characters act, we still can follow the story through Miles.

Task 7 – book report

I will write a book report, because this is a book I can highly recommend to others, especially to people at my age. It is well written and easy to read, even though it is in English. The length of the book, is appropriate and not too long. The story is interesting and exciting.  I didn’t’ get bored at any time and usually read more chapters at a time. The characters in the book, are at my age and are at the same stage in life as I am. That’s make the story easy to relate to. I also know there will be a movie made from the book, released in 2017. I’m looking forward to watch the movie!

Task 5 – The setting of the novel

The story is set at a high school in Alabama, USA. I think it could be modern time, but anyhow quite different from the school system in Norway. You leave home and live at the school, at least in the weekdays. You either go there because your parents are rich and pay school money or because you are clever and have achieved a scholarship (free). This makes two groups at the school, which don’t get along very well.  The rich ones, also called Weekday Warriors because they go home on the weekends, are cruel and do bad things to the ones with scholarship. The scholarship students, also called the Boarders, try to get revenge but are usually punished even harder by the rich ones. The rules at the school are strict and the teachers are old-fashioned. Girls and boys are not allowed to share rooms and have to let the door stay open if they visit one another late at night. But it turns out that the school quietly accepts both drinking and smoking, since the leader of the school wants the parents to think of the school as a nice place for their children.

Task 3 – The main caracter of the book

The main character of my book is Miles Halter, a skinny boy with a funny sense for people’s last word. He lives with his parents in Florida, has few friends and long for something else in his life. He decides to go to Alabama and attend Culver Creek boarding school for his junior year of high school. Just like his dad did. He usually think of things in a far too optimistic way, also when he picture out his room at the school. It turns out to be quite ordinary with no luxury what so ever. His roommate turns out to be cool though, Chip Martin better known as The Colonel.  The Colonel gives Miles a nickname, Pudge, because he is so skinny. Miles also get friends with one of the girls, that is Alaska. He actually gets a crush on her, even though he knows she smokes and drinks, two things Miles parents warned him about. Besides Alaska already has a boyfriend..