Title: Looking for Alaska
Author: John Green
First published: 2005
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.
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.
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.