Every once in a while a book comes along which makes you remember what you loved about reading in the first place. There will be something about it that transports you back to another time, makes you nostalgic and without doubt teaches you something about life and love and everything. Looking For Alaska by John Green is one of those books.
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It is the first time I have had the pleasure of reading John Green, and it seemed only right that I start at the beginning. First published in 2005, Looking For Alaska was Green’s debut novel which won the 2006 Michael L. Printz Award from the American Library Association. It has recently enjoyed a well deserved boost in popularity following the huge success of another of Green’s novels which has recently been adapted for film, The Fault With Our Stars, and movie rights have since been acquired to also adapt Looking For Alaska.
Looking For Alaska follows its teenage protagonist from his unfulfilling life at home in Florida to his new private boarding school in Alabama, where he begins his journey for a “Great Perhaps”. Here he makes real friends for the first time and falls in love with the fascinating and troubled Alaska. I don’t want to give away too much but there is a tragedy, the friends’ lives change forever and Green raises some very important themes in this novel. Namely, how young people cope with death, guilt and how they make sense of losing a person. Read it and yearn for your school days. This is all smoking cigarettes with boys and drinking stolen wine, falling in love for the first time and being hopeless at it. This is a heartbreakingly wonderful novel that everyone should read.