Book 50: Looking for Alaska

Book Title: Looking For Alaska
Author: John Green
Published: 2005
Pages: 221
Category: fiction: young adult

The day I finished Looking for Alaska for the first time, was also the day I started it for the first time.

This book so captured me, held me to the page, that I finished reading it in the early hours of the morning. And then immediately got out of bed, went to my desk, and began writing. I wrote for over an hour. Putting my feelings, my thoughts, my questions, onto the page in front of me.

Writing about Looking for Alaska was the first time I ever thought seriously about writing about books.
But the story of how I came to read this book is a complex one. In the fall of 2007, I got into my car with two friends and drove for 5 or 6 hours to go to Everett, Washington, to attend a concert at the Everett Public Library. The concert was a Wizard Rock concert, and the friends we met there were nerds. Like the 3 of us who had driven down in my car.  These new friends told me to go watch a video on Youtube.

The video was a song about Harry Potter, written by half of a two-brother video blogging project. The other brother, the one who had not written the song, was John Green. He turned out to be an author. And the rest, as they say, is history.

A great deal of what made me want to write about this book so much is to do with the plot, and the journey that these characters undertake. I won’t go into details, because if you haven’t read it, you need to. And you need to read it the way I first did – with no idea what was going to happen within those 221 pages, and to discover those days with those characters, alongside them.

 
Looking for Alaska contains many of the reason why I enjoy Young Adult Fiction. It is powerful without pressing a message down your throat. It is poignant without being sappy, and it is provocative without being needlessly shocking.

It’s the reason I think of the Great Perhaps as a destination, the reason I ponder the labyrinth, and it’s also the reason I tried Strawberry Hill.

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