Sunday, February 17, 2008

Looking For Alaska-(Caroline defends her new favorite author's honor)

John Green is NOT a pornographer...

But he is:

A nerdfighter, a list-maker, a possible genuis, a hilarious vlogger, made of awesome, the owner of a completely amazing library that is featured in all of his vlogs for fellow nerds to stare at in envy, and the writer of my new favorite book- Looking For Alaska.

In my review for the Bermudez Triangle, I mentioned my intense adoration for all things banned, especially if they happen to be over 200 book-scented pages of novel-ly goodness. And while I've read plenty of banned books that were called "disgusting", or "objectional", or "morally corrupt", I'd never tried one that had actually been referred to as "pornagraphic." That is hard core bannage, people. So, as soon as I saw the story on Maureen Johnson's blog and saw the video in which John Green defended his book, I knew. I had to read this book.

One unfortunate factor in the life of an unemployed teenaer is that vexing 'lack of regular income' factor. Oh, how I hate that. It is because of that that I did not get Looking For Alaska straight away from the local Books-a-IIllion, but from Amazon. For 2.57, plus 3.99 of shipping and handling. With my mom's money. In three to five business days. (Which actually means seven.)

But when I did, finally, lay my hands on the book yesterday, I was pysched. I had not been so excited to read one certain book since the most highly anticipated book... ever.... came out. Which, yeah, I know, was this July, but still. It was the most highly anticipated book ever.

For me, though, Looking For Alaska was a close second- and, unlike the first, it didn't dissapoint me in the slightest.

Looking For Alaska is about a guy named Miles Halter, but he's nicknamed Pudge 14 pages in and is referred to as Miles all of about six times throughout the book, so for all intents and purposes he is Pudge. The story opens at Pudge's very ill-attended going away party. He's going to his father's alma mater, Culver Creek, which is a boarding school. He's going not to please his father or because he has no friends. He, like the poet Francois Rabelais, goes to seek a great perhaps. Unlike Rabelais, Pudge will not be dying before he finds it. Pudge is completely fascinated by last words. He reads alot, but never fiction. He only reads biographies, and mostly for the last words. This is how he came across his reason for leaving Florida for Culver Creek.

Culver Creek is not one of those luxurious boarding schools that are featured in every other boarding school book ever in YA history- ahem. Sorry. But it isn't. It's one of those linoleum floored, slightly grungy, sucky shower kind of boarding school- it vaguely reminds me of Governor's School, only it's not pretty on the outside either. Anyway, it all strikes me as being very realistic and cool. But maybe it's only Southern boarding schools that are like that, I guess.

He meets his roomate Chip/Colonel who memorizes things on maps. He's in a towel for this meeting. He also meets Alaska who named herself and who rambles and who has the most incredible library in the entire world. I. Want. Her. Books. Anyway, Alaska is gorgeous and charming and Pudge is hopeless. Only, she has a boyfriend who she adores and he soon has a girlfriend who he... um, likes. Things happen. Things Fall Apart. And Pudge is catapulted into the Great Perhaps that he's been searching for.

Until everything crashes.

Looking for Alaska is gorgeously written, heartwrenching, hilarious, and it's remarkable in that it doesn't underestimate the intelligence of teenagers. It's pure amazing goodness, and if you don't go out and buy and read this book then I will send the swan and the Eagle after you.

I give it five cups of artisty, hardcore coffee. (eventually, there will be another book that I don't absolutely love. But this one is beyond the scale.)

If it's possible to agree one million percent, I do. I really, honestly do.No, wait. Scratch that. If it's possible, I agree infinity percent. With everything.
John Green creates a magnificently superb illustration of the labyrinth, of the Great Perhaps. Looking for Alaska explores and creates questions of philosophy, while simultaneously entertaining the reader to no end.
I warn you against reading this book in a public area. And by public, I mean anywher, anywhere that people are, I don't know, hanging out, talking, doing anything. You will be thought crazy for all the hysterical laughter you'll be doing. And, if you have a heart, and are the type to do so, you might even cry. I did. Honestly. For happy reasons, for sad. I cried.
Pudge, the Colonel, Alaska and Takumi (the four main characters) will entertain. They are the best character cast I've stumbled upon in a very long time.Pudge memorizes last words. He searches for the Great Perhaps.The Colonel memorizes evything. He's a genius (don't believe me, just ask him the population and capital of Azerbaijan)Alaska reads books; she's collected a 'life's library.' She searches for a way out of the labyrinth.
Takumi makes a great fox (;D). He provides constant hilarity.Together, these four make up what is now my favorite book.I concur and give it 5+ steaming cups of coffee (with a little vodka, or maybe Strawberry Hill in them)
Wanting a sexy fox hat, searching for the the Great Perhaps and a way out of this labyrinth, and wondering where 'there' is,


Heather♥ said...

god, I HAVE to read this book. wednesday is too far away to gain hold on it. and so is 5-8 business days to get all 11 of my books from amazon. in the next few weeks, i'll probably be adding ALOT more reviews to the site.

(p.s. send some kind of message to John Green saying that you reviewed his book. be a pusher. lol)


emilea said...

um, i beg to differ about governor's school. no, the showers weren't the best. i give you that. but the rest of the campus was pretty darn awesome! what floor were you on? if you were on the main floor, then i pity you, because that is a dusky and putrid area of the dorms. but everywhere else, is fantastic.

love you,

Caroline said...

I was not in the ground floor. I was in the basement, Emilea. the BASEMENT. Since you are a 'W', you were probably near the top,hmm? Right near the immaculate and infinately nicer dance hall. But, being a 'B',I was not placed ON the floor...but under it. And the school is an amazing and beautiful place...just, um,not the basement.

And you know what I mean. It wasn't like those New England schools you read about, where every piece of furniture is worth a gazillion dollars and is decorated impeccably. I actually like G. School better than those, though. Infinately better. I REALLY, REALLY hope I get to go again..


fingers crossed

<3 Caroline

Heather- God,you KNOW I'm not a pusher. I'll try, though. For the team. lol.

Chelsea said...

I've been meaning to read this book FOREVER. It sounds so amazingly good, but I have yet to pick it up. I'll have to order an Amazon shipment soon, even though I know I'll end up spending over $100. Ugh.