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I picked up the book, Looking for Alaska, because it was written by John Green. To date, I've read three John Green novels. Two have disappointed me and one is arguably the best book I've ever read. Unfortunately, this book was one of the disappointments.
So why the disappointment? Well, as I read Looking for Alaska, I couldn't shake the feeling that I had read the book already. I was sure I hadn't but the plot line just seemed so familiar. The story is told by Miles Harper, an awkward kid who's never really had many friends at his school in Florida. He convinces his parents to send him to Culver Creek boarding school in Alabama, telling them that he is searching for his Great Perhaps (and what that is - no one really knows). At boarding school he quickly befriends his roommate, Chip "The Colonel" Martin. The Colonel nicknames Miles "Pudge" (because he's so skinny) and introduces him to his friends Takumi Hikohoto and Alaska Young. Alaska is beautiful, moody, mysterious, and totally out of Pudge's league. Predictably, Pudge falls head-over-heels in love with Alaska. Toward the middle of the semester, the four friends plan a crazy prank that they carry out together in the middle of the night, and shortly thereafter, Alaska disappears leaving Pudge to spend the rest of the school year wondering what really happened to her.
So what do you think? Sound familiar? Perhaps a bit like the plot of Green's later book, Paper Towns? Both books deal with a sort of awkward/nerdy boy falling for a beautiful, moody, and mysterious girl who is way out of his league but who he is friends with. Both novels have a night full of pranks in which said nerdy boy and mysterious hot girl pull off the pranks together - creating a bond between the two characters. And BOTH novels deal with said hot girl disappearing out of nowhere after which said nerdy boy pines over her disappearance for the rest of the novel. And now, for the disappointing part - neither novel provides much in the way of a resolution. They both sort of end with the nerdy boy, Pudge in this case, essentially saying 'oh well I guess I'll never really understand why she left' and then walking away from the situation.
REALLY JOHN GREEN!?!?!?!?
Ok, so, if you couldn't tell, this book disappoints me because at the end the whole journey just seems so pointless. The fact that the same writer has done this to me TWICE started to bother me, so I did some digging and I found that John Green had a similar experience in HS to the one that Pudge goes through. Looking for Alaska was John Green's way of trying to make sense of what happened to him when he was younger. I think it's safe to say that he really didn't make sense of it, because four years later he wrote Paper Towns with an eerily similar plot line and the same disappointing ending. I'm not sure what Green has in the works for now but I'm going to have to take a bit of a break from him. There is only so much disappointment a girl can take. Until next time, happy reading!!