Looking for Alaska is a childhood treasure

Looking for Alaska is a childhood treasure

Looking for Alaska is a childhood treasure that all young adults should read on their journey to adulthood. I’ll explain why.

Book: Looking for Alaska by John Green

My rating: 5 of 5 stars on Goodreads.

This is a no spoilers book review and differs slightly from my Goodreads review. I will also be posting a full review with spoilers after I reread Looking for Alaska.

How do we ever escape this labyrinth of suffering? Is there any reason for hope in this world?

I read Looking for Alaska all the way back in high school, but I’ve never been able to give a real review. I’ve never been able to explain the way I felt about it back then and after reading this I went through a reading slump of epic proportions. To this day have never found anything quite like it.

“Imagining the future is a kind of nostalgia. (…) You spend your whole life stuck in the labyrinth, thinking about how you’ll escape it one day, and how awesome it will be, and imagining that future keeps you going, but you never do it. You just use the future to escape the present.”

-John Green, Looking for Alaska

The theme of life and death, living and dying, is a prominent theme in the book. That’s why it’s titled Looking for Alaska, and not just titled Alaska: it’s the search for the truth that matters.

It’s depressing how we’re brought to the pinnacle of this search, but nonetheless it does the job and makes us question our beliefs and what living and dying really means in this world.

Life isn’t fair. Life is messy, sticky, like molasses. Sometimes you’ll wade through it, and other times, you’ll eat it up for the sugary mess that it is.

Life doesn’t always go the way you think it does, and people don’t always act the way you think they do. And that’s okay.

“When adults say, “Teenagers think they are invincible” with that sly, stupid smile on their faces, they don’t know how right they are. We need never be hopeless, because we can never be irreparably broken. We think that we are invincible because we are. We cannot be born, and we cannot die. Like all energy, we can only change shapes and sizes and manifestations. They forget that when they get old. They get scared of losing and failing. But that part of us greater than the sum of our parts cannot begin and cannot end, and so it cannot fail.”

-John Green, Looking for Alaska

No one is who they say they are.

For example, Alaska seems like a fun, witty girl most of the time, but she hides her secrets well. Miles POV is the only one that we see and we never know if she’s actually truly beautiful or if he over exaggerates. It’s these moments that make this book real and make us question the characters.

I won’t go into the other characters in this review: the focus is on the story as a whole, which is focused on Alaska and Pudge.

Taken from tenor.com

This is the kind of book that leaves you with so much to think about.

You’ll think about yourself, your friends, your family – everyone really. You’ll wonder if they’ve “figured it out,” of if they’re still stuck in their own labyrinths, but the truth is, most will never find their way out.

This book will go through loss, suffering, identity, the unknown, and most importantly, how to live and die.

Pudge found the answer, but we never know if Alaska truly escaped her labyrinth of suffering. And that’s reality. We’ll never know.

“The only way out of the labyrinth of suffering is to forgive.”

-John Green, Looking for Alaska

View all my reviews on Goodreads.

FTC: not a sponsored post. Some links above are affiliate links – it doesn’t cost you any extra, and I earn a small percentage of the sales via those links!

Jessica Mack

Jessica Mack has been writing and editing for over three years. She was previously promoted to Co-Editor in Chief for Crook & Folly, DePaul University's Literary & Arts Magazine, beginning in September of 2020. She also is a Social Media Intern for Becky Sarwate, previous president of the Illinois Woman's Press Association and author of Cubsessions. Jessica also reviews books and discusses current issues on her blog, Jess Because I Can. Previously, Jessica was Section Editor of Flash Fiction for Crook & Folly and Literary/Editorial Operations Intern for the Chicago Writers Association. For the 2018-'19 school year, she was Co-Editor in Chief of the Joliet Junior College Blazer Newspaper. Because of her leadership, the Blazer was 2018 Best-In-Show at the Illinois Community College Journalism Association annual fall contest and received six 2018 Awards for Excellence in Illinois Community College Newspapers in Division I. Jessica is currently on track to graduate with her Bachelors degree in English with a concentration in Creative Writing at DePaul University in June of 2021. She spends her spare time reading, cuddling with her cats Theo and Nelly (named respectively from A Haunting of Hill House), playing video games and bicycling on the Chicago lakefront.

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