Looking for Alaska

Awesome. Just freaking made of awesome. And a first novel! Yes, I'd still marry John Green.

To be honest, I was a bit wary of reading Looking for Alaska. I mean, sure, it won the Printz Award and all but I really, really loved An Abundance of Katherines. Katherines was one of the best YA books I've read well...ever. So I was worried that I'd be unimpressed with Looking for Alaska (even though Katherines was only a medalist for the Printz whereas Alaska won). I don't know why I was worried. Silly me.

Looking for Alaska had a great main character - the type of guy that we all know or knew in high school. Miles is a smart, geeky kid with no friends who gets accepted to an exclusive and prestigious boarding school. At home, Miles had no friends. His parents refused to believe this and tried to throw him a going away party. It ended up with the three of them in front of the TV. Then after Miles gets to school he makes friends! Real friends! Kinda bad-ass friends! And, of course, one of them is a really popular, hot girl named Alaska Young. (Alaska, by the way, is totally the type that would say PATRIARCHY if she heard me say I'd marry anyone, let alone the person that created her. I think you can see why I liked her.)

Things are going swimmingly. And then something bad happens. Something really bad. You'd kind of expecting it though since the first section of the book is "before" and the chapters (hmmmm they are more like sections really) are headed with dates like "one hundred thirty-six days before". If there's a Before there must be an After and between the two there must a Significant Event and it's rare that such events are good things right?

And then there is the After. It's painful and emotion and truthful. But the kicker, the KICKER, is the ending. The book ends with a paper that Miles writes and it's freaking fantastic. It's so fantastic I can't quote anything because that would totally ruin it for you.

If you are one of those people (and if you are I so don't understand you and we must have a chat about this sometime) that flip to the end to read the last pages before the beginning of the book for the love of all literary things DON'T. Truthfully, it won't ruin the whole book for you. But it will totally ruin the potency of getting to that piece of writing at the end. Just don't. If i were in the same room as you I'd rip the pages out of the book, a book that I REALLY LIKE, so you couldn't do that.

I believe I've decided that when it comes to young adult literature John Green can do no wrong. I've heard him read the first chapter of his third book, Paper Towns, over at Brotherhood 2.0 so I'm not even worried about the curse of the third book (that may apply only to series anyway...) as I really want to read it right now and I'm highly annoyed that I can't (I want to say fall 2008 is when it will be released but I might be wrong...).

Oh, and where Katherines had anagrams? Looking for Alaska has the last lines of famous dead people.