Looking for Alaska is the first book published by the now successful author, John Green. Among the other books that Green has published, An Abundance of Katherines, and Paper Towns, Looking for Alaska has been one of his most successful. Debuting in March 2005 under Dutton Juvenile Publishing it soon won the Michael L. Printz Award from the American Library Association, and was later put into consideration for film adaption by Paramount Pictures.
The story follows a teenager by the name of Miles Halter, later nicknamed "Pudge". Miles moves away from his home in Florida to attend a boarding school known as Culver Creek Preparatory School in Alabama. Having had no extensive background in his social life, he left Florida with no real attachments and began anew. Shortly after arriving at Culver Creek Miles meets his roommate, Chip "The Colonel" Martin, who gave Miles the nickname "Pudge". The Colonel introduces Miles to his friends Takumi, and Alaska. Upon seeing Alaska, Miles gradually falls in love with not only her beauty, but her spontaneous and carefree personality along with her intellectually stimulating ideals. The group begins their siege of pranks on the rich-kids otherwise known as the "Week-Day Warriors", and the rest of Culver Creek, creating havoc and mischief everywhere they go. Miles relationship with the other characters grows exponentially as the story goes on, and finds himself fitting in with a group of people like he never had before. Just as Miles had grown close with his friends at Culver Creek, tragedy strikes the campus and nothing is ever the same again.
The book "Looking For Alaska" is a great book for both young adults and adults, exposing many of the trials and hardships that many teens go through today in America. From friendship to drugs, sex, alcohol, teenage mischief, vandalism, and tragedy. When you begin reading the book, Miles is an exceptionally dull character, with a mind that is anything but. As the story goes on, the reader will find him or her becoming attached to many of the characters emotionally, and be stimulated by the material in the book. Green has a knack for referring to many poets, authors, and other writers in his books which helps a reader connect with the story in his or her on way, as one would with a poem.
I found that the book was very entertaining, inspiring, and after the first time reading it left me in tears. The book has all the sugar, spice, and everything nice, however the length of the book was not to my satisfaction. The story is split into two parts, 'Before' and 'After', with all the necessary ingredients for a fantastic novel. Although the story ended very well, it would have been nice to have been able to read more of the story and to have lived in the world of "Looking for Alaska" for a bit longer.