“I go to seek a Great Perhaps” (p. 5). John Green captures the essence of figuring out who you are perfectly in his book Looking for Alaska. The story revolves around the life of Miles Halter better known as Pudge, a 16-year-old boy who leaves his tedious hometown to seek a “great perhaps”. He transfers to Culver Creek High School in Alabama where he meets Alaska Young, the Colonel and Takumi. Soon friendship and love introduce themselves into Pudge’s life as he embarks on risky adventures managing not to ever get caught by the school’s dean. This is the story of teenagers breaking the rules and living everyday to the fullest.
I was hooked on the book the minute I started reading. One of the reasons why I enjoyed the book so much was because it was the first book I had read where high school and teenage life was accurately depicted. John Green didn’t hold back. There was no sugarcoating life’s problems or downgrading the hardships of being 16 and trying to figure out who you are. The characters were raw and took hasty decisions, which made them easy to relate to. They weren’t perfect and they didn’t try to be. Through their spontaneous actions it was clear the characters had a teenage mind.
The open ending left me with mixed feelings. On one hand I hated not knowing the fate of a character; I dwelled on it for months. I wondered why the author would choose not to tell us. Why would he leave us with such a torturous cliffhanger? On the other hand I realized I had control over the story’s outcome; the book could end any way I wanted it to. Yet this still wasn’t as pleasing as being able to know the real ending to the book.
However, I would still without a doubt recommend this book to high school students who are looking for a relatable story to indulge, more so if they have read other John Green novels and enjoy his writing. Looking for Alaska is an easy book to get hooked on and once you do, you won’t want to stop reading. Figuring out who you are, your beliefs, your likes and dislikes, and your fears, is all part of growing up, and John Green tells this story better than any one else.