Is it funny that the last book I read by John Green is the first book he wrote? There are so many quotes everywhere ("everywhere" = tumblr) and although I was always careful to skip over those posts, I'm still amazed that I remained spoiler-less. Amazed and gratified.
Because I've heard/seen several people say that Looking for Alaska has almost the same plot as Paper Towns, which as you know was my favourite JG book until The Fault In Our Stars. So I started reading Looking for Alaska expecting a story about a guy searching for a girl who has gone missing in some way (like, ran away, or was kidnapped maybe or something idek). What I was NOT expecting was what I got.
I--yeah I'm just amazed how I knew absolutely nothing about this book. It was very nice. All I knew before hand was that the main character was called "Pudge".
One thing I really like about Looking for Alaska (besides the story and philosophy etc., which is of course excellent) is the way it is set up--the "before" and "after" as two parts of the book and the chapters marked by the number of days before or after the... event.
This time I did not fill my book with markers for passages I enjoyed--not really sure why. I did put a bookmark in one spot but I cannot copy that quote here because it would constitute a spoiler. I can tell you that it's between the first two pauses in "one hundred eighteen days after" and it is a conversation between Miles and the Colonel. So if you've already read it maybe you can look that up idk. I'm just trying (not my hardest, but a little) to avoid spoilers in my reviews, at least for John's books.
I must talk about the characters. Though I can't really say anything except that Miles/Pudge is exactly like me. Okay not exactly, but we share so many characteristics, like how he has to hold back tears at the tiniest of disappointments/problems. Like how he spends about 90% of his time reading (although for me it's fantasy, not biographies :P). Like how he usually waits for people to talk to him first instead of being the instigator. Like how he latches on to people and does what he can to remain friends with them, almost no matter what. Because of his personality, Miles/Pudge is one of the select few protagonists who I can really identify with--I usually find rather minor or at least secondary characters to be my favourites/obsessions.
I really like Alaska's character too, though there always seemed to be something... unfinished.. about her. Maybe.. I suppose that was probably part of the point. And I like the Eagle and Dr. Hyde.
About the Colonel--CAN ANYONE TELL ME HOW IT'S SUPPOSED TO BE PRONOUNCED? Sorry. But I've had "kernel" ingrained in my brain since grade 10 English and I seem to remember something about it being pronounced phonetically in the US? And I really wanted to know while I was reading it because the little voice in my head kept going back and forth between the two pronunciations and it was very distracting. I sent an Ask about it to John on tumblr but he's probably swamped with asks, so... and it's really embarrassing because I realized that I spelt Colonel wrong in the ask (3 o's). But yeah... if anyone could take a guess at the answer to my question that would be lovely...
So I have no quotes to copy, though the book is stuffed full of rather brilliant phrases and passages. I'd really like to quote Miles's whole Final Exam for world religions (the end of the book) from Before I got here, I thought for a long time that the way out of the labyrinth was to pretend that it did not exist, to build a small, self-sufficient world in a back corner of the endless maze and to pretend that I was not lost, but home to I don't know where there is, but I believe it's somewhere, and I hope it's beautiful. Those two sentences are...exactly the way I think too. I mean the last one is what I think and the first one is kind of what I do to...
I should go to find
a Great Perhaps.