I think the problem with reading a John Green book is that if you started with the exceptionally heart breaking but amazing book of his – The Fault in our Stars, then every other book that you read, although good in their own way, kind of falls short in comparison.
I had read Paper Towns after The Fault in our Stars, in order to keep up with my rule of trying to read the book before the screen adaption. But Looking for Alaska was not on my TBR, and I had just bought this book from a bookstore on whim, because the cover looked so pretty and shiny! (Which was a major trouble for Bookstagram, because of the reflections!)
Luckily, I was able to reduce my owned book TBR count, by reading this book as part of the destination reading challenge for one of my book clubs.
Destination for March: A Southern American State. I chose Alabama, which is where the boarding school of Culver Creek from this book is situated.
Trigger Warning: Death and suicide
What I liked about the book:
- The setting, the characters, the pranks – they were all so relatable (maybe not the pranks so much..lol). Although I hadn’t tried out smoking or drinking or even sex when I was in college, living in a hostel, I could relate to many other parts in the book with regards to the hostel life. Making friends, having a special relationship with your room mate(s), little pranks that we played, skipping classes in college, your first boy friend, your first kiss and the awkwardness around it, differentiating between hostelers and the Weekday Warriors, or in our case, the ‘Day-schi’s 😀
- The story is very easy to read and you can finish the book in a day really
- How does John Green come up with tattoo worthy phrases? In The Fault in our Stars, the expression ‘Infinite Infinities’ stuck with me, and now in this book, the expression of ‘The Great Perhaps’ stuck with me. Don’t we all wish for our own Great perhaps? One great adventure? Have we had it, or is it still waiting to happen?
- I really wondered, if the young adults and teenagers today were reading books like these. It has so much to learn, to explore about friendships, thoughts about dealing with grief and loss, about finding hope. Because when I was a teenager, I was reading murder mysteries or science fiction and school curriculum was never this detailed, especially for English. But I’m glad if teenagers are reading books like these today, I feel it is so important for young people to read books like these, especially in the connected yet lonely world of today
- All the class discussions and the assignment subjects from The Old Man’s classes
What I didn’t like about the book:
- I have trouble dealing with death. Especially for people I start to care about, even if they are fictional. And I was crying on my way back in the car, thinking about death, triggered by the loss of a central character in the book
- I thought Miles’ character was a bit self centred and I couldn’t care much for his grief or his issues, even though he is the narrator of the story. My favourite character was the Colonel, because I felt I was like him in some ways, and of course, I wanted to know a lot more about the fiercely feminist Alaska!
So, all in all, a good though provoking YA story, that is also easy to read and can be finished in a day. If I had to rate amongst the three John Green books that I’ve read, I’d rate them as: (Maybe the rating will change if I find any other of his books better than the ones mentioned below:))
Number One: The Fault in our Stars
First Runner’s Up: Looking for Alaska
Second Runner’s Up: Paper Towns
Questions for you guys:
Do you read YA contemporary genre? If yes, who is your favourite author, or which is your favourite book from this genre that you’d recommend?
Are you a John Green fan? If yes, what’s your favourite John Green book?