At Culver Creek Preparatory School, Pudge is launched into the rebellious world of boarding school where he befriends his roommate Chip “Colonel” Martin, who introduces him to the charming, enigmatic, unpredictable and reckless Alaska Young. The story centres on Pudge’s affection towards Alaska and their growing relationship.

The novel is divided into “Before” and “After”. From the outset, a sense of dread is created – and fulfilled. Readers will find themselves in a quandary of whether to turn the page while desperate to discover the outcome.

Looking for Alaska brutally reveals the reality of modern teenage life. It is no wonder that his honest account of a coming-of-age story was banned in several schools in the United States. The beauty in Green’s book is his no-holds-barred approach to young adult storytelling, where sexually explicit situations and misguided decisions of youths are blatantly portrayed. Green has a gift for capturing the struggles, losses and triumphs of young adult life without falling into the lack of realism that the genre is so susceptible to.

While Looking for Alaska is not as emotionally challenging and cathartic as the book, and soon-to-be-released movie, A Fault in our Stars,its victory is in its absence of modesty and politeness. Much like adolescence it is filled with embarrassment and poor decision-making. This book is a touching story of coming of age and a must read for fans of young adult literature.

 

Image: goodreads.com

 

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