pic from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Looking_for_Alaska
For the third quarter independent reading I chose to read ‘Looking for Alaska’ by John Green. I have known about this book for awhile because its by the same author as The Fault in Our Stars and Paper Towns, and I really liked both of those so I thought I would give this book a try. In this book we follow the story of Miles Halter in search of “the great perhaps”, that there is something more for him. Miles decides to leave his boring and predictable life to go to a boarding school in Alabama, where he meets a not so boring Alaska Young. Before reading I realized the book was split into two parts: before and after. This was intriguing to me because I figured the “before” would be building up to the event that had happened and the after would obviously would be what happened after. In the before Miles meets some guy friends and Alaska that take him under there wing and introduce him to the campus, mischief-making, drinking, and smoking cigarettes. While creating mischief they must avoid the Eagle (the dean of the school). As time passes Miles continues his involvement in shenanigans and obsessing over Alaska. For thanksgiving he decides to stay on campus to try and get with Alaska. Then a couple nights later while there friend group is hanging out Alaska gets a phone call from her boyfriend because its there anniversary. she then freaks out and has miles and colonel cover for her while she leaves campus in her car. In the after section they bring the school together and tell them the news of Alaska’s death. miles and the colonel feel very guilty for this. They try to unravel the mystery of what happened and whether or not it was suicide. Overall I would say this was a decent book. I liked how Miles was quieter and Alaska pushed him to have fun and do wild things. I also like how John Green made Alaska mysterious and an interesting character, I think this definitely made me want to read on and find out what wild thing she would do next and what would happen with her and Miles. One of the very first things I realized when reading this is the use of nicknames throughout the book. Nicknames usually imply an attempt to form a new identity so Miles could leave his old self behind and become Pudge at the Creek. Something that continues to come up throughout the whole book is the smoking hole. The rules are that you are not allowed to smoke but smoking is a relatively easy way for them to oppose authority so they continue to. They know it is self destructive but its not only used for that but for the Colonel and Miles to have fun and also helps Miles cope with Alaska’s death. Slowly the smoking hole becomes a symbol for something more than just smoking and rebellion. It becomes a symbol for where the characters connect.