I “read” this one on audiobook. Prior to the last couple weeks, my only experience with audiobooks has been a few David Sedaris books my husband and I would take with us on the long drive from Arizona to Oklahoma. They really helped the time pass by more quickly and more pleasantly. It did not occur to me to listen to audiobooks during my pretty short commute until I read about some other bloggers doing it. There are some flaws, though, in my audiobook choosing… If I had checked Looking for Alaska out in book form, I’d have been done with it in 2 or 3 days, I’m sure. Instead it took me ten days to finish and that included some weekend listening in bed during which I fell asleep and missed a chapter of the book. Oops. But the voice acting on this book was pretty awesome (the characters had Alabama accents or old man voices or whatever, it was great!) and they even read the acknowledgments (I love acknowledgments).
Anyways… Looking for Alaska features Miles “Pudge” Halter, a high school junior who leaves his lonely, boring life in Florida to “seek the great perhaps” at boarding school in Alabama. At boarding school, Pudge finally makes friends and falls in love with the girl down the hall, Alaska Young. Something bad happens, leaving Pudge searching for answers to life’s most pressing questions: where do we go when we die, how do we escape human suffering, etc.
As with my other encounter with John Green, I loved his characters. Green creates teenagers you will love. They do stupid teenage stuff (drink, smoke, kiss the wrong girls), but they are smart and funny and really perceptive. In short, they are like REAL teenagers. Also, Pudge’s religious studies teacher, Dr. Hyde, might have been one of my favorites in this book. He was one of those hard ass teachers who truly loved teaching and connecting with students. My favorite sort of teacher.
The only real flaw I thought it had was that it could have ended a bit sooner and more ambiguously than it did. We really did not need all the explanation of what Pudge learned from his journey at the end. I enjoyed what he had to say, but perhaps would have liked the ends left loose. It seems it would have been more appropriate to end this left with the fact that there are no good, stable, or certain answers to life’s big questions. Overall, though, this is a great book and I would definitely recommend it.