Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Looking for Alaska

This was a book that I heard about a few years ago, added it to the list as something that sounded interesting and moved on.  Then I heard about a few more books that also sounded interesting and realized they were all by the same author.  Since this was the first one I heard of, I thought I'd begin with it.  The title is intriguing, and the fact that it won the Printz award made me believe that I would enjoy the reading process.  It turned out to be a good judgement.

This is the story of Miles, a good kid who doesn't do anything - he's not bad, he's not good, he just exists.  His fascination is with the words people speak just before they die.  He ends up transferring to a school in Alabama where it's hot - all the time, and meets a few friends who alter the way he lives his life and how he views life.  Quickly he is known as Pudge, not Miles, and he hangs out with Alaska (real name) and the Colonel (not real name).  They get into mischief, as can be expected, but they make a connection with each other and their journey through life that has a significant impact on all of them.

I LOVED this book.  It's crass and swears often - if that's offensive to you, this may not be the book for you.  I had many experiences with having to put the book down to regain my composure after laughing, was amazed at the depth of thought some of the characters shared and experienced heartbreak from realizing the lives they came from on multiple occasions.  The characters are so compelling, reminded me so much of several of my students as a composite and I just wanted to smack them upside the head and then give them a hug.  The award on this one was well deserved and my introduction to John Green did not disappoint.  I'm so happy I read this book.

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