Saturday, January 8, 2011

Abducted by Looking For Alaska

This past week I finished my second John Green novel, and I LOVED it. So let me tell you about my abduction by....

Looking For Alaska by John Green.

Now as I have mentioned before I am a huge fan of the VLOGBROTHERS

So let me take this time to give a shout out to my friend TRACY for introducing me to the VLOGBROTHERS and to my friend MIDNIGHT BOOK GIRL for teaching me how to successfully link things on my blog!

Anyway, so I became a fan of the vlogbrothers and have since wanted to read the books that John Green has written (which so far there are four). I started with AN ABUNDANCE OF KATHERINES (that link will take you to my blog for AAOK).

Now don't get me wrong, I liked AAOK, but I didn't love it. I just felt like the characters were a little underdeveloped and the plot kind of lacked a climax. But it was okay. I guess maybe I just expected more because i love John Green's vlog's so much. I consulted with my friend Tracy, who has read all of his books, as to which one was her favorite and she gave high praise to Will Grayson Will Grayson and Paper Towns. So I figured I should read Looking For Alaska first so that way if it wasn't one of Green's better novels then I could get it out of the way. But guess what?

I LOVED IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I mean I really REALLY loved this book.

I felt that the characters were fully developed and the story was honest and sincere.
Miles is the main character and the book starts with him making the decision to leave his public school in Florida to attend a boarding school in Alabama.

Now, can I take a moment just to say that IF I ever have kids, I really hope that I am in a position to send them to a boarding school because I personally think it sounds awesome. I have always thought it seemed awesome. I mean hello look at Harry Potter, those kids are having a blast!!!

Once at his new school Miles meets his roommate, Chip aka "the Colonel", and a girl down the hall who is of course the most beautiful girl he has ever seen named Alaska.

The book is divided into two parts the "before" and the "after".

In the "before" section of the book each chapter is titled with a countdown like "147 days before" and then "142 days before" all the way down to "the last day". So while reading you know there is a countdown to something but you don't know what the event could be. Then the "after" shows you the after math of that event.

What I thought Green did extremely well in this book is the way that he showed how certain events can change your life. I mean growing up we all have a certain idea of what events we think are going to change us forever. For an example, take sex. As we come into our adolescence we assume that the day we have our first sexual experience, that will be the day that a boy is made a man or a girl is made a woman. But sometimes, as in Looking For Alaska, that can end up being completely shallow and meaningless. Then there are the experiences and moments in our lives that we have no way of anticipating or preparing for.

And that is also what happens in Looking For Alaska, the event the book is counting down to ends up being one of those moments in life that will pick you up off the path you are on, shake you around and then set you back down on a completely different road. After this happens to Miles and his friends, they have to figure out how they are going to let this event define them and change them.

Sometimes when these moments occur we can let them paralyze us because we are not ready to give up that imagined future we had for ourselves on the other path.

Unfortunately, to be honest, I would say that I am prone to paralyzation. There is a line in Looking For Alaska where Alaska says;

"You spend your whole life stuck in the labyrinth, thinking about how you'll escape it one day, and how awesome it will be, and imagining that future keeps you going, but you never do it. You just use the future to escape the present."

That is so me! I know that I'm on a certain path and I develop these elaborate imagined futures for myself and then when the path changes on me, I become paralyzed because I don't want to give up on the future I had planned.

Looking For Alaska was a wonderful book that I would recommend to anyone. And if it is one of Green's lesser novels then I really can't wait to see how good the rest will be!

Also I have decided to join another challenge. That's right I am taking the plunge and joining the challenge for...

This one is hosted by LIFE IS TO SHORT READ FAST. At first I was only trying to double how many I read last year but now I am thinking that since I'm off to a good start, why not shoot for it? I may not be complete successful but if I don't have something to shoot for I wont even try! - wish me luck!


fakesteph said...

I love this book. I have a quote from it written down next to my bed to keep me motivated: "I'm not going to be one of those people who sits around talking about what they're gonna do. I'm just going to do it. Imagining the future is a kind of nostalgia."

And it's been a while since I read it, but I loved Paper Towns, too.

Unknown said...

Paper Towns is the only one that I've read, but you've totally sold me on Waiting for Alaska.

Not to mention that the vlogbros are hilarious, and I feel that everytime I purchase their books it gives them extra free time to continue to make up songs and exercise videos. The world needs more vlogbros.

Bittner said...

Thanks for the comments girls! I love comments!!!

Paper Towns will be the next one of John Green's books that I read and I am really looking forward to it. And Holly I totally agree the world definitely needs way more Vlogbrothers!!!

Kate @Midnight Book Girl said...

Holy abducted cow, Bittner! 111 books? I am impressed! Now you're going to have to participate in the Readathons! :) Miss you, sorry I haven't been around much, but I've been at Miss Kays for daaaaaaaays now. I am exhausted. But I do have the weekend off! Woot! Maybe we can finally make our One Day post? I know, balls in my court.

Anonymous said...

YAY! Glad you loved Looking for Alaska. He did win an award for it. It is pretty great. Many people Like Alaska better than Paper Towns. And Will Grayson X2 pushing the envelope for some. I will be interested to see what you think of PT and WGx2. (You will probably wonder why I like them more. I think PT the road trip is just sooooo funny. I laughed so hard.

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

I loved Looking for Alaska too! I read Paper Towns last year and it was fantastic too. Though I did like Alaska a bit more. I had the chance to hear Green speak and he's just as funny in person as he is in his vlogs.

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