As a devoted John Green fan, I highly recommend that if you can only read one book written by him (horrifying), read this one. It is a classic in the genre whilst also standing out amongst your stereotype modern romance novels. As the main character Miles(Pudge) goes on an adventure in Culver Creek High School, so will the reader experience the love and loss, the sadness and happiness, the excite and boredom with him. To me, it's a truly exceptional writing even for the bestseller writer himself.
The character in this story is very intriguing, as the characters John Green created has many sides of personality. If I met one of the characters in real life, I'll never doubt they are anything but human. How Alaska Young is adventurous as she has nothing to lose, how Miles sees through her soul sometimes but clueless the other; Green portrays his character with traits of teenage recklessness, but nonetheless hints of deeper understanding of life.
At first sight, «Looking for Alaska» seems to be your characteristic cheap high school story. Who doesn't have some dusty romance story stuffed in the back of the bookshelf? However, as I go deeper into the book, I realised that it is not as simple as a cheesy teenage love story, but instead something much deeper, something more philosophical and valuable. This is clued as when Miles first met Alaska and her friends, she said she don't "smoke for pleasure", she "smoke to die". It was these parts when Alaska briefly reveal her true self that I most love. I think it gives us an understanding of who Alaska truly is, not the glamour she is wearing.
We don't always show our true selves to people that we care about, because we're afraid that we'll hurt or disappoint them that we lose them. This reflects the anxiety of modern teenagers fearing they will not be accepted, which many deeply relates to.
Interestingly, this book's definition of death is not to popular belief, but instead as another way a person could exist on Earth. Death is not the end, as long as one's legacy is always remembered in some way. I think it is similar to when you finish a good book, you don't grieve for it, you treasure the book in your mind, never forgetting it.
One thing I'll have to say is that «Looking for Alaska» has some mild sexual content so I suggest it would be suitable for age 12+. If I'll have to rate it out of ten, I'll rate it nine. Bear in mind that 10/10 is an immaculate piece of writing, almost extinct and devoid of existence. You won't be seeing ten very much, but nine is a fantastic score. I would like to explain my rating system another time.
Finally, all stories needs a bit of magic. My recipe is 99% creativity, and just this one stroke of magic that makes everything fits together and flow into one splendid masterpiece. But for now, I hope to see you looking for «Looking for Alaska», and see you in the next review!