I didn't know Alaska was lost: Looking for Alaska by John Green

Looking for Alaska
By John Green

Looking for Alaska is easily one of my favorites from the MFAC booklist. Even though I’ve grown a little tired of the forced-funny, self-deprecating voice so ubiquitous in contemporary ya, and tired of a protagonist who stands there going “um hum” while everyone else gets the great one-liners. But here Miles/Pudge grows and his “um hum,” while not becoming crack-up comedy, becomes intelligent and deep. I honestly don’t have a whole lot to say on this book because I got so wrapped up in the story that I, uh, forgot I was supposed to be reading it critically.

The structure worked with section headings x# days before leading up to the big event. It built intensity immensely so that I knew something awful was going to happen, but the something, though foreshadowed, was not predictable in the least. I did find myself thinking this was a YA version of Bridge to Terabithia. I’m not quite sure why now, though. I mean, I’m pretty sure there aren’t male strippers in any of Paterson’s books. I loved Miles’ essay at the end. Absolutely loved it. Totally in voice, totally believable, and not at all a sermon on the dangers of drinking and driving, which this book could have very easily turned into. And the story, though not rainbows and butterflies, is SO FREAKING MUCH HAPPIER than cancer.