Monday, January 12, 2009
This is my first book for the Dewey's Books Reading Challenge, and it was totally awesome (do I sound like I'm reverting to teenager-hood? I don't mean to.). So awesome, in fact, that I ran out and bought John Green's other books. And I can't wait to read them.
Technically, this is a YA book. But other than the fact that it's about teenagers, it doesn't read like a YA book. Actually, I'm not really sure why I said that, since most YA books these days don't read like the stereotypical YA book. Not that I'm trying to stereotype them.
Looking for Alaska is about a group of friends at a boarding school. Pudge (his real name is Miles) is our protagonist, and this is his first year at Culver Creek. The Colonel (his real name is Chip) is Pudge's roommate. He introduces him to cigarettes and Alaska. Alaska (and her real name is Alaska) is a sexy, experienced girl with a reputation for pranks. She also has a roomful of books:
"I call it my Life's Library. Every summer since I was little, I've gone to garage sales and bought all the books that looked interesting. So I always have something to read. But there is so much to do: cigarettes to smoke, sex to have, swings to swing on. I'll have more time for reading when I'm old and boring."The novel starts of with a Before section. It is 136 days before. Before what we don't know, until a little more than halfway through the book, when it's After. And I can't tell you anything else about the book, because that would totally spoil it.
Well, I can tell you that it's a Printz Award winner, if you like that sort of thing. And that this is way more than just a story about life at boarding school. I especially loved the character of Dr. Hyde ("I have a first name, of course. So far as you are concerned, it is Doctor.") and his religion class.
Anyhoosie, this is one of those books that you have to have faith in. Or you have to have faith in me. Because I highly recommend it, and it is totally worth reading without knowing anything about it. Like totally. And I swear that's the last time I'll say totally tonight.
On a sort of related note, I'm hosting one of the mini-challenges for the Dewey's Books Reading Challenge. My idea was to have people write their reviews using Dewey's review format. However, her site is down and I don't have the questionnaire she used. Does anyone have it?? If so, can you pleeeeeeeeeeese share it with me?