‘Looking for Alaska’, (2005, Harper Collins) the debut novel of Youtuber and Michael L. Printz Award-winning author John Green, can only be described as a breakthrough in teen drama writing. The story follows a social outcast, Miles Halter, who leaves his Florida home to attend Culver Creek Boarding School in the hopes of finally making friends. Upon arrival he befriends his roommate, The Colonel. He develops a rather tenuous relationship with the sexy, mysterious girl who lives down the corridor, Alaska. Soon he finds himself to be part of a a rag-tag clique. The group that soon expands to include five people pull off spectacular pranks on the school principal and on the pretentious rich kids.
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Alaska changes Miles’ life. He becomes lively and fun, he dabbles with sex and contraband, and he works hard in school. Then, when Alaska runs away in the night, drunk and distressed, Miles is forced to live alone; living with the guilt of not having stopped Alaska from leaving. The group of four struggle to piece together what happened to Alaska and discover shocking truths about her. This book leaves the reader just as clueless as the four protagonists and ends on an uncertain note, to match the uncertainty that Miles feels. This book quickly warps from heartwarming, fun and sexy to shocking, dark and grim. Times come when the reader wants to put down the book and scream, but that’s simply not possible. It just can’t be put down. _ Eoin O’Brien Contributing Writer