WARNING: THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS!
The novel, “Looking for Alaska by John Green, really struck a personal chord in me. It wasn’t until about half way through the book, but it definitely hit me hard because the way that the main character, Pudge, reacted and some of his thoughts really mirrored my own.
The next morning, the whole school is called into the gym for a meeting. Pudge is looking everywhere, telling the dean that they can’t start without Alaska. Where’s Alaska? Alaska has to be here somewhere. They can’t start without Alaska. But Pudge can’t find her anywhere. Alaska is not there. The dean then announces that Alaska has been in a terrible car crash, one that claimed her life. Alaska Young died.
Pudge’s reaction was the first thing I could connect to. At first he was just in body-paralyzing shock, much like I was when I was first told that my cousin, Jimmy, had been killed in Afghanistan. Pudge couldn’t make things real, he couldn’t cry right then, and I couldn’t either. Then he just wanted to throw up, but just dry-heaved, which I did several times in the aftermath of the news. Pudge then reasoned that this wasn’t real, that Alaska had to still be alive, she couldn’t be dead, much like I was convinced that the news of Jim being killed in action was all a dream. Because Jim has to come home – he always comes home. Just like Alaska always lives, she’s free, she’s wild, but she always lives. She couldn’t be dead.
Some of Pudge’s thoughts mirrored my own. His loss of Alaska was very much like when I lost Jimmy. He thought about things a lot like I did. He asked the same questions of “Why them?” or “Why couldn’t it have been me?” Pudge also wanted to believe that he was the most affected by Alaska’s death, when he knew he wasn’t. I didn’t really think this, but sometimes it feels like I’m the only one still struggling to deal with it.
When Pudge realizes that he is alive, even without Alaska, it hit home really hard. It took me a long time to realize that I’m still alive, and even though it sucks without Jim, it’s still better than being dead. I may never be the same person I was, but I’m still breathing, living, crying, feeling, and loving. And I think that was John Green’s point – life sucks sometimes, but it beats not living at all. And even when we experience death, the pain is still better than leaving this life behind.
This book was seriously amazing. I was afraid that I wouldn't like John Green's books when I started reading LfA. I already had grown to love John Green by his videos on YouTube and I knew that he was a funny guy. But my fears were unjustified - this book definitely has a special place in my heart and I cannot wait to read more John Green books.