15. Looking for Alaska by John Green
Theme/Topic: book written by someone under 30
Sixteen-year-old Miles' first year at Culver Creek Prepatory School (boarding school) in Alabama includes good friends and great pranks, but is defined by the search for answers about life and death after a fatal car crash.
This is about life before and after a tragic event of losing a friend in a car crash. We tend to take our family and friends for granted and don't always realize how much they mean to us. Oftentimes by the time we do, it's too late. I liked how John Green showed Miles, aka Pudge, and his friends/c!assmates go through the grieving process just like anybody else, but more importantly, that they each went through it differently.
Losing someone close to us, whether suddenly or not, is heartbreaking. Just like Pudge, I think all of us question life and death after someone dies. I related to what Pudge went through because I felt a lot of the same things when I lost an uncle in 2001 and my grandmom in 2010. One died suddenly and the other died unexpectedly, but I kind of knew it was coming. With both, I found myself asking what if I had done this or that (they're both extremely personal stories), would it have made a difference. And I'm sure a lot of people feel the same way.
Suicide. Although we never find out if Alaska dies by accident or crashed as a way to commit suicide, suicide is an importañt issue not to be taken lightly. I've known two people who did take their life and although I wasn't that close to either of them, I still found myself questioning why someone would want to do that. The answer is that you just don't know. There's no way of knowing what that person is thinking right before that moment or even what led up to that moment. If you or someone you know is considering suicide as a way out, please get help.
This book is good for young adults and adults in their 20s and 30s because it's during those times when we question life and death and discover what we want to become and where we want to be in life.
I'm going to end this with the most thought defining quote from this book:
"How will I ever get out of this labyrinth?" - Alaska Young
Happy Reading and Keep on Writing!