Tuesday, March 24, 2015

My First Green Experience

As part of the Pop Sugar 2015 Reading Challenge, I have to read a popular author's first book.  I decided that this was the perfect opportunity to finally delve into the world of writing by John Green.  He's been incredibly popular the past couple years, churning out teen/young adult books with lots of praise.  Several of them have won awards for the writing and received kudos all around. Despite his popularity, I still hadn't picked up one of his books.  No particular reason why, of course, for never reading his work.  I guess I just never got around to it.  So, as part of this challenge, I borrowed Looking for Alaska from a friend.

Let me start this out by saying that I am terribly upset that nobody told me how sad this story is!  I like to know these things so I can mentally prepare myself.  I thought this was a story of a boy on his way to self discovery, more of a coming of age novel.  In some ways it still is, but I had no idea that I'd be left with such a yucky feeling settling in my gut and a knot in my throat.

The basic storyline is that Miles is an unpopular teenager who goes away to Culver Creek, a private school, in search of "a Great Perhaps."  There, he meets a gang of lively characters that become his friends and help teach him about letting loose, life, and love.  The story is also about first experiences and Miles has several of them while at Culver Creek.

Within the text are some splendid quotes that really stick with you as a reader.  I definitely give Green props for his ability to really send a message home with one line of text.  A couple of my favorites are:

          "The only way out of the labyrinth of suffering is to forgive."

"She loved mysteries so much that she became one."

"If people were rain I was drizzle and she was a hurricane."

"She left me Perhapsless."

This was a really really good novel, a great story, once you get past the slow beginning.  At first I wasn't sure I'd made a good a good choice because it was dragging a bit until Miles finally got to his new school.  Once there, the story line and dialog really picked up and I really didn't want to put the book down.  I would definitely recommend this to others and can see why this would appeal to teenagers and young adults, due to the content and questions within the text.  It makes you think.  It makes you remember youth. It makes you feel.

If Green's other books are similar in style, I can see why he's quickly become such a popular author.  He has a very distinct voice in his writing and it's very appealing and very authentic  I'm looking forward to reading more of work!

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