For those of you who do not know, John Green is the greatest young author of our time – one who ignites hope, courage, and even spirituality within his readers. One of my dear friends once told me, “I am so happy that you and I are on Earth at the same time.” That beautiful sentiment is exactly the way I feel about reading Green’s work: he gets under your skin to provoke, encourage, and then stab you, all to keep you coming back for more. It’s a true addiction.
Green’s first novel, Looking for Alaska, is one of innocence, lust, and everything mentioned above. Miles (the main character and narrator) seeks the Great Perhaps in his life, leading readers to question their own. Hope in itself is misleading – we are very capable of hoping, but very few individuals are willing to put in the time and effort to make whatever they’re hoping happen, solely relying on some type of “fate” to piece things together. The characters in this book see this idea very differently than each other, yet they create some of the most beautiful, chaotic friendships imaginable. Like friendship, Green explores ideas coming together and falling apart – specifically, love. Is it something that suddenly forms, or has it always existed just waiting for the right person to ignite it? Alaska Young, another character, is this magnetic force who challenges all these bases of hope, love and fate. Let’s face it… everyone has an Alaska in their lives – that person we’re drawn to but don’t know why. And for that reason alone, you must read this story.
My favorite film director, Wes Anderson, makes these beautiful, clever, special little films that usually have killer soundtracks, dynamic characters (even though they sometimes speak few words), amazing cinematography, and just “something” to them. Reading this book was like watching one of his films. You can hear the music, become each character, be present to occurrences (something totally unknown to this current generation as they’d rather Snapchat the present than experience it). Wes, if you’re reading, here is your next million-dollar film. Get on it.
This story makes me not want to waste another minute of my life simply waiting. Life is entirely too short. If you are content with your present life, stuck in the mundane and naïve now… I feel sorry for you. You’re lost in the labyrinth of life while others are seeking to find their own Great Perhaps. But if you feel that you need a bit of a change, just read this awesome book. You won’t be sorry. You might be motivated and somewhat mad that you want more out of life… but not sorry at all.
Gary gives it four paws, a whisker, and a claw… he digs it.