My Review: Looking for Alaska by John Green

Rated 3/5 stars

“I lacked the courage and she had a boyfriend and I was gawky and she was gorgeous and I was hopelessly boring and she was endlessly fascinating. So I walked back to my room and collapsed on the bottom bunk, thinking that if people were rain, I was drizzle and she was hurricane.”

The quote that started my fascination with fictional quotes long before I read this book when I stumbled on it on some lame infinite tumblr scroll ten years ago. Ironically this is a book about a guy obsessed with quotesa story about last words that is punctuated by death.

Looking for Alaska is another example of a female character existing purely for the purpose of the male protagonist figuring out who he is (kind of like in Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, another work of fiction that has made me bawl recently). Who is this woman aside from a vehicle for the man to discover himself? Ah well, let’s kill her off so we don’t have bother with exploring her further and so he can romanticize her even more! Based on my experience with John Green fiction, seems the author spent his youth falling in love with crazy girls and pulling pranks.

Enjoyed Green’s 11th hour insertion of Buddha dharma.

Good quotes:

  • I have tried so hard to do right.

  • “Please guys, don’t” were terrible last words.

  • Maybe it was only because Alaska couldn’t hit the brakes and I couldn’t hit the accelerator.

  • Everything that comes together falls apart.

  • The Buddha said that suffering was caused by desire... and that the cessation of desire meant the cessation of suffering. When you stopped wishing things wouldn’t fall apart, you’d stop suffering when they did.

  • If only we could see the endless string of consequences that result from our smallest actions. But we can’t know better until knowing better is useless.