Saturday, April 5, 2008

Myriad of confusion

For some reason, I labored under the impression since November (when I added it to my to-be-read list on Amazon) that John Green's Looking for Alaska was about a boy who goes to live at a boarding school in Alaska, makes friends, meets a sexy girl and fun/chaos ensues.

I must have been living in an alternate universe where a John Greene wrote the book. The book is about a boy who goes to live at a boarding school in ALABAMA, makes a few friends, meets a sexy/slightly crazy girl and yeah, some fun ensues, but it's not all fun.

Here's the cover photo:

Very cool, etc. But somehow I thought there were pine trees on the book cover. I was really confused to see a candle (although, let me tell you, this cover is very appropriate for this book--great job designer!). Again, in my world, the pine trees fit in perfectly up in Alaska. Sigh.

I just happened to have picked this book to read next after Young Miles. Bizarrely enough, the main character's name in Looking for Alaska is also named Miles. The books were written 20 years apart, so I don't think you can blame it on name popularity.

The book is divided into two parts--before and after. You don't know what the defining event is, however. That is, unless you read the cataloging in the front of the book and IT TELLS YOU.

I was about 20 pages or so from "the event" when I decided to finish reading for the night. As I have my library degree, sometimes I check out book's cataloging. So I checked out Looking for Alaska, where some kind librarian wrote: "Sixteen-year-old Miles' first year at Culver Creek Preparatory School in Alabama includes good friends and great pranks, but is defined by the search for answers about XXXXXXXXX." Know what those XXX's stand for? The freaking last half of the book. I'm not hating on catalogers, but wow, I wish I hadn't been told the plot just before I got there.

It's a YA novel but kept me entertained. Miles has an obsession with people's last words, and the author sprinkles them throughout the novel. I didn't like Alaska, the girl, but maybe you will. She was the only aspect that tainted the book a bit for me.

Here's the main points you need to take away from this post: this book is not set in Alaska, don't read the cataloging entry and it turns out the author is only a few years older than me, and wow, I'm jealous.

Rating: 8/10

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