Green, J. (2005). Looking for Alaska . New York: Speak.
Looking for Alaska focuses on the life of Miles "Pudge" Halter, who has just left his home in Florida where he had no friends, to attend a boarding school in Alabama. He immediately becomes friends with his roommate Chip, also known as The Colonol, and the girl down the hall, Alaska Young. Through his friendship with The Colonol and Alaska, Miles learns that there is so much in the world that he has been missing. He also becomes fascinated with Alaska, who is funny, clever, fascinating, and self-destructive. Miles learns that Alaska has a lot of issues that she has never resolved. The first half of the book is labeled as Before, and there is a countdown to After. After the life-shattering event in the book, Miles is left utterly devastated.
I thoroughly enjoyed Looking for Alaska. I loved that Miles was so interested in the last words of famous people. I thought it added a lot to what was going on in the story, and not just something that was thrown in for entertainment. The book really had a big impact on me. I thought it was thought-provoking and masterfully told in such beautiful detail. Unfortunately, I doubt that this is a book that will make it into the library at my school. There is one explicit scene in the novel, and because of that one part, I think a wonderful book would not be allowed into our library. Our librarian does keep a section of books in the back for more mature readers, so maybe she will include it in that collection.