LOOKING FOR ALASKA by John Green ... a Book Review

LOOKING FOR ALASKA by John Green ... a Book Review
       One person may read John Green's YA novel LOOKING FOR ALASKA and see more than enough questionable behaviors to necessitate the public banning of a book. (Yes, a few schools out there actually tried this.) Another might look past those things and see a tight-knit group of teens exploring the Great Perhaps and trying to decide What will happen in this life? and What will we do when it hurts? and What happens after this life? "Is it nothing? POOF?" Or is there more?
       Maybe Alaska, the girl who intrigues everyone she meets, is right. Maybe "straight and fast" is the best way to navigate this life.
       Miles Halter may not have a clue about Alaska or her philosophy on life, but if you try to stump him, you'll soon learn that when it comes to the last words of famous people he knows his stuff. They've always intrigued him, as if someone's last words say "in bulk" who someone really is as a person. When Miles leaves for boarding school, he doesn't expect to experience much of the Great Perhaps, but he's glad he does, even if it changes his life forever. His life collision with the Colonel, Lara, Takumi, and especially Alaska, fills his life with something he's never had, both friends and experiences he'll never forget.
       But it's the questions that rise from The Old Man's religion class that open up their lives and take this book to a level deeper than most YA books I've ever read.
       "How will we ever get out of this labyrinth of suffering?" "How do you fit the uncontestable fact of suffering into your understanding of the world?" "How do you hope to navigate through life in spite of it?" "What is your cause for hope?"
       Big questions, certainly. Questions that thinking adults sometimes stop to ask themselves, and now perhaps, so do young adults.

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