So about 8-9 years ago (I can’t remember when in freshman year I picked this book up) I was at the library and I came across this book. I had never heard of John Green and his reputation for telling stories. I read the book and fell instantly in love. It wasn’t until I reread it this week, that I realized how relatable this story actually was. Between readings of this book, I lost my aunt unexpectedly so I guess I get where Pudge and Colonel are coming from… But I’m jumping ahead of myself again.
The book begins with Myles (Pudge’s real name) going off to a private school in Alabama. At this school he meets his roommate Colonel and his friend Alaska. The two take him under their wing, give him the nickname Pudge and start off a journey that sort of resembles self-discovery as they try to deal with the big questions of life. Alaska is beautiful and eccentric, her moods changing in an instant and it’s no surprise when Pudge falls for her, but she already has a boyfriend. Colonel is cunning and has a superior attitude. He doesn’t like rich kids because he thinks they’re snotty and believe that they’re above everyone else. Everything is going like high school should be, until one night after some heavy drinking and an interesting game of Truth or Dare that leads to Alaska and Pudge making out. Alaska comes bursting into the room at three in the morning in hysterics asking Pudge and Colonel to help her get off campus. They do and go to sleep.
The next morning, the principal announces to the school that Alaska Young died in a tragic car accident. This sends her friends into a tailspin asking questions and trying to figure out what happened to her. What caused her to be so hysterical? Where was she going on three in the morning? And most important of all, how can they cope with their friend’s death?
This book never makes me cry until the pieces all start to click together and they figure out what Alaska was really doing out that late. My favorite part is when Pudge is writing the answer to his final exam and realizes that they may never figure out truly why Alaska did what she did. That everyday without her, her friends are starting to forget, their memory of her is disappearing and after losing my aunt I get that. Your memories sort of get fuzzy until you just remember the best parts and nothing in between.
Final Rating: 5 out of 5 stars. John Green is a masterful storyteller and I’m glad I read this book twice.
Bookshelf worthy? I’m going to pull an Alaska Young one of these days and just start piling books on the floor.