Looking for Alaska

July 27, 2008

by John Green.

A novel which made me wonder about so many things.

Miles “Pudge” Halter, 16, decides to leave his friendless and uneventful home town and seek the Great Perhaps at an out-of-state boarding school. There he meets Chip “The Colonel”, Alaska, and Takumi, and their undying love for mischief soon introduces him to the world of smoking, drinking, and pranking. Miles notices:

The phrase booze and mischief left me worrying I’d stumbled into what my mother referred to as “the wrong crowd”; but for the wrong crowd, they both seemed awfully smart.

It’s interesting to see how Miles becomes a different person (in many ways) by associating himself with these people. But this is just the setup scene for what is about to happen, and it will leave nobody unaffected.

This is about as much as I can tell you without spoiling your reading pleasure. So you’d better stop here and read the book.

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As Simple As Snow

January 8, 2008

sasas.jpgFrom the first page to the very last, this book is pure sweet torture. With an overdose of mystery to begin with, the precisely adequate amount of romance, and copious goth darkness for dessert, it’s really hard to stop reading. But Galloway’s work goes far beyond disturbing. He creates enough questions to make your head explode, and then leaves you with an ending that makes your jaw drop. If you have even a tiny bit of curiosity inside you, this book will not leave your mind easily.

The novel is also a bildungsroman, following the growth of a character and culminating with the realization that he can be anything he wants to be. The story is intertwined with philosophical messages about god, death, truth, the simple and the complex.

The ambiguity of the novel had me oscillating between awe and irritation. The author is a master of questions with no answers. I wonder whether he thought of any answers for his mysteries at all. Maybe he’s just teasing his readers!

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