Thursday 8 April 2021

Looking for Alaska - John Green

Looking for Alaska
ISBN 9780142402511
eISBN 9781101434208

This is not a book I would have likely picked up. But someone important to me recommended it, my oldest daughter, a daughter I did not know I had until she was 25, stating it has had a huge impact on her life. I have heard about controversary around this book for years. And that it is one of the most banned books. That being said, it does deal with some intense topics. And issues. Having two teenagers in the house and a preteen I can see both sides of the debate around this book. 

There is one very graphic sex seen, and a lot of talk about sex and sexuality. There is a lot of underage drinking, and smoking. And reference to drug use. It is clear that some of the characters abuse alcohol, and reference to others at the boarding school that abuse drugs. 

But the story deals with coming of age. Learning to fit in. Finding your place. And dealing with grief. Yet with the age of our children and friends’ children these are issues they are dealing with. 

When I finished Looking for Alaska. My first thought was that it is well written. I can also understand why it is a very challenged and banned books. If I were asked about a tween or teen reading this book, I would not recommend it for most tweens, and for more mature teens it would depend on the teen. But that would be my answer about many books. I think it would be a great book to read and have discussions about. It reminds me a bit of Dead Poets Society or School Ties. It does have at the core a good message. It brought back memories of friends who have committed suicide and one in High School who was murdered. But most of all it reminds me of God and I Broke Up by Katarina Mazetti. The way it is counted in days. The recall of the friendship, the loss, and the what comes next. 

It is a book I am glad that I have read. And in the right circumstances would recommend to other parents or to young adult readers. And if you have tweens or teens reading this book, I would encourage you to read it as well and be open to any discussions, that arise. 

Books by John Green:
The Fault in Our Stars
Paper Towns
An Abundance of Katherines
Will Grayson, Will Grayson
Turtles All the Way Down
The War for Banks Island
Double On-Call and Other Stories
The Sequel
The Price of Dawn
The Space & The Cat and the Mouse
The Anthropocene Reviewed
Beyond the Elephant
The Time Traveler's Nephew

Contributed to:
Let it Snow
21 Proms
Who Done It?
You Are Not Alone


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