Summary: Looking for Alaska is the story of Miles “Pudge” Halter, a typical boring kid who leaves Florida to go Culver Creek Preparatory School in Alabama. Miles is intrigued by the famous last words of Francois Rabelais last words, “I go to seek a Great Perhaps.” As he goes on trying to figure out what these words mean to him, he befriends Chip Martin and the beautiful Alaska Young. He soon falls in love with Alaska, but learns that she is a bit unstable and self-destructive. As the year goes on, the group of friends play pranks and have some fun, but at the end of it all, comes a shocking twist, but a wise lesson to go with it.
Strengths: Looking for Alaska is set in modern times and is considered Realistic Fiction. The main character Miles is someone a lot of people can relate to. He isn’t super athletic or super smart. He is just average, which makes him as realistic and relatable as anyone. The character of Alaska is realistic as well. She has had some issues in the past and with them, comes a self-destructing nature. A lot of teenagers have similar problems and end up on a difficult path, just like Alaska. The tone throughout the book is humorous at times, but it does not forget to be serious when it needs to be. At the end, there is a moral that came at a high price, which again, a lot of people go through.
Connections to Text: This book won the Michael Printz Award, which exemplifies literary excellence in young adult literature, in 2006. When we look at How Adolescents Develop, Miles is going through some of Havighurts stages. He finds peers that he connects to, which include Chip and Alaska. He also has some rivals on campus. It seems that Miles hasn’t truly developed appropriate sex roles, because his attraction to Alaska seems to be more of a lust, rather than truly being in love with her. As the story goes on however, he does actually start to fall for her instead of just lusting after her.