Monday, August 27, 2012

Looking for Alaska (sort of a review)

There are some books that are fun to read and so absorbing that the world seems like a dream and the book seems real.  There are some books that are worth staying up past midnight to read.  You love reading them and you want others to read them too.  You rave about these books and want more than anything to share them. 

Then, there are some books that are none of those things.  These books are okay; they will adequately waste some time while you catch the train, but they are not a good read.  They are not the kind of book you will read again. 

But, there is a third type of book.  This kind is much like the first.  This type of book entertains you with word play and great characters and a “what will happen?” atmosphere that captivates you.  Then, just about the time when you have connected with the characters and hope for a happy ending, it hits you.  The inevitable complication comes and it breaks your heart.  You want to be angry with the author and throw the book in the corner.  But you can’t.  You just can’t.  You have to see if it can be solved.  You have to know.  Suddenly, you can’t turn the pages fast enough and you are sad and angry and frustrated all at once and you can’t go to sleep before you finish this book. 

Then, it is over.  You read the last page and you see that while it didn’t happen the way you wanted, it all worked out “ok” in the end. Now you realise this book is not like the others.  You close the book and you stare while your mind swims with the characters, the last words, the metaphors, the jokes, the endings.  You wonder why that happened.  You question how and where and when.  You want to read more, but you know there is nothing left.  You are pleased that you finished it and you know the ending.  You are sad because it’s over.  You put the book on the night stand and try to go to sleep but you can’t.  You remember that you were supposed to write a review of this book on your blog.  You start to wonder how you can do that.  This book was “one of those books” and it is too soon.  It is way too soon to talk about it.  What can you possibly say to explain how this book has provoked you?  The thoughts aren’t even lined up yet.  It is all blurry.  You aren’t quite sure what you think about it yet. You don’t know if you like it.  You don’t know that it has actually changed you.  Is this book the kind you can share? Is it the kind you can talk about? You almost want to hide it under the pillow.  This book is special and you don’t want to lose it. 

Well, I thought that I would have trouble reviewing John Green’s Lookingfor Alaska.  Perhaps I didn’t review it exactly, but I did tell you about it.  Looking for Alaska is one of those extraordinary books.  The internet and the blurb on the back of the book will tell you what you need to know about plots and characters and words.  I don’t need to tell you that part. 

All I need to tell you is that Looking for Alaska, is a remarkable read!  

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