BOOK REVIEW: LOOKING FOR ALASKA BY JOHN GREEN

12.06.16

I’ll be honest, I’m not a great reader.

I’m not the kind of person who curls up in bed every night with an amazing book that stimulates my mind and challenges me intellectually. And because I’m now a writer (or sometimes pretend I’m one..) I’m quite embarrassed about this. I’m always scared someone is going to ask me who my favourite author is and I’ll blurt out Anna Wintour or Edwina McCann.

But when I do come across a book that I love, I become obsessed. 

“When You Stopped Wishing Things Wouldn’t Fall Apart, You’d Stop Suffering When They Did.”

If you think it’s sad that my favourite book is a young-adult fiction novel that I have read seven times then we shouldn’t be friends. If you were reading Looking For Alaska for the first time you could be forgiven for thinking that this book is all about death. Miles is obsessed with famous people’s “last words” and what happens when we die, Alaska’s mother passing away is the central moment in her life, all the characters are addicted to smoking and talk about death far too often for a group of teenagers. But Looking For Alaska isn’t about death, it is about how we live. Miles and Alaska are so fixated on finding meaning in their lives, praying that the future holds something better than their past, convinced that every challenge they face, every traumatic event they endure must be moving them one step closer to finding their “Great Perhaps”.

But in doing this, Miles and Alaska fail to see the beauty in the present. This book reminded me that, in our twenties, we spend so much of our precious time worrying about the future. Worried that we won’t get the job, worried that he won’t feel the same way, worried that our parents won’t support us, or even worse, worried that we made the wrong decision. But the reality is, the things we fear the most will probably never happen and beautiful, random stuff we would never expect will happen all the time. Bad things don’t happen because we deserve them, they happen because suffering in this world is unavoidable. But remember, that doesn’t mean beautiful things can’t happen every single damn day.

Accept that life has good and bad. Expect them both.

“Those Awful Things Are Survivable, Because We Are As Indestructible As We Believe Ourselves To Be.”


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