Looking for Alaska is an amazing book that questions the meaning of life, and what happens to us after it. It follows three unique friends through a year at Culver Creek, a boarding school in southern Alabama. Looking for Alaska is told in the voice of Miles Halter, nicknamed Pudge by his roommate. Pudge is a quiet boy who memorizes people’s last words; he goes to the Creek to seek the “Great Perhaps. During his search he meets the Colonel and Alaska Young. The three friends learn about pranking, life, love, and sadly even death. Even though Pudge is the narrator of the story, the heart of the book really circles around Alaska Young, the namesake of the Novel. She is the reason I picked Baked Alaska as my food. Alaska is one of my all-time favorite characters. She’s super smart and loves reading but she has a wild side that can be quite dangerous.
Alaska mesmerizes the people around her with her looks and wit, especially Pudge who falls completely and madly in love with her. Even when he first met her he couldn’t stop thinking about her, “All morning, I’d been able to care about anything else, not the Van Gogh poster and not video games and not even my class schedule” (Green 21). I’ve never eaten Baked Alaska, but I’ve also never met anyone as interesting as Alaska Young.
This is a girl from a small town, with an older rocker boyfriend, who collects books like some people collect beanie babies, and melts candles into a volcano when she is bored. Pudge describes her library here, “Her library filled her bookshelves and then overflowed into waist-high stacks of books everywhere, piled haphazardly against the walls” (Green 15). I’m jealous; I wish I had a library like that. As well as interesting, Alaska was bi-polar. Baked Alaska is also bi-polar because it made of both cake and ice cream.
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With Alaska one day she could be bright, bubbly, and entertaining people with stories of past pranks and other shenanigans; the next she could be deeply depressed, extremely sarcastic, and snapping at anyone who dares to talk to her or discriminate against the female race. She tells Pudge, “Pudge, what you must understand about me is that I am a deeply unhappy person” (Green 124). This is completely understandable because she lost her mother at a very young age and blamed herself for it because she didn’t call 911 in time; she was only seven at the time.
Her depression is shown in her reckless behavior, bad habits, and interest in the afterlife. One of her most powerful quotes was said with a smile on her face, “Y’all smoke to enjoy it. I smoke to die” (Green 44). There is a lot of foreshadowing in this book, as well as great imagery, and amazing characters. Just like how Baked Alaska eventually melts and goes away when you eat it, sometimes so do characters, but they live forever in our hearts. Work Cited Green, John. Looking For Alaska. New York: Penguin Group, 2005. Print.
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