Zombie, post-apocalyptic and dystopian books are like shoes - you can never have enough.
Looking For Alaska is a book that I've heard a lot about, that a lot of readers have loved, that has an intriguing synopsis and after reading The Fault in Our Stars last year, and starting (and ultimately setting aside) An Abundance of Katherines a few months ago, I was eager and yet a little scared about jumping back into the world of John Green.
The characters in Looking For Alaska are so wonderfully quirky, I was completely hooked from the beginning. I was fascinated by Pudge's obsession with final words, his odd roommate The Colonel and the intriguing Alaska right from the beginning, and that feeling continued throughout the whole book. I love that the characters have their own very unique habits and personalities - from Alaska building a 'Life Library' to the Colonel's habit of drinking vodka with milk (ugh!), and finally through Pudge's coming-of-age.
However, I didn't find Looking for Alaska to be all that emotionally moving, and I can't quite work out why. In places this is an incredibly sad book, in others it's funny and outrageous and all the characters are so intricately created they are completely believable. But there was something there that stopped me from feeling that complete connection that I wanted to have with them, and despite the fact I was so hooked on the characters, it just didn't completely work for me.
There are a few parts of the plot that left me a little confused, such as Alaska's relationship with Jake, and why he didn't feature more prominently - I can see where the author was going in trying to keep it a little mysterious and out of focus, but it could very well have been the link that I was missing to bring Looking For Alaska up to the level of heart-stomper for me.
Although I didn't fully connect with the book, I still enjoyed reading John Green again, and I will definitely be reading his work again in the future, particularly for the characters and the way he can make almost any personality quirk work and also ring true.
Read more of my reviews at The Aussie Zombie