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The Good Times Are Killing Me

I'm a nerdy girl with too much time on her hands, and too many books on her to-read pile.

Currently reading

Household Stories by the Brothers Grimm
Wilhelm Grimm, Jacob Grimm, Lucy Crane, Walter Crane
Natasha Wimmer, Roberto Bolaño

Looking for Alaska Review

Looking for Alaska - John Green

So lately I’ve been filling word documents and old notebooks with lists. Ideas for mixtapes (from happy and sad to the soundtrack for a zombie apocalypse, songs for fictional characters, and drinking playlists), ideas for stories, cool pancake recipes, interesting quotes, lyrics, pet names, places to visit when I win the lottery… you name it. Being true to my latest obsession, I now present you with a list of reasons why I loved “Looking for Alaska”:


-          As Pudge, I’m also on the threshold of beginning my own journey in the hopes of finding a Great Perhaps away from home, friends, country and culture. There are days when I wake up scared to death about the prospect of moving so far away from everything I know, and books like this one keep reminding me that the journey is worth the risks.


-          I also read “The General in his Labyrinth” at Alaska’s age and felt haunted by it, although for different reasons. Simon Bolivar freed my country from Spain’s oppression only to die here, alone and friendless, and swallowed by a labyrinth of his own making. The book and the discussions it inspires in “Looking for Alaska” were a nice reminder of my teenage days, building my own library and hoping that I could find answers to everything inside books.


-          Ever since watching “vlogbrothers” on youtube (nerdfighters!!!!) I’ve developed a little crush on John Green (How could I not? The guy’s adorable!!) and I was a little worried that his books would destroy that admiration. I mean, what if he ended up being another Picoult? Or a Nicholas Sparks for teens? Lucky for me, John Green is as cool on paper as he is on the screen and I’m now able to say that my crush remains unscathed.   


-          It allowed me to get over the assumption that YA literature was below me. (don't blame me, I've seen so many incredible stupid and condescending stuff marketed for young adults that at one point I thought that was the heart of the entire label)


-          When my mom asked me the other day what this book was about. I ended up answering along the lines of “well, you see, it’s the story about a teenager’s experience at a boarding school, but not really. I mean, deep inside the book talks about loss and first encounters, taking risks, finding family away from home, and discovering wonderful people through books that talk about them. It’s about meeting friends, knowing all along that some of them will disappear from your life one way or another, and loving them anyway.” How could I not love something like this??????


-          It’s refreshing to read a book that doesn’t exploit my feelings for the sake of sales. If there’s one thing I hate about books like “The Lovely Bones” or “My sister’s keeper”, is the nagging suspicion that their authors consciously employ scenes of abuse and death in order to force emotions, like pretty much any Mexican, Venezuelan and Colombian soap opera in existence. The feelings in “Looking for Alaska” are there, don’t get me wrong, but they are incorporated for a reason, an important one, and are also given an appropriate amount of depth and respect. So ten points for that.


There are more reasons, but they are way too personal and incoherent to post so I’ll leave it at that. “Looking for Alaska” is a great book, both in terms of my growing love for John Green as an author and young adult books which, as I said before, can apparently be inspiring and moving even for someone who reached puberty more than a decade ago.  Even better, I’m now in the process of becoming the cool cousin that recommends awesome books to her younger family members!!


If you have read good YA books (I’m not a huge fan of paranormal romance, but I’m willing to make the sacrifice if it’s a really good book) please let me know. I’m starting a special section on my TBR pile dedicated to these books and I don’t really know where to begin.