Books are basically my life. I love to read. It’s my favorite rainy day activity. Or sunny day activity. It’s just a really good activity in general. I’ve read so many books over the course of my life, and through each of them I have lived a separate life. They’re like tiny worlds that you can jump into and go on an adventure and learn something new, and you always come back with a new best friend.
That’s why, in my junior year of high school, when some of my friends introduced me to John Green I basically fell in love.
There’s a lot to be said about John Green and his writing. The first book I ever read by him was Looking for Alaska, and it changed my life. Okay, unpopular opinion: I hate Alaska. She basically leads Pudge on for the entire book, and emotionally takes advantage of him. She sucks and I never want to be anything like her. That aside, I don’t think my opinion of Alaska really matters. The book may be named after her, but it’s not about her, it’s about Pudge.
It’s about everything Pudge learns from Alaska.
You can see that dripping from his last monologue in the book. I know it’s from one of his other books, but one of my favorite John Green quotes is “What a treacherous thing to think a person is more than a person.” Everyone thought Alaska was more than a person. Even after the book ended and her story was over, all of the characters gloried in her memory like she was more than a person. But Pudge recognizes that rather than glorying in her memory, he can use all the things he learned from her to become a better person.
” Forgetting her mother, failing her mother and her friends and herself – those are awful things, but she did not need to fold into herself and self-destruct. Those awful things are survivable, because we are as indestructible as we believe ourselves to be.”
And so he will forget her and move on with his life. He will remember all she taught him about life, and living, but he will also learn to care about others around him and not just himself. It’s funny because I think a lot of people view this book as being about the sad story of Pudge’s love for Alaska, but it’s so much more. It’s about Pudge’s adventure to find the “Great Perhaps,” and the impact Alaska had on that. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good love story. I just think this book has more to it than that. And that’s why I’m grateful for John Green.
Disclaimer: I haven’t read this book in four years so I apologize if I’m misremembering something.