AUTHOR- JOHN GREEN
PUBLISHED IN- 2005
To end up my quest for finding my favorite John Green book so far, I re-read this book. I could easily see why I had liked it in the first place so many years ago. It provided me the material that I have come to love: grief and suffering. Can I be any more morbid than this? But, as far as books go, I have to say that I would choose Aza from Turtles all the way down than Alaska. Why? Because after reading Green’s debut novel and his latest novel, I can finally feel the difference between his writing style.
Coming to the plot of the book, there isn’t much that I could say. A set of teenage friends whose lives are the way teenagers should have until one of them dies in a car crash. The rest are left to wonder whether the crash was a suicide or if it really was an accident. So, Alaska dies, leaving the others to go on with their lives, first overcome grief and then gradually accept it. Kübler-Ross model of five stages of grief is quite evident here as they (i) deny her death (ii) are angry upon the occurrence of events (iii) bargain with themselves over the happenings (iv) get depressed for a period of time (v) accept her death as a fact finally and move ahead in their lives.
Green is once again very educating when he produces a book. I take great wonder in how creatively he can push in a little bit of “knowledge” in his books. Even his characters more often than not, are fond of reading a lot of books. This is one thing that he has it manifested in all of his books. There needs to be a character who would read books. Since he himself is a great reader, it is not amusing that he would include a thing like that in his works. But I often find myself feeling incredibly jealous of the education that his characters receive. I remember in one of his YouTube videos (or maybe it was a TedEx talk), he mentions how he always felt the need to expand his knowledge and how he did feel that he has not done anything all day if he did not discover something new. That’s true, right? Curiosity should keep us alive. We must never fade out that little fire inside us which begs to learn more. I have also come to realize this that “learning” means a whole different to different people. I think that is what fundamentally differentiates us from one another. Concept of learning.
This particular book held a different emotion for me. The last time that I read it was probably four years ago. I was part of a book club and it had popped up in one of our discussions. I was an active member of the club. It was the first thing I thought of each morning and the last night I talked of every night. It was like a breath of fresh air in a place full of scum. The club is no longer alive. The members of the club were once great friends who would understand each other’s love for books but I assume, right now we have all moved ahead in our lives. Only the remnants of memories remain as a proof of once something was.
The question that still remains is have each of us figured out a way out of this labyrinth of suffering already?
I love John Green’s works to bits and it sometimes makes me wonder if ever he were to write a book for adults, instead of his usual target audience of young adults, how good he might be. It has kind of become a point in the bucket list to read one of his more matured work. Will he ever write though?