Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Book Musings: Looking for Alaska

Looking for Alaska

Why every cover on Amazon is different from the cover I read, I have no idea.

ANYWAY, about eleventy-hundred times in class my writing my professor told me I needed to read John Green. Whenever we'd discuss edgy YA it would lead to John Green. I now understand what she meant. The characters in Looking for Alaska are unique, a little above ordinary teens who nonetheless feel incredibly real. They smoke and drink and swear, but they are also uncertain, awkward teens who exist in a reality. 

Even if that reality is a boarding school in Alabama. Which, I don't know much about and John Green does. But what John Green does not seem to know (and which drove me batshit nuts) is that if you are FROM Florida a la his MC, you do not say "in Florida". You say "in North/South/Central Florida", and we find out you are from Orlando (aka Tourist Central) long before the middle of the book. 

No one not from Florida would care about these details, but I do okay. Also, if you're conjugating French verbs in the subjunctive, tell us that it is subjunctive otherwise we think it's being conjugated wrong. 

Those nitpicks do represent things I learned from LfA, but I learned more than that. I grew to understand the Midpoint Reversal that Janice Hardy talks about. I learned that it is okay to have intelligent characters who think about things other than sex (but that too). I loved his language and pacing. 

My writing professor was correct, I did learn a lot from my first John Green book, and I'm excited to learn more


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