Monday, March 29, 2010

Looking for Alaska, by John Green

My wife recommended I read his books because she says my writing style reminds her of him. I know it's quite presumptuous for a dude with a blog to compare himself to an award-winning novelist, but isn't it presumptuous to be writing book reviews at all? To paraphrase the famous Churchill apocrypha, we've already determined I'm presumptuous; now we're just seeing how much of an ass I am. (Answer: quite.)

I sort of enjoyed the book. I didn't enjoy the teenager-ness of the teenage characters, but that's because I don't enjoy the teenager-ness of teenagers in real life. Always about themselves, never shy in their selfishness. Once the book switches from "Before" to "After," I thought there were some really well-written parts of Miles's stream of consciousness. The final prank I thought was rushed in its telling. It was a truly funny moment (not like those half-assed "funny" moments in Wake Up, Sir!), and it could have lingered longer. Also, what I took away from the final assessment was that it's okay for teens to be self-absorbed, which I don't think is really what teens need to be hearing. It's like letting Billy Joe Armstrong guest lecture at a Pakistani madrassah.

Rating: 5.5 out of 7 giant inflatable monkeys.

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