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Green, John. Looking for Alaska.

GREEN, John. Looking for Alaska. Penguin, Dutton. 272p. c2005. 0-525-47506-0. $15.99. SA

Geeky, friendless Miles, whose hobby is collecting famous last words, goes off to boarding school in Alabama seeking new experiences, the "Great Perhaps." He certainly finds them: his roommate, known as the Colonel, introduces him to pranks, drinking, and most important of all, Alaska--lovely, messed-up, unpredictable Alaska, on whom Miles develops a huge crush. The friends hang out, sneak smokes, and plot revenge on the rich, preppy "Weekday Warriors" who attend the school but return home to party on weekends, and on the school headmaster, the Eagle. Miles finds a class he loves, Religious Studies, and everything at school is going well until the terrible night Alaska rams her car straight into a police cruiser. Accident or suicide? Miles doesn't know, but he is devastated, and he and the Colonel try to make sense of what happened to Alaska and cope with their grief. A final glorious prank in her honor helps them to come to terms with her death.

In this first novel by Green, a young commentator for NPR who admits having attended a similar boarding school, the spirit of Holden Caulfield lives on. Not very much really happens, up to the point of Alaska's fatal crash, but the characters and the witty dialog are engaging, and Green makes the setting and Miles' emotional conflicts feel very real. Appropriate for older, more mature teens; some sex. Paula Rohrlick, KLIATT

S--Recommended for senior high school students.

A--Recommended for advanced students and adults. This code help librarian and teachers working in high school where are honors and advanced placement students. This also help extend KLIATT's usefulness in public libraries.
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Author:Rohrlick, Paula
Publication:Kliatt
Article Type:Young Adult Review
Date:Mar 1, 2005
Words:282
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