April 30, 2008

Looking for Alaska

Finally got around to this novel by Nerdfighter and young adult novelist John Green. The weird thing about me is that I remember reading children's novels as a child. Judy Blume, Katherine Patterson, etc. Then I remember reading science fiction and Stephen King and whatever was assigned in school. I don't recall much Young Adult fiction. I did read Catcher in the Rye. So did John Green, obviously. There are many references to it in this book.

It's hard to know how this book would seem to a teenager. I was one and remember doing some of these things. But as an adult the mindset is completely different. More nostalgic. When your there, you're basically crazy and you know it. You want to be the same. You want to be different. You want to be part of the crowd. You want to be an individual.

It would make a novel unreadable, but this one is very much readable. It also hits a little too close to my high school/college home, but that's a good thing. For a first novel, it's a deft performance and I will certainly check out his other books. Maybe even some other YA novels. I'll probably enjoy them, but you'd have to ask a teenager if it speaks truthfully to their experience. This one certainly speaks to mine.