Monday, June 27, 2011

"Y'all smoke to enjoy it. I smoke to die.": John Green

Looking For Alaska (Amazon) by John Green is a book about a boy who goes to boarding school, trying to find what he calls a Great Perhaps, and he ends up finding... well, quite a few things, including friends (something he had never had before). One of them is a girl named Alaska Young, who he proceeds to fall in love with.

The book is written in sections with titles like "one hundred days before" and "forty-six days after." Now, I just read the Amazon summary, and it spoils what the "before" and "after" is about. I don't want to spoil it, because I liked not really knowing (it is foreshadowed a bit) and guessing. However, I'm going to say this: I got to that part while reading at work and I got pretty close to tears. I assume that if I hadn't been at work it would have been a lot worse.

This book hit home in a lot of ways, and I wanted to send an emotional email to John Green. He does have contact information up, with the caveat that he won't respond, pretty much no exceptions. For some reason, seeing that made me feel uncomfortable. I'm sure it's just because he's busy (he's pretty famous, I suppose-I just had never heard of him before), and doesn't want people to get their hopes up for a reply, but I still feel mildly uncomfortable sending him this emotional message, knowing he won't reply. It seems silly, somehow, even though I don't necessarily expect a reply from anyone else. I decided to send him a quick note instead (he does say that he reads every email):

"I just finished Looking For Alaska (recommended by a friend), and I wanted to commend you on an excellent story. Even though I didn't very much like the character of Alaska (she reminds me of some people I know and don't particularly get along with), it didn't matter. The book hit an emotional nerve with me, and I wanted to let you know that you did a very good job (something I'm sure you already know!). Good luck with all of your future projects!"

EDIT: I just got a delivery failure reply email, using the email on his website. Oh well.

Sorry I didn't post for a few days! It was my birthday weekend and I was rather busy! I should be back to posting daily now though.


  1. It's interesting that the email failed to send, but I'm not surprised that it says he won't reply. While perhaps lesser known, his fanbase is at least as strong as the Harry Potter fandom...both from his books and his video blog (Vlogbrothers). Looking up the term "nerdfighter" may provide some insight. I also recommend checking out his other books when you get the chance. He even has a new book due out next March.

  2. First time I heard about this book was from Jackson Pearce's vlog.

    And been wanting to read it since. But ye, haven't yet got round to it. >_<