Looking for Alaska by John Green

So I went and read this one after reading his Printz honor book for this year, and it was worth the wait. Spoiler alert: someone dies in the book. It seems like it's a book about boarding school, but in the end it's a book about surviving an inexplicable loss.

Favorite quotes:
"The times that were the most fun seemed always to be followed by sadness now, because it was when life started to feel like it did when she was with us that we realized how utterly, totally gone she was." (p. 190)
I felt that I understood something about grief, loss, and death that I hadn't fully gotten before when I read this quote.

"When adults say, 'Teenagers think they are invincible' with that sly, stupid smile on their faces, they don't know how right they are. We need never be hopeless, because we can never be irreparably broken. We think that we are invincible because we are. We cannot be born, we cannot die. Like all energy, we can only change shapes and sizes and manifestations. They forget that wehn they get old. They get scared of losing and failing. But that part of us greater than the sum of our parts cannot begin and cannot end, as so it cannot fail." (p. 220=221)

Maybe this is a predictable favorite, coming as it does from the next-to-last paragraph of the book. It's still my favorite. It explains all sorts of things for me about why I still feel the same hope that started when I was a teenager, when I realized that in spite of all the odds I was actually going to make it to growing up. Not without scars, not without losses, but I would make it out to a place where I determined my own bedtime, made my own money, and was whole.

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