Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Roadtripping Away

Road Trip Wednesday is a "Blog Carnival," where YA Highway's contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question and answer it on our own blogs. You can hop from destination to destination and get everybody's unique take on the topic.

This week, YA Highway asks: What is the best book you've read this month?

That's easy. Wait...I lied. That's really, really tough. If you recall (from my whining and complaining in previous posts) I was sick at the beginning of the month. So, I finally caved an one-click-bought Looking For Alaska. I'd heard great things about it, but for some reason, the title just didn't do it for me, and I was too crazy busy to be reading more books. But, I was in one very very boring class and was very very sick, so I bought it, got it the next day, and read it in about 6 hours. Thank you Blackberry for allowing me to order things I really don't need just because class is boring and you are sitting there, beckoning to me. (I also may have bought a zombie killing app...I have yet to decide which was a better purchase.)

LOOKING FOR ALASKA is pretty much made of win. Like John Green himself. My brother and I are nerdfighters (if you don't know what that is, google it right now. You'll be more awesome for it.) so reading John's work after listening to him communicate with Hank was awesome. My brother is actually reading it right now. The vlogbro's really helped me and Brady reconnect, and we've made a pact to vlog if we ever move far apart. But, since we're talking books here, not about my personal life, let's talk LFA. Everything about it is entirely amazing. The language is so real (and not just the swearing) and I found myself laughing outloud, hysterically, which resulted in the boyfriend staring at me like I was insane until I pushed the book on him and he too read it in 24 hours (I love my nerdy, geeky, brilliant boyfriend.) Of course, if you've read it, which I'm assuming you have because I am so late on the John Green train, you know that I was sobbing hysterical a few hours later, then laughing and crying intermittently until the end.

The characters are incredible, quirky, and laugh out loud funny. Walk into any dorm, peek inside of a room, and I promise you'll find a bunch of kids sitting on the couch, playing video games, with their feet up on a COFFEE TABLE, as someone else tries to study through the noise. There is one Colonel at every school you go to, at least one Alaska that stands out among everyone else with this cool kind of mystery about her, and lots of Pudge's, which is probably the most important part. Pudge is like you and me, geeky, well read, and a little uncomfortable in his skin. Not to mention, they're all as smart as they are funny. I think we forget that you can skip class constantly, pull pranks, and still get out of there with a 4.0...or a 3.8 because you pranked your english teacher and he really wanted to punish you.

The writing is amazing - easy to read while still being beautifully poetic:

So I walked back to my room and collapsed on the bottom bunk, thinking that if people were rain, I was drizzle and she was a hurricane

And everything about the book makes teens remember that we are strong, smart people who have real, passionate loves, even if adults think we're just kids who don't know what they're doing. Okay, I'm not a teenager anymore, but John Green reminds me why I miss it.

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, and we cannot die. Like all energy, we can only change shapes and sizes and manifestations. They forget that when 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, and so it cannot fail.

And sometimes, it makes you want to pee laughing:

"It's my fox hat."
"Your fox hat?"
"Yeah, Pudge. My fox hat."
"Why are you wearing your fox hat?"
"Because no one can catch the motherfucking fox."
John Green, I love you. And guys, DFTBA.


Kate Hart said...

I love how so many of us are picking John Green. He is so freaking fantastic.

Karla Nellenbach said...

I haven't read that yet, but it is so on my list. I <3 you for talking me onto the John Green train. He is made entirely of AWESOME!!

Kaitlin Ward said...

I have this one on my list. It's getting to be shameful that I haven't read any John Green yet.

Holly Dodson said...

I have to agree with Kaitlin, I need to hurry up and get to the John Green on my list!