There are so many award winning titles I could have chosen for this category. I began searching for books that had won multiple awards, for the sake of the category. The more I looked, the more I struggled to find something to settle on. In the end, the book I chose was a single award winner, the winner of the 2006 Michael L. Printz Award from the American Library Association. Looking for Alaska by John Green. This young adult novel may have only won a single literary award, but it has won a magnitude of awards in the hearts and minds of the people who have read it. This is the first John Green book I have ever read. This particular title has been on my mental “to read” list for a really long time, a couple of years at least. So many people have asked me if I have read it then expressed how much I needed to read it when I replied that I hadn’t read it. But now I have. So this single award winner was my Eclectic Reader Challenge Book of the month for January.
This book is the kind of book that sticks in your mind. I am a somewhat slow reader, I generally can’t polish a novel off in one sitting. But Looking for Alaska pulled me deep into its’ tale of teenage suffering, so deep that I managed to read over half of the novel in one hit, without surfacing for air. At first I thought this was a simple tale of teenage life and the friendships that are formed, the trials and tribulations of high school life. But there’s one heck of an unexpected plot twist that you only see coming when it’s far too late and you’re completely unprepared for it. The characters are authentic, Miles ‘Pudge’ Halter – the narrator of the story – is relatable and likeable, Alaska is the kind of girl that you want to dislike at first but you just can’t, you can’t hate Alaska Young.
I feel as though this is a very important book. Every teenager should read this book. Scratch that, everybody should read this book, because we were all teenagers once. This book has some important lessons about friendship and life and death. If you’re looking for an emotional tale that involves heavy doses of teenage angst, do yourself a favour and pick up a copy of Looking for Alaska. John Green has a fantastic writing style and I am really looking forward to reading more of his works in the future.