The first few chapters of Looking for Alaska bored me. What with all the drinking, smoking, explicit language, rule bending and pranking? But as I read on, (which I’m glad I did) the story became so much more than just a tale to adore and forget because it came to life. It came to a point where I got so caught up in it that I, myself was trying to solve the conundrum. I was really worried that the author will end the story with a lot of unanswered questions and I’m only half glad that upon turning the last page, he did take out a few out of my mind like where Alaska was or why she was crying… but also half woeful that he left so many loose strings untied (although I get the thing authors do to keep you thinking) ….still. Questions like: was it an accident or a suicide? What could’ve made her who she was for all I know is that she had blamed herself all her short-lived life. Could she have forgiven herself? Because as I’ve learned throughout the book that forgiveness is the way out of the labyrinth or suffering which was first confused with life or death. To forgive not necessarily just your crooked neighbors but more importantly, your crooked self. And at that specific moment when you believe that everything is far beyond your control, the pain and suffering sets you free. Forgiveness is the key to the shackles of suffering. Forgive him. Forgive her. Forgive them. And more importantly, forgive yourself.
here are my favorites:
- I would never know her well enough to know her thoughts in those last minutes, would never know if she left us on purpose. But the not-knowing would not keep me from caring, and I would always love Alaska Young, my crooked neighbor, with all my crooked heart.
- We need never be hopeless because we can never be irreparably broken
- 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
- You can’t just make me different, and then leave. Because I was fine before, Alaska. I was just fine with me and last words and school friends, and you just can’t make me different and then die.
- If only we could see the endless string of consequences that result from our smallest actions. But we can’t know better until knowing better is useless.
- After all this time, it seems to me like straight and fast is the only way out- but I choose the labyrinth. The labyrinth blows, but I choose it.
- She didn’t leave me enough to discover her, but she left me enough to rediscover the Great Perhaps
These are the other quotes I particularly liked:
- At some point, you just pull off the Band-Aid, and it hurts, but then it’s over and you’re relieved
- Imagining the future is a kind of nostalgia. (…) You spend your whole life stuck in the labyrinth, thinking about how you’ll escape it one day, and how awesome it will be, and imagining that future keeps you going, but you never do it. You just use the future to escape the present
- I may die young, but at least I’ll die smart
- I wanted so badly to lie down next to her on the couch, to wrap my arms around her and sleep. Not fuck, like in those movies. Not even have sex. Just sleep together in the most innocent sense of the phrase. But I lacked the courage and she had a boyfriend and I was gawky and she was gorgeous and I was hopelessly boring and she was endlessly fascinating.
- Because no one can catch the motherfucking fox
- I just did some calculations, and I’ve been able to determine that you’re full of shit
- Sometimes you lose a battle. But mischief always wins the war
- Francois Rabelais. He was a poet. And his last words were “I go to seek a Great Perhaps.” That’s why I’m going. So I don’t have to wait until I die to start seeking a Great Perhaps.
- People, I thought, wanted security. They couldn’t bear the idea of death being a big black nothing, couldn’t bear the thought of their loved ones not existing, and couldn’t even imagine themselves not existing. I finally decided that people believed in an afterlife because they couldn’t bear not to.
- I felt the unfairness of it, the inarguable injustice of loving someone who might have loved you back but can’t due to deadness
- I am going to take this bucket of water and pour it on the flames of hell, and then I am going to use this torch to burn down the gates of paradise so that people will not love God for want of heaven or fear of hell, but because He is God.