Looking for Alaska
by John Green
Miles has never really fit in in Florida. He's gawky, skinny, and pale, so he's really the anti-Floridian. In the hopes of finding "The Great Perhaps" (and maybe a few friends), he asks to follow in his father's footstep and attend Culver Creek Boarding School in Alabama.
Within moments of unpacking, Miles is introduced to Alaska, who is the epitome of The Great Perhaps.
She is 100% authentic, 100% insane, and 100% what Miles never knew he always wanted.
So, as Miles is getting acclimated to boarding school and classes, Alaska and Miles's roommate, The Colonel, acclimate him to smoking, drinking, and pranks.
He's finally found friends who are more like family and he thinks he's on the way to finding The Great Perhaps.
But then something happens that changes everything that Miles ever knew, ever thought he knew, and ever thought he might know in the future. Can anyone make sense of the world again?
Final thoughts: I admit that I'm late to the party on this one. I could never keep it on the shelf in my last high school library, even though I had at least five copies at one point. It was the rare book with a large waiting list and students desperate to read it again and again and again. It's very well written and powerful, but it's biggest draw is the way it addresses some very deep topics. There's friendship, family, peer pressure, sex, drinking, smoking, cliques, and death. This is NOT a fluff book and it's definitely not cotton candy. This is full of angst and mature themes. It's powerful and worth the read for older teens and adults alike.