As a result of the last episode of UN-COVERED and your votes, the topic chosen for Mark (aka-model Jackson) to blog about is Mark reviewing a YA favorite. He chose Looking For Alaska, by John Green and I decided to include his review this week since it’s Boarding School week and this is, in fact, a boarding school book. I asked Mark several questions about this amazing novel, which I love, btw and I pretty much love everything John Green writes if you weren’t already aware of that before.
|Mark Perini: aka-model Jackson|
If you don’t know who Mark is, check out these previous UN-COVERED posts:
Miles Halter is fascinated by famous last words and tired of his safe life at home. He leaves for boarding school to seek what the dying poet Francois Rabelais called the “Great Perhaps.” Much awaits Miles at Culver Creek, including Alaska Young. Clever, funny, screwed-up, and dead sexy, Alaska will pull Miles into her labyrinth and catapult him into the Great Perhaps.
Looking for Alaska brilliantly chronicles the indelible impact one life can have on another. A stunning debut, it marks John Green’s arrival as an important new voice in contemporary fiction.
ME: since you were forced by Julie Cross (me) and her blog readers to read YA literature, what are your normal go-to book favorites? What are you currently reading?
MARK: I have a few favorite titles, The Count of Monte Cristo, Fahrenheit 451, Lord of the Rings. I suppose I am all over the place in terms of genres that I enjoy but I really love sci-fi and fantasy stuff. I also really loved The Bartimaeus Trilogy which is an YA book. Right now I’m reading The Game of Thrones series which I think is really amazing can’t put it down.
ME: What theme of Looking For Alaska stood out the most to you and why? First love, coming-of-age/growing up, grief, friendship, or any other one that I didn’t mention already.
MARK: My favorite theme from Looking for Alaska was that it was a coming-of-age tale. I love that it took such a different approach to a typical coming-of-age tale. The main focus of the book is how these kids deal with death which is something that everyone will eventually deal with. The book really broke down how different people deal with such a devastating event…And as a result of the characters grief they matured in the process. In my own life I’ve always wondered how the right way to grieve was and the answer is there is no right way only your way…However, even though the book had such a serious focus it still felt light and easy to read. That’s something that I feel is special about this book.
ME:Did you find yourself relating to any of the characters in the novel? If so, who?
MARK: I think everyone can relate to Miles at some point in their life. He’s really innocent (and so was I) and I remember being at parties when I was in High School and thinking…I don’t get it? I always had friends and always had people to relate to so that was different, but I was never just one of the crowd I always had different groups of friends. However, now I have a set group of friends I always hang out with so I suppose I identify with Miles differently at different stages of my life.
ME: If you went to Miles’ boarding school, which character would you have picked for your ideal roommate? Gender doesn’t matter.
MARK: I think I would have wanted Colonel to be my roommate as well. He really pushed Miles to be better and to live life. He was a little crazy at times but what roommate isn’t from time to time. Moreover, he was really smart and having a smart roommate is always a good thing when it comes to school work.
ME: In Looking For Alaska, Miles is really excited about boarding school, other than Hogwarts, did you ever want to attend a boarding school when you were younger?
MARK: I never wanted to go to boarding school as a kid I would have been really sad being away from my family. Of course I wanted to go to Hogwarts (Gryffindor for life). But when I was older I was actually really excited to go away to college. It was really exciting to know nobody and just have a totally new experience. I think going away to college allowed me to figure out what I wanted for myself and really find my independence which is so vital to growing up.
ME: Would Alaska have been your type back in the day?
MARK: There are aspects of Alaska’s personality that would have been attractive to me back in the day, her carefreeness, and her eternal search for fun. However, she was too crazy for me as a kid I was way too behind in terms of maturity. Alaska has the maturity of an adult yes she is self-destructive and wild but so are so many adults.
ME: What will be your next John Green book to read?
MARK: I think I will read Paper Towns next because I love a good revenge tale!
Who else has read Looking For Alaska by John Green? How would you answer these questions?