I was really excited to read this book. Winner of this year’s Printz Award and a few others, the buzz has been that Looking for Alaska is beautifully written and funny throughout. Here’s the setup: Former loner Miles Halter goes to boarding school and makes friends with quirky smart kids, including a girl named Alaska. Alaska is intelligent, beautiful and tragic, susceptible to mood swings and eager to have lots of sex. She’s every smart, skinny boy’s wet dream, basically. Miles develops an immediate crush on her, but Alaska is living with a heavy reality that outweighs anything Miles has ever before dealt with. Let us just say that tragedy ensues.
I really really really wanted to like this book, because everyone else does and I’m a hopeless hanger-on that way. But I couldn’t even finish it. I just skimmed it, and when things happened more or less the way I predicted, I set it aside. Look, it was well-written, and the characters were interesting—they just weren’t as interesting as they thought they were. There was a self-congratulatory streak that ran through each one that really rubbed me the wrong way. Anyhoo, B-listers, let’s hear it! Is anyone out there with me? Anyone? Anyone? Or did you all love Alaska as much as the Printz committee?