Understanding Alaska

I don’t usually don’t do book reviews, but this is a special book selected for me by someone that I shall call my editor until I feel comfortable enough to call her something else.

The book is “Looking for Alaska”, she suggested this book because of my current WiP. The new WiP is Y/A or Young Adult to those not initiated in the vernacular.

When she suggests books to me I read them. Not in a way that I would read a book that someone else suggests but in way that I devour every detail until I completely understand it.

This book hit me in places I forgot where there. I would love for my fourteen year old self to read this book, it would have blown my mind. I don’t remember books like this when I was teenager. That could be because when I was reading the same types of books as my dad, Tom Clancy, Dale Brown, Stephen Coonts. I read these books because I would always get a look when I wanted to get something other than these, and it was usually accompanied by a gay reference, which didn’t help the fragile view of myself.

I have liked to read for as long as I can remember. I have read more books than my Goodreads account says I have, I just don’t remember them all.

It was not until I moved in with my mom that I felt comfortable reading the kinds of books I wanted to read. I have always read ahead of my grade level. I was reading college level books in sixth grade. If I didn’t understand a word I looked it up.

Books like “Looking for Alaska” were things I never saw, either because I was reading something else when or I just didn’t pay enough attention.

Starting this book it felt like a lot of books I have read until I passed the point of no return, the point where every book captures you. This book did it earlier than others. I think because the book made me feel like a kid again through Miles’ eyes. I remember fawning over girls like Alaska Young. I also remember being laughed at by girls like her.

In middle school I was your typical geek, I attribute that to my clothes and my lack of self-esteem. I was picked on because by ninth grade I weighed 95 pounds and was five foot four, I was skinny kid and the bullies liked the skinny kids. I understood Miles and knew why he wanted to go to the school, I wish I had that chance.

This book made me remember the hurtful things about being a teenager, it also made me understand my teenage self better, something I have been afraid to do for a long time. I know that is why my editor suggested this book. She knows what I need to read to bring out the best in the WiP, she is published after all and is doing well with her books.

It’s the books that make us realize who we are or in this case who we were that are the ones we learn the most from.

Thanks to my editor for suggesting this book and making me realize some things about my younger self.


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