The second book I was able to read this year is Looking for Alaska. This is written by John Green — the same guy who wrote The Fault in Our Stars which I also adore. I truly enjoyed reading the book!
I’ve been a big fan of the young adult genre of books because I felt that I never really experienced assimilating these ideas/thoughts when I was growing up. My parents weren’t big fans of reading (except the news) so I was not exposed as well to literature then. I had to read things for school, but most of them were just too adult or literary. I can only remember A Separate Peace that truly connected with me and for a teen who never got into literature then, it’s a big thing. I feel that I am catching up even if I have already formed some strong ideas/philosophies in life, there’s still some value in reading these bits of literature. I don’t know if that’s just a mere rationalization of some Peter Pan syndrome, but I guess there’s really no harm done.
For me, Looking for Alaska represents the idea of acceptance and self-direction. It gives us hope that we move forward in our lives through acceptance even if we feel that we live in a “labyrinth of suffering”. Reality is that life is not all good and we will experience a number of tragedies that shake us to the core. A big chunk of these tragedies are things we cannot control. These are questions we cannot answer completely; similar to what happened to Alaska. As humans, we try to make sense of everything. Why did it happen? What could have I done differently? But those questions are moot because whatever the why and the what if analyses, life still moves forward. You learn to accept things happen because they can happen. It makes it easier to live on if we get this notion that I cannot be in control of ALL things. That’s why I envy people who have strong faith to their religious beliefs, because they submit easily that it’s part of some elusive plan of life to salvation — something positive. For me, I just really think shit happens and we need to live with it —- pragmatic but a bit cynical.