Looking for Alaska is a novel by John Green that I’ve somehow not read until very recently. That being said, I do not own my own copy of it yet, as I went to an actual library and checked it out. Yes. Libraries. They still exist.
Anyway - I immediately wanted to reread it the moment I finished the last chapter, and I can’t remember the last time I actually wanted to reread a book so soon. Not even Harry Potter.
That being said, I haven’t been touched by a book in this way in quite a long time. John Green is able to so eloquently not just touch on, but dive into what it is to grow up. What it is to find your place - and “to seek a Great Perhaps”. What it is to live, and to grieve, and to forgive. And how people change us without us really realizing it.
But the part that hit me the hardest was a simple quote about how incredibly complex we are:
“When adults say, ‘Teenagers think they are invincible’ with that sly, stupid smile on their faces, they don’t know how right they are. We need never be hopeless, because we can never be irreparably broken. We think that we are invincible because we are. We cannot be born, and we cannot die. They forget that when they get old. They get scared of losing and failing. But the part of us that is greater than the sum of our parts cannot begin and cannot end, and so it cannot fail.”
“The part of us that is greater than the sum of our parts cannot begin and cannot end, and so it cannot fail.”
It’s the idea that there is a part of us that is more than our DNA. It’s more than our memories and more than everything we’ve ever seen or heard or experienced. And that thing is what ultimately makes us who we are. And that thing has already outlived us, and will into eternity.
It’s nice to know that we are invincible. Because recognizing that most essential part of us is a reminder that there is hope - That we will be the hopeful.