I spent January searching for new books for the following months. When it comes to choosing monthly reads I like to choose specific themes that fit the season or stories that can relate to current times. For February, I wanted a read in the theme of love, but not just a romantic novel, a novel that was about anything to do with love- cute or otherwise.
At Barnes & Noble, I ran into an old fav, Looking for Alaska, but author John Green (Fault in Our Stars). I read this book voluntarily in High School and I couldn't remember the details but I remember it was such a profound story so I grabbed my own copy. I also remembered that it was a love story about a young man, Miles, who becomes fascinated and enamored with a young woman, Alaska, who isn't like most young girls his age. She's wise, wild, and teaches so much about life in a time when he's so bored and doesn't think there's much to growing up and being social. Of course, transferring to a new school, he meets other great friends and makes other great memories but no one leaves such an impact on Miles like Alaska does.
Everything up until half the book was familiar and then when I read the climax of the story, the point of no return, I was shocked and couldn't believe I forgot what had happened to Miles and Alaska. It's sad and leaved you affected but in the end, the reader, as well as Miles, realizes something bigger than a event, bigger than feelings and emotions. Wondering and suffering can be overwhelming and change a person, but coming to the realization about why something happens, and why we suffer and more importantly, how to come to terms with suffering, is in a bigger sense, what everyone deals with. Miles and Alaska bond over wondering how to survive suffering- one of the intellectual topics that made Miles realize his love for Alaska. But it's not til Miles is forced to answer how to survive suffering, that he grows from being a kid to a man, and learns how to recover and start to heal.
For a while, while we suffered with Miles and Alaska, I felt like I was just reading a story and even feeling attached but when Miles discovers what it means to survive suffering is when I really felt emotional and learned something myself. Surviving anything- whether it's a traumatizing event, emotional happening, be it a death, a betrayal, or mistake, the key to being happier and healthier is forgiveness. Forgiving yourself forgiving others, is how you survive anything in life. THIS honestly made me soooo emotional because we all go through events and friends, and situations that leave tough impacts on us and I for one can hold a grudge or leave a person/situation behind and not think twice and feel anger towards said person or situation. I've heard that forgiveness can free you but I always felt that forgiveness was not necessarily weakness but it was kind of excusing a person or situation and that not all people deserve to just be forgiven. But after reading what Miles experiences and how he learns to forgive made me see a bigger picture about life. Life isn't worth holding onto anger and suffering. We can all suffer, and we all will but suffering doesn't have to be so dark and difficult. Learning to forgive- not because someone deserves it but because you deserve peace you deserve to let go of unhealthy feelings. Forgiving someone or forgiving yourself is about peace and about moving on. And this book really spoke that to me which was so important to me. I guess living through Miles' suffering and hoping for him to find peace and seeing him find it is what showed me that forgiveness is healthy and imperative.
I HIGHLY suggest this novel, I really think it can be impactful and help you how it helped me! We can all relate to this story- to seeking adventure, love, and peace from suffering.