1. Kleenex—Because, as obvious as it is, it’s a tear jerker, folks. John Green has effectively captured the heart, soul, and mind of youth as they deal with the coming of age combined with the complexity of losing a dear friend. And if you’re not the crying type, you should still pack tissue because you’re going to need a place to write all of those great last lines, and a notebook just wouldn’t suffice.
  2. Strong Coffee—This bugger is an all-nighter. One of those books that you take with you under the covers of your bed with a flashlight and wait anticipatorily for footsteps and knock of your dad telling you to “turn the damn light off and go to sleep.” Even if you’re a twenty-four year old master’s student attending a college eight hours away from your parents, I give you permission to read this one under the covers. ‘Cause it’s just that great!
  3. A Lie Detector—While I am sure that the average citizen does not have access to a lie detector, one is still advisable because while reading this book; you’re going to want to do a heart check. John Green explores the honest and true feelings of teens today and all of the conflict that they encounter. From the initial mention of
    Alaska’s death, “Last night, Alaska Young was in a terrible car accident… And she was killed.
    Alaska has passed away” (139) to the more mundane trailer park Thanksgiving, and the friends with benefits scene before her death, the themes and emotions explored are candid. The initial immaturity of the narrator slowly fades away as he discovers that life is about the friends that you find in the most random of places, and that finding those friends does not necessarily mean keeping them within your physical touch, though it does mean keeping them within the reach of your heart.
  4. A pen and paper—Because when you’re done reading, you’re going to want to write something as magnificent as John Green in order to capture the truth of humanity. Or, at least you will be more willing to capture the genuineness of your own life.
  5. A map—Go find your
    Alaska!
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