The story begins with a boy named Miles Halter. Also known as “Pudge”. He is a new student at the Culver Creek school in Alabama and loves memorizing the last words of famous people. Miles was very nervous about making new friends, as he wasn’t very popular at his old school. But soon, he meets his roommate: Chip Martin. Also known as “The Colonel”. Chip introduces Miles to his friends: Lara Buterskaya (a foreign exchange student, who is very shy), Takumi Hikohoto (a Chinese boy, who is funny) and the beautiful and mysterious Alaska Young.
The first morning, there is already a surprise for Miles. A few boys are ducktaping him. They are taking the sleepy Miles to the lake and throwing him in it. Miles can barely swim, but he is able to get out of the lake. And he is mad…
The first day of school is really hard for Miles. That’s because he has a lot of homework and because of the difficult lessons. Miles focuses on his studies in between taking smoke breaks with Chip and/or Alaska and drinking alcohol.
During the winter break, Takumi and Chip turn home to see their family with Christmas. Alaska and Miles stay at school. They watch movies together and become better friends. During Thanksgiving, Chip returns from home to give them a great Thanksgiving meal.
A few days later, Alaska comes up with the idea for a “pre-prank”. She wants to prank all the people who’ve harassed and embarrassed her and Miles. The pre-prank begins with the group (Miles, Chip, Alaska, Lara and Takumi) spending the night in a barn and preparing a plan. Miles and Takumi would disctract “the Eagle” (the nickname for the principal) by setting off fireworks while Alaska and Chip change the grades in the schoolcomputer and add blue hair dye to the shampoo, conditioner and hair gel from the bullies. One night, Alaska, Chip and the Colonel are smoking and drinking together, when suddenly Alaska leaves for a call with Jake (her boyfriend). When she returns, she is very upset and mad and she starts screaming. She wants that Chip and Miles help her escape. Without asking questions. Miles thinks that it’s quite dangerous to let a drunk person drive, but he doesn’t say anything. They help her to distract the Eagle with fireworks and it worked. Alaska was able to escape without anyone noticing it. The next morning Miles and Chip are woken by the Eagle who tells them that something terrible happened and that they have to come to the gym. When Chip and Miles have arrived at the gym, they hear something much more terrible and awful than what they thought. Alaska died in a car crash. Everyone is very sad. Miles and Chip are trying to figure out the reason behind Alaska’s dead. Miles apologizes to Lara and Takumi for excluding them. Together they find out that Alaska didn’t die on purpose. She was drunk and very sad, because of family problems. Miles wrote his final paper about Alaska in religion class. He wrote: Alaska will live forever in my, Takumi’s, Lara’s and Chip’s memory.
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