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Looking for Alaska

Looking for Alaska Summary


Here you will find a Looking for Alaska summary (John Green's book).
We begin with a summary of the entire book, and then you can read each individual chapter's summary by visiting the links on the "Chapters" section.

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Last Updated: Monday 1 Jan, 2024

Looking for Alaska Summary Overview

"Miles “Pudge” Halter, a high school junior, embarks on a new journey when he enrolls at the Culver Creek boarding school. Encouraged by the final words of poet François Rabelais, he seeks the "Great Perhaps." He soon becomes friends with his roommate, Chip “The Colonel” Martin, who helps him navigate the school's social dynamics. Chip introduces Miles to Alaska, a captivating girl with a passion for literature and a curiosity about the "labyrinth of suffering." Miles quickly falls for her, despite her emotional unpredictability. The friends, along with their companion Takumi, plan a revenge prank against the affluent "Weekday Warriors” who routinely antagonize them. Alaska and Chip take the blame when the group is caught smoking, showing Miles the importance of loyalty. As he settles into school life, Miles endears himself to a Romanian student named Lara, who Alaska had introduced him to. During a group date, a basketball game injury leads to an embarrassing incident with Lara. Despite the mishap, their relationship continues and they grow intimate. Meanwhile, Miles grapples with Alaska’s mood swings and the revelation that she was responsible for ratting out Marya and Paul the previous year, a fact which had led to their expulsion. When the Weekday Warriors prank Alaska, the group retaliates with a large-scale prank, involving fireworks, hair dye, and tampered grade reports. In the aftermath, they hide away in a barn, where Alaska shares a heartbreaking story about her mother's death. Tragedy strikes when Alaska, seemingly in a drunken frenzy, insists on leaving the school. Despite their reservations, Miles and Chip aid her escape, only to learn later that she was killed in a car crash. The event sends shockwaves through the school and leaves the friends grappling with guilt and grief. They suspect Alaska's death may not have been accidental, spurring them to investigate. Despite their efforts, the truth remains elusive. The friends pay tribute to Alaska’s memory with a final prank during a school event. At the end, they realize that Alaska might have been driving to her mother's grave, an anniversary she had forgotten. While her death remains a mystery, the friends find some closure. Miles, despite his loss, becomes more resolute in his quest for the "Great Perhaps".

chapter 1

Miles Halter, a high schooler, decides to pursue his junior year at Culver Creek, a boarding school, which prompts his parents to organize a farewell gathering. Despite his parents' insistence for Miles to invite all his "school friends", only two familiar faces appear. When the party ends, Miles’s mom voices her worry about him choosing boarding school due to his lack of companionship. His dad questions Miles if his decision is influenced by his own past at Culver Creek. In response, Miles fetches François Rabelais's biography and uses a quote from the poet to clarify that his decision to study away is driven by his quest for the “Great Perhaps."

chapter 2

Miles is dropped off at Culver Creek by his parents and commences unpacking his belongings. His roommate, Chip Martin, joins him and they continue the unpacking process. Chip, who spent the summer memorizing global geography, recites the names of countries from a map that Miles has displayed. Miles, in turn, shares his own peculiar hobby of memorizing people's final words. Upon completing their unpacking, Miles accompanies Chip, known from then on as 'The Colonel', to retrieve some belongings stored at the school from the previous year. The Colonel also dubs Miles with the nickname 'Pudge'. The Colonel enlightens Pudge about the two social groups at Culver Creek - regular boarders like themselves and the affluent 'Weekday Warriors' who return to their palatial homes every weekend. The Colonel invites Pudge to buy cigarettes from his friend Alaska at her dorm. Pudge becomes instantly captivated by Alaska's beauty. After their purchase, Pudge and The Colonel head to the lake for a smoking session, marking Pudge's first encounter with cigarettes. After The Colonel departs for his girlfriend Sara, Alaska joins Pudge. She expresses interest in Pudge's hobby and shares that Simón Bolívar's last words were about escaping a labyrinth. They ponder over its meaning and share a few laughs. Alaska promises to find Pudge a girlfriend.

chapter 3

After Miles questions Chip about Alaska, Chip advises him not to pry. He shares some details though, mentioning Alaska's boyfriend at Vanderbilt University and her small hometown, Vine Station in Alabama. The school's Dean, nicknamed “the Eagle”, visits Miles, cautioning him to stay in line. Chip introduces Miles to Takumi and other friends during lunch, where discussion about expelled students Marya and Paul unfolds. Miles learns snitching is frowned upon at Culver Creek. One night, Miles is awoken by a group of boys aiming to initiate him through a hazing ritual. They take Miles to the lake, bind him with tape, issue a warning against befriending Chip, and toss him in. He manages to escape the lake, and seeks Alaska for clarification, but she remains aloof. Furious, Miles returns to his room and reveals his ordeal to Chip. Miles plans to inform the Eagle, but Chip dissuades him, claiming Culver Creek students settle disputes differently. He assures Miles they'll get payback.

chapter 4

Miles starts his first day with Chip vowing revenge for the lake incident, especially after discovering his shoes were urinated in. He asks Miles to help identify the perpetrators. Miles, already dealing with the stress of new classes, is grateful for religion class featuring familiar faces like Alaska, Chip, and Takumi. The class is led by Dr. Hyde, nicknamed "the Old Man". Contrary to Miles's expectation of an easy class, he finds it challenging yet interesting, potentially holding the key to Alaska's labyrinth question. Later, Alaska apologizes to Miles, admitting to not fully understanding the severity of the previous night's prank – they had tied him up before throwing him in the lake.

chapter 5

Following the conclusion of his initial week at Culver Creek, Miles encounters Chip in their shared quarters, prepping for a rendezvous with his significant other, Sara. They indulge in a cigarette in the moisture-filled bathroom, intending to smooth out Chip’s shirt and conceal their smoking. Sara's arrival sparks a disagreement with Chip, prompting him to cancel their plans. Drowning his frustrations in a mixture of vodka and milk, Chip's evening takes a turn when an angered Sara calls, accusing him of snitching on Paul and Marya to the Weekday Warriors, leading to their expulsion.

chapter 6

Despite his worries, Miles realizes his studies aren't as tough due to his constant studying. In one of his religion classes, he gets lost in thoughts about the Buddhist concept of interconnectedness. His daydreaming leads the professor, the Old Man, to dismiss him from the class. Alaska, in defense of Miles, also walks out of the classroom after confronting the Old Man. They start searching for four-leaf clovers, but Miles is more captivated by Alaska. When Chip and Takumi join them after class, Alaska, upset that they didn't leave the class in support, walks away. They join her at the "smoking hole", where they discuss taking revenge on the Weekday Warriors while they smoke. Alaska finishes her cigarette hurriedly. When questioned by Miles, she responds that she smokes not for pleasure, but as a slow form of suicide.

chapter 7

On the following evening, Chip insists on attending the basketball game with Miles, despite Miles' disinterest in sports. While they're in the stands, one of the Weekday Warriors, who previously threw Miles into the lake, joins them and proposes a truce, claiming they're now even. Miles and Chip reject his offer. As the game proceeds, Chip starts instigating increasingly disrespectful chants against the rival team. Ultimately, Chip is expelled from the game, continuing his record of ejections from games, now standing at 37 in a row.

chapter 8

The following day, the Old Man requests that Miles remain back after the lesson. He questions Miles about his enjoyment of the class and emphasizes his need to focus on whatever is at hand. Miles concedes with the Old Man's advice.

chapter 9

As October arrives, Miles observes the temperature drop. In school, Alaska suggests they have a study session at McDonald's during lunch break. Alaska takes the wheel and drives Miles, a fellow sophomore Lara, and a few other friends. She purposefully overloads the car, resulting in Lara sitting on Miles’s lap. At the fast-food joint, a conversation about smoking cigarettes versus marijuana ensues between Alaska and another student. She defends her smoking habit, stating that she might die young, but at least, she'd die intelligent.

chapter 10

After a question from Miles regarding her name, Alaska shares the story behind it, gripping his hands while doing so. Her father had intended to name her Mary Frances Young, while her free-spirited mother preferred Harmony Springs Young. Ultimately, her legal name became Mary, but she was allowed to choose her own name at seven years old. She chose Alaska, an Aleut term meaning "that which the sea breaks against." This name also symbolized how she wanted to distance herself from her hometown, much like the state of Alaska. Alaska expresses her aspiration to work with disabled children in the future. Feeling connected with her, Miles attempts to kiss her, but she rejects him and criticizes the idea of dreaming about the future. She believes this is a form of nostalgia, a means to escape the present. She relates this concept to Bolívar’s phrase “escaping the labyrinth” and insists on living the future rather than dreaming about it. When Miles confesses his confusion, Alaska asserts that he will never truly comprehend her.

chapter 11

On a Sunday, Miles, Alaska, Chip, and Takumi visit the lake, their chosen spot to smoke. However, their activities are discovered by the Eagle. Consequently, they are instructed to appear before the Jury, a disciplinary committee at their school, the following day.

chapter 12

Miles, Alaska, Chip, and Takumi face the student-run Jury, responsible for assigning punishments for non-severe offenses. Alaska admits her nervousness to Miles, revealing that it's her seventh time being caught smoking. Her main concern is her father's disappointment. When Miles probes whether her mother's smoking habit also worries her, Alaska reveals that her mother was a past smoker. Chip and Takumi join them and Chip instructs Miles to remain silent. Chip and Alaska confess to smoking, assuring the Jury that Miles and Takumi were not involved. As a result, Chip and Alaska get ten work hours in the cafeteria, while Miles and Takumi get off with a warning. When Miles questions why Chip and Alaska took the fall for them, he receives no explanation.

chapter 13

Alaska hangs out with Miles and Chip, revealing that she's found a potential girlfriend for Miles. She queries Miles on his opinion of Lara, causing Chip to make inappropriate remarks about Lara's physical attributes. Alaska quickly reprimands him for his disrespectful attitude towards women. She informs Miles that Lara finds him attractive. A double date is suggested by Alaska, involving herself and Jake, her boyfriend, Chip and Sara, and Miles and Lara, with Takumi also included.

chapter 14

Jake, from Vanderbilt, joins the group date which also includes Miles, Alaska, Lara, Chip and Takumi. Miles feels a pang of envy watching Jake and Alaska connect. At the Culver Creek basketball game, Alaska ensures Miles isn't seated next to Lara. Chip disrupts the game by cracking an inappropriate joke about the girlfriend of an opposition player, known as The Beast. To avoid retaliation from The Beast, Miles and Takumi attempt to slip away. However, as Miles is leaving, he is hit by a basketball thrown by The Beast, causing his head to hit the floor. Feeling dizzy, he stumbles outside where he is met by Lara. He throws up on her jeans before being rushed to the hospital, where he is diagnosed with concussion. Following the eventful date, they return to the dorm where Chip tells Miles he's ended things with Sara.

chapter 15

Miles perseveres through his studies amid a rainstorm while Chip drowns his sorrows over his split with Sara in a concoction of milk and vodka in their shared room. There's been no communication between Miles, Alaska, and Lara following their ill-fated date. When Miles finally questions Alaska about her seeming aloofness, she dismisses him, not willing to entertain any inquiries.

chapter 16

During their theology lesson, Chip reveals to Miles that he has moved on from Sara, recalling their bitter exchanges. The instructor then prepares the students for their final assignment. They're tasked with discussing "the most important question that humanity must answer" and assessing how different global faiths respond. Post-class, Miles and Chip dash through rain-soaked paths back to their dormitory, only to encounter a distraught Alaska. She accuses the Weekday Warriors of flooding her room by manipulating the drainage system. Chip vows they will retaliate.

chapter 17

At the end of the rainfall, Miles is outside studying when Takumi joins him and proposes a walk. In the midst of their smoke-filled stroll through the woods, Takumi reveals to Miles that Alaska had betrayed Marya and Paul. Takumi shares that Alaska confessed to being caught sneaking out by the Eagle, leading him to infer that she was the sole insider who could have exposed Marya and Paul's illicit drinking and sexual activity. Alaska had informed on them, it seems, as a measure to sidestep punishment for her own rule-breaking. Takumi also informs Miles that Chip is unaware of Alaska's treachery against Marya and Paul. He adds that Chip and Alaska are likely to involve them in their planned retaliation prank for the water damage in Alaska’s room. Takumi strictly instructs Miles not to spill the beans if they're found out, as Alaska had. He recalls how Chip and Alaska had shielded him and Miles when they were busted smoking, exemplifying the kind of loyalty they should extend to their friends in a similar predicament.

chapter 18

Awakened by the noise of Alaska playing his video game, Miles finds himself alone in the room after Chip moves to sleep in Alaska's room. Alaska confides in Miles that she's aware of Takumi revealing her betrayal of Marya and Paul to him. As Alaska settles next to him on the bed, Miles is conscious of the physical barriers that exist between them. Alaska persuades Miles to stay at school over the Thanksgiving holiday, hoping for his company. Agreeing to her request, Miles informs his parents and secures their endorsement. However, Chip's warning about the risk of developing a romantic relationship with Alaska makes Miles reconsider. He attempts to update his parents about his change of heart, only to discover they've already arranged travel due to his initial decision. Confirming his plans to stay back at school with Alaska, he learns that this arrangement brings her relief as she associates her home with 'ghosts.'

chapter 19

With most students away for Thanksgiving, Miles and Alaska virtually have the school to themselves. Alaska guides Miles to a buried stash of strawberry wine on the soccer field. Despite his apprehensions about violating school rules, Miles joins Alaska in drinking the wine while she immerses herself in a Kurt Vonnegut book. He contemplates confessing his love for her, but an interruption comes in the form of a discussion about a quote from Simón Bolívar regarding the labyrinth. Alaska enlightens Miles that the labyrinth isn't about life or death, but liberation from suffering - a common concern across all religions.

chapter 20

Alaska shouts Miles awake and then they quietly infiltrate the vacant quarters of the Weekday Warriors. She prompts Miles to investigate the rooms to unearth what these guys cherish, to devise the most effective practical joke. Alaska concludes that their precious thing is their hair and she ponders on how to get industry-grade blue colorant.

chapter 21

Miles and Alaska, on the initial day of their Thanksgiving recess, opt to search for adult content in the vacant dormitories. Their hunt mostly yields magazines, but upon finding a video, they retreat to the school's television room. As they view the video, Alaska shares her perspectives on intimacy and expresses her resentment towards the objectification of females. Suddenly, fatigue overcomes Alaska and she dozes off. Miles tenderly places his hand on her back, contemplating the appeal of nonsexual closeness with her.

chapter 22

Before Thanksgiving, Miles and Alaska engage in a unique activity of melting candles to form a wax volcano in Alaska's room. When they decide to head to McDonald's for lunch, they're intercepted by Chip who extends an invitation to spend Thanksgiving at his home. He warns them that his residence is a cramped trailer, and Alaska quips that she's no stranger to poverty. To Miles' astonishment, Chip's trailer is so tiny that he sleeps in an outside tent. Alaska and Miles spend the night there, sharing the interior bed together. Miles is acutely aware of their physical proximity as they sleep.

chapter 23

On the day of Thanksgiving, Miles finds himself thoroughly enjoying the culinary skills of Chip's mother, considering the feast superior to any he's experienced before. They each share the things they're grateful for around the dinner table. Miles expresses his gratitude for the gift of friendship. Alaska is appreciative of spending her best Thanksgiving in ten years. Chip displays gratitude towards his mother and his sharp intellect. His mother, in turn, is grateful for her son and the fulfillment of her basic necessities. Feeling satisfied, Miles dozes off on their journey back to school.

chapter 24

Alaska and Miles head to a liquor shop, purchasing cigarettes, wine, and vodka. On the return trip, they amuse each other with knock-knock jokes. Later, a distressed Alaska makes a surprising visit to Miles' room. She questions her tendency to ruin everything and seeks solace in Miles' arms. When Miles questions if her actions, like revealing Marya and Paul, are driven by fear, Alaska denies it. She also refutes his suggestion that she's scared of going home, claiming she doesn't have one. Miles tries to reassure her, saying things will be alright. However, Alaska replies that Miles only loves her audacious side and not her gloomy one.

chapter 25

Over the festive season, all of Culver Creek's students, Miles and Alaska included, return home. Miles is gifted items synonymous with adulthood such as a valuable timepiece and a fresh wallet. His Christmas break is predominantly spent immersed in his studies. His parents express remorse for their absence over Thanksgiving and apologize profusely. Upon his return to school, he holds a deep appreciation for his family.

chapter 26

Miles and Alaska reunite in the boys' room following the Christmas holiday, while Chip is engrossed in his video games. The conversation steers towards planning a pre-prank in addition to the main prank, aimed at outsmarting the Weekday Warriors. Alaska and Chip clarify to Miles that the purpose of the pre-prank is to catch the others off guard. They also mention that they, Takumi, and Lara will gather at a campus barn over the weekend to execute the prank. However, they deliberately keep Miles in the dark about the specifics of their scheme, which Miles finds frustrating.

chapter 27

Alaska and Chip are busy orchestrating a prank, though Chip only reveals to Miles that it's codenamed "Barn Night" and he should prepare for a few days away. Meanwhile, Miles seizes the opportunity to focus on his studies and complete his religion essay. In his paper, he suggests that the concept of an afterlife in religions stems from humanity's inability to accept the possibility of non-existence after death.

chapter 28

Following their final exams, Miles and his friends prepare for their Barn Night prank. Chip devises a plan to distract the Eagle by making him believe that Miles and Takumi are visiting his home for the weekend. They rendezvous with Alaska and Lara at the barn to discuss their three-pronged prank, involving fireworks, a hair dye trick on the Weekday Warriors, and false grade reports using the Eagle's computer. Miles and Takumi are assigned the job of lighting fireworks at strategic points, beginning near the Eagle's house and using successive ignitions to lure him deeper into the woods. Their mission is successful, despite a swan biting Miles. Once they return to the barn, they find Lara already there and are joined later by Chip and Alaska. Chip expresses his displeasure at Alaska for sending more false grade reports than agreed upon, fearing it might lead to them getting busted. However, Alaska brushes off his concerns. Miles notes that Alaska seems more irritable than usual.

chapter 29

Miles and his friends Alaska, Chip, Takumi, and Lara spend their day in a barn, seeking refuge as they're meant to be off campus. They pass the time by drinking and indulging in a storytelling game invented by Alaska, where they recount their best and worst day experiences. The storyteller with the best story doesn't drink. The cheerful atmosphere shifts when Alaska shares about her best day on January 9, 1997, when she enjoyed a zoo trip with her mom, and her worst day being the very next day. That was when her mom suffered a brain aneurysm and Alaska, mistaking her unconscious mother for being asleep, didn't call for help. Upon arriving home, her father blamed Alaska for her mother's demise. Despite the somber revelation, they continue their drinking spree, turning to jesting until they feel unwell. Miles and Lara, lying down side by side in their sleeping bags, start hand-holding and kissing. Miles proposes to Lara about being his girlfriend, to which she agrees.

chapter 30

Having spent the night in the barn, Miles, Alaska, Chip, Takumi, and Lara are nursing hangovers as they prepare to return to their dormitories. The quintet must concoct an imaginary account for their absence over the weekend. After making their presence known to the Eagle, they retreat to their respective rooms to recuperate from their overindulgence.

chapter 31

Kevin, now sporting blue hair from a prank, proposes a ceasefire to Chip and Miles, but Chip rejects it. Miles spends his day with Lara, leading to some passionate moments due to the lack of conversation. They fumble while attempting a certain sexual act, realizing their lack of experience. They seek advice from Alaska and then, using her suggestions, successfully try again in Lara's room. The post-act embarrassment prompts them to study, but Miles decides to leave. Miles later joins Chip and Alaska in her room for the evening. While Chip and Alaska drink, Miles refrains. He queries Alaska about her white tulips and learns they signify her anniversary with Jake. Alaska drinks more than Chip and challenges Miles to a game of truth or dare. A weary Chip spectates as they play. Alaska dares Miles to kiss her, and they do. She then expresses her fatigue and her desire to go to bed. As she drifts off, she assures Miles their actions will continue. He confesses his love, but she's already asleep. Later, a frantic Alaska wakes Miles and Chip, claiming she's forgotten something and needs to leave. Despite their confusion and knowledge of Alaska's intoxicated state, Miles and Chip distract the Eagle with fireworks as Alaska drives off. They then return to their room and go to sleep.

chapter 32

Miles and Chip are abruptly awoken by the Eagle who urgently ushers them towards the gym due to a catastrophic event. Chip assumes that the Old Man has passed away and they're being gathered to receive the news. However, the Old Man is present in the gym, but Alaska is noticeably absent. The Eagle delivers the unnerving news that a car accident claimed Alaska's life the previous night. Miles refuses to believe in Alaska's death, assuming it's just one of her pranks, but the Eagle reaffirms her demise. It is revealed that Alaska crashed into a police vehicle without any attempt to evade, likely due to her severe inebriation. Miles is filled with guilt, recalling how he and Chip assisted her departure even knowing she was under the influence, he blames himself for her tragic end. Chip breaks down, apologizing profusely. Miles mourns the loss of the unfinished conversation and the hidden meaning behind her last words he'll never discover.

chapter 33

Miles reaches out to his parents to inform them of his friend’s demise. They express their condolences, suggesting he come home, but he chooses to stay at school. He goes back to his room, discovering Chip engrossed in learning country capitals. Distressed, Chip picks up his almanac, letting Miles know he needs to take a walk. Several friends, Lara included, drop by to see how Miles is doing, but he prefers solitude. He experiences a terrifying dream about Alaska, waking up and longing for Chip's return from his stroll.

chapter 34

Upon returning from his 42-mile walk, Chip confides in Miles, expressing his fear of sleep due to nightmares about Alaska. He confesses that he's beginning to forget her face. In response, Miles brings out a yearbook to jog Chip's memory of Alaska's appearance and they reminisce about her unpredictable moods. Chip admits to Miles that he allowed Alaska to leave on the tragic night, not wishing to get entangled in her dramatic behavior. Miles ponders that he too, didn't prevent her from drunkenly driving off, simply because she requested him not to.

chapter 35

Miles, Chip, Takumi, and Lara journey to Alaska's last rites in her native Vine Station, steering clear of the highway corner where she lost her life. Miles ponders the agony of enduring life after losing a loved one. They arrive at the mortuary and are introduced to Alaska's dad. Miles laments over not getting a chance to view Alaska because the coffin is shut. He carries guilt for causing her father suffering by enabling her to drive when she shouldn't have. Chip and Miles kneel beside the casket, offering their apologies to her. Once more, Miles confesses his love for her.

chapter 36

Declining to join Chip for a meal, Miles stays behind. After dining with the Eagle, Chip conveys suspicions about their involvement in the firework incident that facilitated Alaska's escape. However, he didn't admit their part in it. Chip shares that Alaska's aunt is going to tidy up Alaska's room, suggesting they search for personal keepsakes before they're lost. Miles savors the lingering scent of Alaska in her room while searching for The General in the Labyrinth, a book containing a notable quote from Simón Bolívar. Upon discovering the book, Miles stumbles upon a note Alaska left in it. She had inscribed, “Straight and fast” as her solution to “How will I ever get out of this labyrinth?” This raises questions about why Alaska didn't evade the patrol car. Chip questions whether she was truly too intoxicated to steer clear. He grapples with resentment regarding the possibility of her suicide, while Miles contends they shoulder blame for her demise, regardless.

chapter 37

School is back in session at Culver Creek, and the Old Man acknowledges that the subject matter of his religion class may have taken on a deeper meaning after Alaska's demise. The enigmatic question Alaska had posed in the past semester about escaping the labyrinth of suffering is written on the board and he solicits student responses. Meanwhile, Chip shares his resentment with Miles, voicing his belief that the grief for Alaska is insincere as he doesn't believe these people genuinely cared for her while she was alive.

chapter 38

Rather than attending class, Chip opts to remain in their dorm playing video games. Upon Miles' arrival, Chip shares with him a hypothesis regarding Alaska's suicide. He proposes that after having a romantic moment with Miles, a subsequent argument with Jake accusing her of infidelity led her to drive off-campus intending to apologize to Jake. The incident of her colliding with a police vehicle, Chip suggests, was her escape from the maze of pain she endured. However, Miles rejects Chip's theory, insisting that Alaska wouldn't behave in such a manner. He also informs Chip that he has no desire to uncover what really transpired.

chapter 39

Miles and Chip visit the police station to gather information about Alaska's fatal accident. They talk with the police officer who witnessed the crash. He reveals that Alaska collided with his patrol car, which had its lights and sirens on, without attempting to brake or steer clear. He conveys his regret of not moving his car, as it could have potentially avoided the accident. He discloses that her blood alcohol level was 0.24 and white tulips were dispersed inside her car. After hearing that Alaska died on impact, Miles loses hope of ever discovering Alaska’s final words. The officer's account strengthens Chip's belief that Alaska took her own life, while Miles is hesitant to continue the investigation but consents to assist Chip.

chapter 40

Miles and Chip delve into suicide warning signs, discovering Alaska only showed two out of thirteen. They bicker over Alaska's motive, puzzled by her decision to drive six miles away for her death. Miles confesses his reluctance to probe into Alaska's suicide stems from his resulting animosity towards her. He detests the fact that if she indeed took her own life, he and Chip could be seen as contributors, not mere bystanders to an accident. During their discussion, a fellow student interrupts them, claiming to have had a spiritual experience with Alaska. Once she departs, the duo vents their frustration about the insincere grievers at school.

chapter 41

Chip is intent on calling Jake to unearth any possible issues between him and Alaska that might have caused her distress. Miles, however, is strongly opposed to the idea. Chip confronts Miles about his fixation with his romanticized image of Alaska, which is preventing him from pursuing the truth about her sudden departure. After a heated argument, Miles fiercely warns Chip to keep his distance. Subsequently, Miles loses his temper at the smoking hole, hurling a chair in a fit of rage. He comes to the realization that Chip was correct in his assertions, and expresses a longing for Alaska to have stayed with him that night. He spends some time alone, reminiscing about Alaska, before heading back to the dorm. Upon his return, both he and Chip extend apologies to one another. They agree to hold off on contacting Jake for the time being.

chapter 42

In class, the Old Man sparks a debate about the existence of heaven and hell. This prompts Miles to ponder on the concept of life after death, a notion he finds difficult to digest. He can only picture Alaska in her lifeless state, and views heaven as a figment of imagination. Post-class, Miles and Takumi catch up at McDonald’s, where they confess their mutual struggle and shared longing for Alaska. Takumi notes Miles' aloofness towards Lara, questioning if they're still an item. Miles, however, is uncertain. Just as Takumi is about to add something, he holds back, simply stating that dealing with grief is challenging.

chapter 43

During a video game session, Chip informs Miles that they need liquor and the Eagle's breathalyzer. They request alcohol from Takumi, who insists on being involved in their plans. Chip agrees to reveal all to Takumi the following day. Miles and Chip depart to retrieve the breathalyzer, with Miles distracting the Eagle with concerns about Chip's poor attendance, while Chip swipes the breathalyzer from the Eagle's house. Upon their return, Chip consumes the alcohol from Takumi, aiming to achieve Alaska's 0.24 blood alcohol level at the time of her accident. The Eagle stumbles upon them in the midst of this, but Miles diverts his attention by smoking a cigarette and having Chip feign tears. Consequently, the Eagle summons Miles to the Jury the following day. Despite this, Chip is thankful for Miles' interference, and continues to drink until he reaches the desired alcohol level. Chip concludes that Alaska could have easily avoided the police car based on his own responses at the same level of intoxication. However, he also considers the possibility that she might have dozed off.

chapter 44

During a lesson, Miles ponders on the importance of the tulips discovered in Alaska's vehicle. Upon returning to his dorm, he overhears Chip recounting to Takumi the events of the night Alaska died, though he omits the part about Alaska and Miles' kiss. The trio is left speculating on Alaska's motives for leaving that night. As Chip plans to call Jake, both Takumi and Miles request that he refrain from divulging any superfluous information from the conversation to them.

chapter 45

Chip reaches out to Jake to discuss Alaska's last night. While he's on the phone, Miles and Takumi occupy themselves with smoking. Chip jokes around, making the duo believe they're about to be caught by the Eagle for their actions. He shares with them that Alaska and Jake weren't fighting, they were celebrating their anniversary when she suddenly announced her need to depart. Miles admits to Takumi his romantic involvement with Alaska, revealing a kiss and her promise of future encounters. They hypothesize that Alaska's intentions to continue relationships with both boys indicates she didn't plan on suicide.

chapter 46

Miles unexpectedly collides with Lara after a month of silence, expressing his remorse to her. He feels guilty for his behavior, yet his unresolved feelings for Alaska make him indifferent to the idea of continuing the conversation with Lara post-apology.

chapter 47

In the aftermath of a dismal performance on their math examination, Miles and Takumi blame their failings on the absence of Alaska's academic aid. Attempting to lighten the mood, they embark on a trip to the local liquor store with Chip to purchase cigarettes. Despite his underage status, Miles encounters no obstacles in acquiring the tobacco products.

chapter 48

Takumi persuades Miles to make amends with Lara, highlighting his harsh behavior and Alaska's likely disapproval. Miles visits Lara's dorm to make his apologies which Lara accepts. He discloses all details surrounding Alaska's demise, omitting only their brief romantic encounter before her tragic end. Miles, Chip, Takumi, and Lara gather at the smoking hole, discussing Alaska and accepting that they have hit a wall in their endeavor to understand Alaska's mindset on her final night.

chapter 49

In his religion class, Miles learned about Buddhism and a character who attained enlightenment in an instant. He ponders if he might have the same kind of revelation. Simultaneously, he understands the inescapable truth of life: everything which is unified will eventually disintegrate, including himself and Alaska. He grapples with the fact that their existence will be forgotten one day. Noticing that his grasp on Alaska's reality is fading, he decides to continue his quest to discover if she had feelings for him.

chapter 50

Miles stirs from slumber tardy and opts to ring his folks. As his mom speaks, he spots daisy sketches adjacent to the payphone. He surmises that these must be Alaska's handiwork whilst speaking to Jake, leading him to terminate the call and eagerly present his find to Chip. Miles proposes that the flower drawing may have jogged her memory about something previously forgotten. Chip concedes that Miles' conjecture might hold water, however, they remain clueless as to what she recalled.

chapter 51

Miles and his friends are beginning to transition from feelings of raw grief and anger to a sense of understanding and recovery. Miles' interaction with Lara illustrates this change. He acknowledges his poor treatment of her and empathizes with her sorrow, showing maturity and paving the way for future reconciliation. The boys' expedition to Coosa Liquors signifies a milestone on their path to recuperation. The act of buying their own cigarettes, much like before, symbolizes a return to routine. Miles finds humor in the liquor shop clerk's hairy mole, indicating that he can momentarily let go of his sorrow and find delight in little things again. Chip's smiling face as wind pours through his window shows he too is rediscovering happiness and even looking forward to the future. These changes also reflect Miles' growth beyond self-pity and into a more mature individual. Living up to his surname, Halter, Miles is slowly progressing in his maturation, and his potential reconciliation with Lara suggests that he's becoming an adult. Miles is learning about accountability and the importance of taking action to repair damage. His statement, “I knew I wasn’t going to erase that anger, but we were talking” certifies his transformation. These events also highlight Miles' comprehension of true friendship. Takumi sets an example for Miles, encouraging him to mend his relationship with Lara. Katie also exemplifies a good friend, accepting Lara and Miles' potential reconciliation, but standing up for Lara's right to be upset. Lara, Katie, and Takumi are teaching Miles that maturity and good friendship sometimes require holding each other accountable.

chapter 52

Despite the confusion and pain surrounding Alaska's demise, Miles is starting to make some progress in his understanding. His constant sensation of her absence is significant. He differentiates between Alaska's physical remains, buried in Vine Station, and her essence, which he describes as "nowhere, nothing, POOF." Yet, he and his friends can't help but feel her everywhere. Miles fails to notice this discrepancy, but it's the first step towards him resolving his feelings. Dr. Hyde’s class offers more instances for Miles to process his emotions and seek meaning in Alaska’s passing. By studying Buddha’s philosophy that "things fall apart," Miles starts to come to terms with Alaska’s death. Even though he acknowledges the necessity of acceptance, he can't let go of the ongoing "investigation" with Chip, indicating he's not entirely ready to move on, albeit closer. His realization regarding Alaska’s flower sketch marks another crucial juncture. Had he found this earlier, it might have spurred more intense "investigations." However, with Chip losing interest and Miles letting it go, it's clear they're both finally prepared to move forward.

chapter 53

Miles and Chip resolve to pull off a jape in memory of Alaska. Chip divulges that Alaska had conceived an incredible prank that they had intended to reserve for their final school year. The prank is dubbed "Subverting the Patriarchal Paradigm" and Chip believes it to be a fitting tribute to Alaska's spirit.

chapter 54

Following his return from the spring vacation, Chip reveals a comprehensive strategy for carrying out the humorous stunt named "Subverting the Patriarchal Paradigm." He explains the scheme in detail to Miles, Takumi, and Lara.

chapter 55

Miles reaches out to his dad, seeking assistance with a prank. He wants his father to impersonate Dr. William Morse, a supposed psychology expert specializing in teenage sexuality. The aim is to present this faux Dr. Morse as the guest lecturer for the school's annual Speaker Day. Miles' father accepts the proposal. Subsequently, Miles and the student president, Longwell Chase, trick the school's head, the Eagle, into phoning Miles's father who is masquerading as the non-existent psychologist. Oblivious to the ruse, the Eagle greenlights the speaker, naively believing Dr. William Morse to be real.

chapter 56

Chip and Miles, with the assistance of their fellow juniors, hire a male stripper for Speaker Day as part of their ongoing scheme. They script a speech for the hired performer who makes his entrance as the bogus Dr. William Morse. As the Eagle introduces him to the students, he starts reading the prepared speech. Lara interrupts him, urging him to disrobe. Posing as shy, the stripper announces the importance of undermining the male-dominated paradigm. At that moment, Takumi plays a prearranged song, the stripper dedicates his act to Alaska, and starts dancing in nothing but his leather underwear. The Eagle halts the music and dance, yet the whole scenario amuses all. The juniors decline ownership of the prank, crediting it to Alaska instead. Later, the Eagle drops by Chip and Miles's room, cautioning them against such pranks in the future. However, he also acknowledges his amusement, recognizing it as Alaska's brainchild.

chapter 57

Takumi visits Miles while he's studying, bringing up the date January 10th. This was the date Alaska passed away, but also one day after the anniversary of her favorite memory with her mother - their visit to the zoo in 1997. The revelation stuns Chip and Miles as they remember Alaska's tales about that day. They theorize that Alaska's flower sketches were related to her mother's demise and she might have been remorseful about not visiting the grave with white flowers as was her custom. While her last thoughts will remain a mystery, the trio now has a better grasp of why she departed and the presence of the flowers in her car.

chapter 58

Desisting their efforts to unearth details about Alaska's demise, Chip, Miles, Takumi, and Lara reach an understanding about her probable actions the night she died. Miles sees this as an opportunity to delve deeper into the Great Perhaps. He and Chip, seeking closure, decide to emulate Alaska's final drive. They borrow Takumi’s vehicle, follow the same path, and accelerate at the accident scene. Overwhelmed by emotions, they exit the car, weep, and embrace each other. Unconcerned about appearing weak, they are simply grateful to be alive.

chapter 59

Miles, Chip, Lara, and Takumi are preparing for their final exams together. The absence of Alaska is palpable and the room is dominated by silence.

chapter 60

During a theology lecture, the elderly professor gives out the last essay assignment. It relates to Alaska's earlier semester essay, tasking students with explaining their individual strategies to escape the maze of pain. Back at their residence, Chip and Miles deliberate on the subject. In a surprising confession, Chip acknowledges his momentary lapse of forgetting Alaska. He shares with Miles that, even though he concurs that escaping the labyrinth swiftly and directly is the best approach, he would still choose to remain within the labyrinth.

chapter 61

Takumi wraps up his tests swiftly and departs the academy without a personal farewell. He leaves a note for Chip and Miles, revealing he had encountered Alaska the evening she passed away. She'd confided in him about her distress over her mother's demise, and like his friends, he too allowed her to drive off in her intoxicated state. He expresses regret for his actions and for concealing the entire truth for so long. Miles, overwhelmed, momentarily leaves the room but soon returns, determined to finish his end-of-term paper for his religion course. Despite his grief over Alaska's demise, he maintains his faith in the Great Perhaps. He argues that as matter cannot be created or destroyed, Alaska must still exist in some form and he hopes it is in a place of beauty.

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