Summary: 9 days after

Chip stays in the dorm and plays video games instead of going to class. When Miles returns, Chip tells him that he has a theory about Alaska killing herself. He theorizes that Alaska left the room after making out with Miles, got into a fight with Jake about cheating on him, drove off campus to meet Jake to apologize, and ultimately saw crashing into the police car as an end to the labyrinth of suffering. Miles refuses to believe that Alaska would do that and tells Chip that he does not want to find out what actually happened. 

Summary: 13 days after

Miles and Chip walk to the police department to learn more about how Alaska died. They interview the officer who saw the crash. He informs them that Alaska ran into the cruiser that had its lights and sirens going without slowing down or swerving. After the officer explains that when he arrived at her car she was already dead, Miles gives up hope that he will ever know Alaska’s last words. The officer also tells them that he regrets not moving his cruiser because then she might not have hit it. He informs them that her blood alcohol level was 0.24, and that white tulips were scattered throughout the car. Chip leaves more convinced that Alaska killed herself. Miles still wants to stop investigating but agrees to help Chip. 

Summary: 14 days after

Chip and Miles research warning signs for suicide and find that Alaska only exhibited two of the thirteen possible warning signs they found. They argue about Alaska’s intent, acknowledging the oddity of choosing to drive six miles off campus to kill herself. Miles admits the reason he does not want to investigate whether Alaska killed herself is because it makes him hate her. Miles resents the thought that, if Alaska did kill herself, he and Chip are accomplices, not just part of an accident. While they talk, a student enters their room to inform them that she had a mystical encounter with Alaska. After she leaves, the boys complain again about the fake mourners at the school.

Summary: 20 days after

Chip informs Miles that he plans to call Jake to determine if something happened between him and Alaska to set her off. Miles refuses to talk to Jake, and Chip grabs him by the sweater as he yells at him, saying that Miles’s obsession with his fantasy of Alaska and the love affair he wanted to have with her is what’s making him avoid finding out what really happened. Chip lets him go. Miles grabs the cigarettes and warns Chip to back off. Later, Miles runs to the smoking hole and throws a chair in anger. He reflects that Chip is right, and he wishes that Alaska chose to stay with him that night instead of leaving. Miles spends time thinking about Alaska before returning to the dorm. Once back, Chip and Miles apologize to each other and Chip decides to postpone calling Jake. 

Summary: 21 days after

The Old Man discusses heaven and hell in class, and Miles thinks about the afterlife. He cannot imagine Alaska anywhere but dead, and thinks heaven is a made-up place. Takumi invites Miles to McDonald’s after class, where they discuss the fact that neither of them is doing well and that they miss Alaska. Takumi mentions that Miles seems to be avoiding Lara and asks if Miles and she are still dating. Miles answers that he does not think so. Takumi begins to say something else but changes his mind. He acknowledges that grief sucks.

Summary: 27 days after

Chip announces to Miles that they need alcohol and the Eagle’s breathalyzer as they play video games in their dorm. When they ask Takumi for alcohol, he demands to be included in whatever is going on because he is tired of Chip and Miles being secretive. Chip promises to tell Takumi everything starting the next day. Miles and Chip leave to get the breathalyzer. Miles distracts the Eagle by telling him his worries about Chip not attending class. Meanwhile, Chip sneaks into the Eagle’s house and steals the breathalyzer. 

When Chip and Miles return to their dorm, Chip drinks the alcohol that they got from Takumi in an attempt to match the 0.24 blood alcohol level Alaska had when she crashed. While Chip drinks, the Eagle enters the dorm. Miles distracts the Eagle from noticing the drinking by smoking a cigarette and having Chip pretend to cry. The Eagle requires Miles to report to the Jury the next day. Chip appreciates Miles taking the blame and he continues drinking until the breathalyzer reads 0.24. Chip determines that based on his ability to react, Alaska would have been aware enough to at least swerve around the police car, but he also observes that she could have fallen asleep.

Summary: 28 days after

In class, Miles wonders about the significance of the tulips the police found in Alaska’s car. Miles returns to his room to find Chip describing the night of Alaska’s death to Takumi, except for the part about Alaska and Miles kissing. The three of them speculate why Alaska left that night. When Chip decides to call Jake, Takumi and Miles ask him not to share any unnecessary details from the call with them.

Summary: 29 days after

Chip calls Jake to ask about the night Alaska died. Miles and Takumi smoke while they wait for Chip to get off the phone. Chip pranks them by making them think the Eagle is entering the room to bust them for smoking. Chip then reports that Alaska and Jake did not fight and that they had called each other to celebrate their anniversary. Alaska told him she was doodling before suddenly exclaiming that she needed to leave and would talk to him later. Miles confesses to Takumi that he kissed Alaska and she had told him that their kissing would be continued. They speculate that her planning to be with both Jake and Miles in the future means that she probably did not intend to kill herself.

Analysis: 9 days after–29 days after

Miles’s behavior in these chapters show that he is at a low point in his journey toward maturity. The tragedy of Alaska’s death has afforded Miles an opportunity to learn and grow, but Miles is initially fixated only on alternately blaming and pitying himself. Rather than focusing on the shared grief of the group and community, Miles cannot stop resenting Alaska for leaving him alone and unfulfilled. It is an immature reaction from Miles and one that Chip calls him out on twice. These blunt confrontations from Chip briefly pull Miles out of his self-pitying stupor, but Chip’s way of handling the grief is only slightly more mature. For his part, Chip obsesses over the exact circumstances of Alaska’s death and tries to determine whether or not she died by suicide. Rather than actually solving anything, this is a way for Chip to distract himself from his grief over Alaska’s death. This is most obvious when Chip binges on vodka, ostensibly to see if Alaska could have avoided crashing when she was drunk. With their actions, the boys demonstrate how difficult it is to process the shock of grief. Nevertheless, the open communication and support between them indicate signs of progress.

Miles’s and Chip’s decision to finally share the truth with Takumi helps rebuild their fractured relationship and shows that the teenagers are starting to heal. Miles and Chip had kept Takumi out of the loop for most of their investigation, both as they processed their own grief and because of the guilt they felt for their role in Alaska’s death. By sharing the truth with Takumi, it helps assuage their guilt. It also shows Takumi that they trust him, which brings Takumi back into the fold and strengthens their bond. As a result, Miles must listen when Takumi forces him to recognize that he isn’t the only person who loved Alaska. These exchanges are a more grown-up way to process stress and grief than what the teenagers have shown before. It shows the boys are learning that open communication can be a powerful tool in the healing process. The group is still fixated on figuring out Alaska’s state of mind the night she died, but there is less energy behind the effort. Instead, they begin to joke around and enjoy each other’s company as they had before the tragedy, which indicates the healing has truly begun.