Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Review: Looking for Alaska by John Green

Title: Looking for Alaska
Author: John Green
Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books
Pages: 263
Release date: March 3rd 2005
Genre: Contemporary YA
Source: Bought
out more: Amazon ; Goodreads

Goodreads description:

Miles Halter is fascinated by famous last words and tired of his safe life at home. He leaves for boarding school to seek what the dying poet Francois Rabelais called the "Great Perhaps." Much awaits Miles at Culver Creek, including Alaska Young. Clever, funny, screwed-up, and dead sexy, Alaska will pull Miles into her labyrinth and catapult him into the Great Perhaps.

First sentence:
The week before I left my family and Florida and the rest of my minor life to go to boarding school in Alabama, my mother insisted on throwing me a going-away party.

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Re-reading Looking for Alaska showed me again what an amazing book this is. I love everything about it! John Green is one of my favorite authors, and this one is probably my favorite of his books.

I don't read too many books with male main characters (just because, well, most YA titles have female narrators), but if it's well-done, I really enjoy a male narrative, and there's no question John Green does male main characters well. He made Miles so easy to relate to for me, as a girl, but Miles still has an authentic teenage-boy voice. And Alaska. I just love Alaska. I don't mean Alaska as a person - I'm pretty sure she'd irritate me to no end if I met her in real life - but as a character, she's amazing. She's a mystery, and I'd love to get into her head for a while.

I really like the idea of splitting the novel into two sections, "Before" and "After". This not being the first time I've read Looking for Alaska, I knew what was coming, and dreaded it with every passing day (every day in the book, not in real life). Even when I read this for the first time, I knew something bad was going to happen, and that added so much suspense to the whole story.

I love the whole thing with the last words. It's a crazy but awesome idea. The last words are so interesting to read about, and lots of them are hilarious! That made me want to start looking up famous peope's last words myself... even though I know I never will because I'm lazy. Either way, I really enjoyed that aspect and found myself laughing at so many of the last words and crying later on when... well, I don't want to spoil it for anyone, but if you've read the book you know what I mean.

For me, the entire book is like that - one minute you're laughing and the next you're crying. It's incredible how much Looking for Alaska made me feel, and how it can be so hilarious and tragic and touching and insightful all at the same time. That's probably what I like best about John Green's writing.

***This paragraph contains spoilers!***
The ending - ugh! Yes, it's the perfect way to end the book, and it wouldn't be right to have a real solution, but I just really want to know! Was it an accident or was it suicide?

I don't know what more to say - just wow. If you haven't read this book yet, you should read it immediately - it's one of my favorites. John Green's style is amazing and unique, and it can make you feel so, so much. And it making me feel something is all I really want from a book.


  1. I've never heard of this book but from your review, it sounds interesting. I've been hearing a lot of good things about John Green so I think it's time for me to buck up and read his books already. Thanks for the review.

  2. I've heard a lot of wonderful things about this book, and now I'm definitely checking it out (I closed my eyes and scrolled past the spoiler!). Thanks! Great review!

  3. looooove John Green! i especially adore how he has so many emotions and feelings and plot points spinning at the same time, without feeling overwhelming or too old for the audience. so so so good and so so so balanced. LOVE HIM.

  4. This is one of my favorite books ever. Have you read his other books? I asked for TFIOS for the winter holidays!! (:

  5. Thanks for the comments (:

    @Sara: Yeah, I'm a huge fan of John Green, I've read every book he's written or co-written, and I love the vlogbrothers. I've pre-ordered The Fault in Our Stars, too, which means I'm getting his signature! *squee*


Please leave a comment - I love to hear what you think!

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