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Looking for Alaska by John Green
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Looking for Alaska (2005)

by John Green

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
8,769450345 (4.25)378
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    rickyrickyricky: The place to start with one of the American literary monoliths of the 20th century. Green takes a lot of influence--good influence--from DeLillo's stylistic uniquities and adapts it for a YA audience, leaving him arguably with a catalogue as intellectually important and influential for future generations.… (more)
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» See also 378 mentions

English (443)  Swedish (2)  German (2)  Dutch (1)  All languages (448)
Showing 1-5 of 443 (next | show all)
Miles Halter, who is going away to Culver Creek Boarding School, has had a pretty uneventful life. He has no real friends, and the only “hobby” he has is memorizing the last words of prominent individuals. He flips to the end of biographies just to find the subject’s last words. Needless to say, Miles is pretty bored with his life. He decides to go to the boarding school his father went to in order to seek “the Great Perhaps”. Once there, he meets Alaska Young, who catapults his life from boring to exciting. Miles is completely taken by Alaska and falls in love with her, though his love is unrequited. She offers everything he had felt was lacking in his life before her. Alaska is full of drama, danger, excitement, and mystery. Miles takes on the nickname, “Pudge”, and makes his first real friends in the form of his roommate, Chip “The Colonel” Martin, Takumi Hikohito, and Alaska, of course. Miles’ life becomes anything but ordinary, and he loves it, until one event alters everything and Miles will never be the same.
I read Looking for Alaska for Banned Books Week. I’m so glad I did. It’s one of the best books I’ve ever read. It’s a real shame that there are people who want to keep this book away from their children. Yes, there’s smoking, drinking, swearing, and sexual situations; but that’s not likely anything new to anyone over the age of twelve. There is one sexual act and it is hardly explicit. Looking for Alaska is a learning experience. It’s a chance to discuss difficult topics with kids, and give guidance. If you’re the parent of a teen or pre-teen, you shouldn’t be banning this book, you should be begging your child to read it. I’ll get off my soapbox about that now.
I loved this book. I laughed a lot, I cried, I felt happy, I felt depressed. It was very emotional for me. Looking for Alaska drew me in and I wasn’t just reading about these kids, I was there with them. It was so hard for me to put the book down, and I was thinking about the characters even when I wasn’t reading. I finished Looking for Alaska two days ago and I found myself thinking of them again last night. I waited a few days to write this review, because I felt like my review could never do justice to the book, and it probably won’t. The writing was excellent and the character development was awesome. I loved all of them; Miles, Alaska, The Colonel, and Takumi. They were my friends for a few days and I was sad to see them go at the end of the book. I really liked The Fault in Our Stars also by Green, but I liked Looking for Alaska even more. Read this book! You can find my other reviews and features at bookwormbookreviews.com ( )
  Aeroette | Oct 15, 2014 |
I greatly enjoyed this book. I found the boarding school setting interesting. All of the famous last words mentioned in book are also fascinating. I thought Miles Halter was a likeable main character. I really enjoyed the character of Alaska and found her to be the most intriguing. I kind of liked the fact that the ending is pretty ambiguous. We never learn whether Alaska's car crash was suicide or an accident. We also never learn if Alaska actually returned any of Miles' feelings. I personally think she did not. If she had had any romantic feelings toward him I don't think she would not have tried to set Miles up with Lara. This is a book that left me thinking and will stay with me. I probably liked this book at much as the other John Green book I have read, The Fault in Our Stars. ( )
  alexbarger | Oct 14, 2014 |
I have read a few John Green books. Each one has been a joy to read. Looking for Alaska didn't disappoint.

Miles Halter decides to look for his Great Perhaps and goes from a pubic school to a boarding school. He meets his roommate Chip "Colonel" Martin. Colonel nicknames Miles, Pudge. Pudge meets Alaska and Takumi.

The adventures they take Pudge on are his start to finding his Great Perhaps. Alaska and Pudge seem like very similar people but different at the same time.

I really enjoyed this book. I found myself laughing and crying while reading this book. I believe I have found another favorite author. ( )
  crazy4reading | Oct 9, 2014 |
In the Young Adult novel Looking for Alaska by John Green, a boy named Miles Halter joins a new school called Culliver Creek High School, where he slowly falls in love with a girl named Alaska Young, however she is already in a relationship. With the two teens still being newly acquainted the girl is taken from the world in a tragic, yet mysterious car accident, leaving Miles and their close circle of friends to try and piece together the story of what really happened. The book is about friendships, loyalty, and romance. The theme of the novel is that not only does suicide kill the person, but it also hurts and leaves behind the other people in their lives. Personally, I love John Green’s writing style. It changes my perspective on relationships like Miles and Alaska’s. Some things that I really liked about this book were that the sad parts really made me think about my life and actually brought tears to my eyes. Also, I like how there weren’t two characters with the same traits. What I didn’t like about the book is that Alaska’s death was, in a way, predictable. Also, that it was right in the middle of the book. The author could have dragged it out a little longer so that the rest of the book didn’t have recurring subjects. Another thing that was a weakness in the book is that it didn’t have a strong ending, it just all of a sudden ended. With all the events before it, I feel like it could’ve been more intense. Overall, the book has more strongnesses than weaknesses. After reading this, I would definitely read another book by John Green.
  GeorgiaHP3 | Oct 8, 2014 |
The book I read was about a young geeky boy (Miles) that fell in love with a hard to get girl (Alaska). Yet problems occur and depression hits and unfortunately Alaska passes away. The fiction book, “Looking for Alaska” by John Green is about love and reveals that anything can happen at any moment. John Green has stole my heart again and played with emotions over a book. This is a great book but did have me bored at times. His choice of picking such a deep and interesting topic (suicide) to put in a book was very amazing to talk about with young audiences. My favorite parts were definitely the bond between Colonel and Miles. Them meeting at the beginning and sticking with each other throughout the story was very meaningful and sweet. Also the saying “love at first sight” was true in this story for Miles towards Alaska. That boy would not get over that girl since the first encounter at her room and when she passed away it seemed like his life was thrown away. Some of my least favorite parts were probably the just the beginning part. Every beginning of a book kills me a little because i'm not always quite hooked to the story yet, but it didn't take me long with this book to get hooked. I usually always read fiction books about love and friendship, but this book was a deeper look into it.
Overall “Looking for Alaska” by John Green was a appealing fiction book for me and I
highly recommend it to a younger audience. ( )
  FionaGregory123 | Oct 7, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 443 (next | show all)
Miles Halter is a teenager from Florida who likes to read bibliographies and collect last words of famous people. He decided to go to Alabama to finish last two years of his high school education. Miles chooses Culver Creek Preparatory School. His parents are questioning if he decide to go to preparatory school to meet new people and change his boring life style.
Miles instantly became a friend with his roommate Colonel who gave him a nick name Pudge. The Colonel is clever, proud, and financially poor. He is a born leader. Miles got introduced to Alaska Young. She gave his life a new dimension. Alaska is a beautiful, funny, intelligent, and rebellious. Miles falls for Alaska. She became a center of Miles universe.
This book is made using a before and after counting element to build up a grand climax of events. It is an unusual, but effective way of presenting a story. It is a great read. Many teen topics are addressed here: smoking, alcohol consumption and consequences, meaning of life, friendship, belonging, religion, death and dying, grief, and healing.
The author of Looking for Alaska, John Green, made me think about life and our attitude about it. A topic of depression got brought in with Alaska’s behavior. She gave out many times signs that she is suicidal. Her attitude about dying and her struggle with her mother’s passing away was never addressed in a productive way. Her depression was not taken seriously. Consequences are tragic and unbearable.
added by sla3 | editschool review, sla3
 
Miles's narration is alive with sweet, self-deprecating humor, and his obvious struggle to tell the story truthfully adds to his believability.
added by khuggard | editSchool Library Journal, Johanna Lewis
 

» Add other authors (8 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
John Greenprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
McCarthy, LindaCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vandervoort, IreneDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Woodman, JeffNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Dedication
To my family: Sydney Green, Mike Green, and Hank Green
"I have tried so hard to do right."
(last words of President Grover Cleveland)
First words
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.
Quotations
How will I ever get out of this labyrinth!
If only we could see the string of consequences that result from our smallest actions. But we can’t know better until knowing is useless.
When adults say, "Teenagers think they are invincible" with that sly, stupid smile on their faces, they don’t know how right they are. We need never be hopeless, because we are never irreparably broken. We think that we are invincible because we are. We cannot be born, and we cannot die. Like all energy, we can only change shapes and sizes and manifestations. They forget that when they are old. They get scared of losing and failing.
You spend your whole life stuck in the labyrinth, thinking about how you’ll escape it one day, and how awesome it will be, and imagining that future keeps you going, but you never do it. You just use the future to escape the present.
When you're walking at night, do you ever get creeped out and even though it's silly and embarrassing you just want to run home?
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0142402516, Paperback)

New York Times Bestseller

Winner of the Michael L. Printz Award

An ALA Best Book for Young Adults

An ALA Quick Pick

A Los Angeles Times 2005 Book Prize Finalist

A New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age

A 2005 Booklist Editor’s Choice

A 2005 School Library Journal Best Book of the Year

Before. Miles “Pudge” Halter is done with his safe life at home. His whole life has been one big non-event, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave “the Great Perhaps” even more (Francois Rabelais, poet). He heads off to the sometimes crazy and anything-but-boring world of Culver Creek Boarding School, and his life becomes the opposite of safe. Because down the hall is Alaska Young. The gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, self-destructive, screwed up, and utterly fascinating Alaska Young. She is an event unto herself. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart. Then. . . . After. Nothing is ever the same.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:39:48 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Sixteen-year-old Miles' first year at Culver Creek Preparatory School in Alabama includes good friends and great pranks, but is defined by the search for answers about life and death after a fatal car crash.

» see all 5 descriptions

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