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Looking for Alaska by John Green

Looking for Alaska (original 2005; edition 2006)

by John Green

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10,367544277 (4.19)397
Title:Looking for Alaska
Authors:John Green
Info:Speak (2006), Paperback, 256 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

Looking for Alaska by John Green (2005)

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» See also 397 mentions

English (534)  Swedish (3)  German (2)  Dutch (1)  Spanish (1)  French (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (543)
Showing 1-5 of 534 (next | show all)
The story dint attract me... i stopped in the middle. ( )
  PallaviSharma | May 9, 2016 |
This is about teenage suicide. This is already a distressing, horrible topic and I think if I knew that before I started reading, I would not have read it. I would not recommend it to my teenage so. It is a very emotional ride.

I have previously read The Virgin Suicides and Thirteen Reasons, both excellent novels about a similar topic. From reading samples and reviews before I began, I was prepared for the topic of those books. Having said that, this book is better.

Alaska Young is an adventuresome free spirit. Her closest friends do not really know her, and she wants it that way. She frequently answers with lines such as “I’m unpredictable.” There are frequent mood acting outs, but we never really get to the why of them.

Miles and Chip are roommates at an Alabama boarding school where the novel takes place. Miles is a person with few friends, either at the boarding school or at his home. Roommate Chip has a dysfunctional family and wants to be addressed as Colonel. After introductions, they go to meet Alaska, a girl who has a single room because her roommate was expelled the previous term. As relationships develop, there is a center point of smoking, almost sexual incidents (and one semi-explicit one) and pranks played on other students, each other, or the Eagle, dean of students. A central moral code is emphasized “Never rat,” or its equivalents of never squeal, and never tell. Like someone told on Alaska’s roommate. No one knows who informed on Mary, but Takumi, a new friend, has made it his mission to find out.

In the table of contents there is “Before” and “After.” A suicide divides the book almost in half. The first half is entertaining reading in its descriptions of teenage angst suffered by teenagers trying to survive and establish identities at a boarding school. The second half begins on page 135 with the notification to the student body of a suicide. Predictably depressing descriptions of reactions of class colleagues do not make for entertaining reading.

Pages 216-224 are what makes this book the best of the three mentioned in this review. There is a lot of speculation on the meaning of life delivered through a mechanism of examination of “last words.” I found this to be a very clever device. I used a highlighter on most of these pages and far more than any other part of the book.

Don’t forget to look at the authors endnotes and guide. I found these best examined after taking a couple of days break after finishing the book. They are also entertaining. ( )
  ajarn7086 | May 7, 2016 |
This is not my first John Green book. A few months ago, after hearing endlessly about Green, I picked up Will Grayson, Will Grayson—and I just wasn’t that impressed. It wasn’t terrible, but it was too unbelievable. Too sappy. I didn’t understand. What’s so great about John Green?

And then I read Looking for Alaska.

Looking for Alaska is, without a doubt, one of the best Young Adult books I’ve ever read. I finished it a few days ago, but I’ve been putting off the review because I’m not sure how to do it justice. (And I definitely haven’t.)

Going into the book, I knew very little about it. The synopsis was vague: all I knew was that it involved a boy named Miles (nicknamed “Pudge” by his new roommate, The Colonel) who goes off to boarding school and falls in love with an enigmatic girl named Alaska. And “afterward, nothing is ever the same.”

Well, “afterward” turns out to be Alaska’s very sudden and unexpected death.

I knew that there was going to be an Event—the narration counts down to it—-but it is astounding to me that I was too dense to guess what it was going to be. “Death” is everywhere in this novel—in Pudge’s religion class, in his obsession with last words. (Of course, life, too, is everywhere.)

One night, Alaska enters her dorm room in drunken hysterics, insisting that she needs to leave campus immediately. Pudge and the Colonel let her go without a fight. The next day they find out she’s been killed in a car accident. Wracked with guilt for letting her go, Pudge and the Colonel try to figure out the details of her death. Had it been a suicide? Why had she been so upset?

I’m not normally very affected by characters’ deaths in books—Dumbledore’s is the only one that comes to mind (I cried)—but Alaska’s death really hit me hard. I was getting to know her along with Pudge. Her love of books, her strange talk of despair and escape from “the labyrinth of suffering,” and her sudden mood swings made me want to know more. What was in her past? What troubled her? I was annoyed by her drama and enchanted by her mystery all at once. And when she died, I couldn’t believe it. She was just gone—never again to grace us readers with her appearance within the pages of the book. Never again to divulge a crucial piece of her past during a drunken night in a barn on school grounds.

Looking for Alaska made me think about loss. What happens after death? What’s the meaning of all this suffering? These are questions I’ve asked many times, and I’ve always reach a stalemate and given up. But I feel as though I came to some sort of peace with death along with Pudge. There will always be unresolved questions about life and death, but we don’t always have to feel unresolved in our hearts. Pudge learns to forgive Alaska for leaving him, and he comes to believe that Alaska has forgiven him, even from beyond the grave.

My favorite bit of insight gleaned from Looking for Alaska is the following: that Alaska was more than just her body, or the memories she left in people’s minds, or the effect she had on people. She was all of those things, but she was something else, something specifically Alaska. And that part of a person can survive even death. ( )
  blackrabbit89 | May 6, 2016 |

U potrazi za velikim Mozda Buco je nasao Aljasku,djevojku u sobi prepunoj knjiga, tuznu i zivahnu u isto vrijeme,dala mu je poljubce u noci u kojoj ce nastradati ili se ubiti,nikad nije saznao sta se desilo...i uvijek ce je traziti...negdje... ( )
  ceca78 | Apr 10, 2016 |
Looking for Alaska is a very dramatic book, that captivated me a lot, and even encouraged me to read it more than once. The two main characters share many experiences together, during the course of which, the guy falls head over heels for the girl. For one reason or another, the girl is dating another guy which adds a component of drama to the book. Their friendship is interesting to read about. Tragedy strikes in the book, adding dynamic to it while saddening the reader. This can teach a valuable life lesson: to always appreciate and thank whoever sticks with you as a friend. The ending to the story was a complete plot twist, and I didn't expect it to end that way at all.
  Hayfastutman | Apr 1, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 534 (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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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.
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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:01 -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.

(summary from another edition)

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