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Looking for Alaska by John Green

Looking for Alaska (original 2005; edition 2006)

by John Green

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
9,079481330 (4.24)386
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 386 mentions

English (471)  German (2)  Spanish (2)  Swedish (2)  Dutch (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (479)
Showing 1-5 of 471 (next | show all)
I just want to start this review by saying – please don’t hate me. I know that lovers of John Green and nerdfighters can get very defensive if anyone bashes him or his books, so luckily I’m not really about to do that. But I did only give Looking for Alaska 3 stars. So I say again, please don’t hate me.

I’m actually a huge fan of John Green. I love watching vlogbrothers videos, and overall I just love what he does. He’s great at making nerds like me feel proud of nerd life ;) So, now that my love of John Green has been established, on to the review!

A quick overview for anyone who doesn’t know what this novel is about: A teenager named Miles (or “Pudge” as his friends call him) attends a new boarding school where he meets the intelligent and screwed-up Alaska. He is fascinated by her, and Alaska, Pudge and a small group of friends become really close. Then an event occurs that separates the novel into Before and After, and this changes their lives forever. What oh what could it be? You’ll have to read to find out! Or just read a spoiler filled summary or something… :|

Overall I would have to say this book was really good and I wrote down some amazing quotes, because let’s face it, John Green knows how to write. The story was beautiful and tragic, and I can see why so many people like it. I on the other hand didn’t feel a lot of the hype that this book has generated. There are a couple of reasons why I think this is. First, although Alaska is an interesting character, I didn’t particularly like her. Okay that sounds a little harsh. I did sorta like her at certain parts, but most of the time she kind of annoyed me. I think another aspect of the book that led to a less than great rating was the “insta-love” that occurred once Pudge saw Alaska. I’m not overly opposed to insta-love. Quite the contrary, I actually enjoy a good corny love story as much as the next gal, but sometimes it just gets tiring. Especially when you are expecting so much more than that.

I found that the first part of the novel, or the Before part, was somewhat slow and this book didn’t really hook me in right away. However, I think the After part was where it really shone. While I was reading the second half I could see why everyone loved it so much. If you’ve already read this book and you know what happened, you may think I’m strange to like the sadder part of the book better than the happier part, but what can I say? It was just better. This second half was where I got a lot of nice quotes and it is this part that earned the 3 stars, meaning that I do like the book.

I think with Looking for Alaska the big thing for me was that I was expecting more. I love John Green and I think he is hilarious and extremely smart. Along with the fondness I have for the author, the hype and raving reviews that this book has received made me expect so much more than it actually was. I hate to say it but I did not love this book. But I did like it. I would still recommend it to anyone looking for a good YA fiction novel because most of the population seems to really love this book. You probably will too! ( )
  ceecee83 | Feb 28, 2015 |
I have to say that this is the raunchiest of John Green's books that I have read. I would let my 14 year old read The Fault in Our Starts and Paper Towns but not this one. That being said, I really liked it. As usual John green has you laughing out loud on one page and crying at the next. ( )
  michele.juza | Feb 25, 2015 |
An amazing book. Just perfect. It is all about figuring your way out of the labyrinth, figuring why they got out and what more to add when you are here. ( )
  durgaprsd04 | Feb 25, 2015 |
I liked reading "Looking For Alaska" because I usually like the style of John Green's writing. His stories are books that I can usually relate to in someway. Previously, I read "The Fault in Our Stars" which I really liked and which made me want to read more of his books.
A boy, Miles, goes to Culver Creek Boarding School and meets 4 new friends there: Takomi, The Colonel "Chip", Lara, and Alaska. Miles was instantly attracted to Alaska, and once she passes away it was very hard for Miles. Miles and his friends were trying to investigate her death, they wondered if drunk driving was the only reason she had died.
Overall, this book was an exciting adventure that had funny pranks and laughs along with sadness and a lot of unexpected turns in event. Although there were some dull moments, I still really enjoyed reading this book.
  syke14 | Feb 24, 2015 |
This book was given to me by a friend who loves John Green, in exchange for a book I love, The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch.
I'll be honest here and say I do not think much of the Young Adult novel and when I started this book I came into thinking there would be teenage angst, drama and romantic entanglement. There was, but I kept reading. I kept reading when I thought "So you feel like an outsider, your past is screwed up, you grew up in a home different from other people, you're not sure what to do with your emotions, what teenagers hasn't?" I specifically had the feeling that two years away from thirty I was too old to understand or care about these characters problems, much how I felt about the character's of Lev Grossman's The Magicians. By the end of that book I hated the main character and haven't picked up the second book since. When I reached the second part of this novel I had begun to care without realizing and that's when John Green twists the knife. I cared because suddenly there problem wasn't ones that I felt like I haven't had to deal with in at least a decade but one that everyone has to go through. If an author can do that, then maybe I need to reassess my opinion of Young Adult novels or at least ones written by John Green. ( )
  FourOfFiveWits | Feb 23, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 471 (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?
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(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.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 5 descriptions

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