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Looking for Alaska by John Green

Looking for Alaska (original 2005; edition 2006)

by John Green

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
11,161578251 (4.17)413
Title:Looking for Alaska
Authors:John Green
Info:Speak (2006), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 256 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:American, Fiction, Young Adult

Work details

Looking for Alaska by John Green (2005)

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» See also 413 mentions

English (565)  Swedish (3)  Spanish (3)  German (2)  Dutch (1)  French (1)  Hungarian (1)  Catalan (1)  All (577)
Showing 1-5 of 565 (next | show all)
This was highly recommended by several authors. I like it so far. There are some seriously LOL moments. It is rare that an author can make me laugh. This one has promise.
Finished, and yes well worth the read. It reminded me of a modern day Catcher in the Rye but with lots more graphic oral sex.
It seems the more and more I read from YA fiction the more graphic the sex gets. WOW! ( )
  annabw | Feb 21, 2017 |
I am a high school English teacher, and after so many of my students raved about how good John Green's books were, I had to check them out - starting, of course, with his first novel, which I read fifteen minutes at a time as my SSR book. I always read with my students during SSR (sustained silent reading) time, and this was an excellent book for me to model my engagement in and love for reading. Every day, I couldn't wait to get to class to see what happens next, and the weekends were torture. I cried, in class, at least twice and laughed out loud many more times. Reading this book for SSR had me feeling like a kid reading before bedtime again - "Please, just five more minutes. I'm almost to the end of Part 1."

So why not five stars? Trust me, I was tempted. I really enjoyed this book. The writing was excellent, and there was a realism to it that I don't get from most YA books. As much as I love Harry Potter and the Hunger Games, their speculative nature makes it difficult for students to really relate to the characters' experiences. My biggest problem with the book was with the female characters, especially since it is always my female students reading John Green. Alaska Young is a complex character - beautiful, of course, but also smart. She is her friend group's calculus tutor (Yay for challenging gender stereotypes!) but also (allegedly) reads like she who dies having read the most books wins. (That's true, right?) She is an unapologetic feminist - and yet, she only seems to have one female friend. Lara is a sweet girl, but we really don't get any development of her as a character. Alaska has no problem betraying Lara, and while one could argue that this is just one of many of Alaska's self-destructive tendencies, it bums me out that Alaska is so flawed (and Lara is so one-dimensional) compared to their male friends.

Also, it was icky how many times it was mentioned that Alaska "loves sex." Don't get me wrong - I know that some teenagers have sex, and Alaska's hypersexuality seems to be a major factor that puts her out of Pudge's league, but I wish that Green had included more dialogue from Alaska applying feminism to her sexuality since these are her dominant character traits. With Lara's and Pudge's inexperience, there were many opportunities for such a conversation. I don't think these traits are necessarily in conflict, but I don't think that their intersection is explored enough for impressionable young female readers. Alaska is wanted by every man; she also loves sex and isn't shy about proclaiming as much. Lara is a very nice girl who doesn't even know what a blowjob is; the men aren't interested in her. Even her boyfriend cheats on her the first chance he gets. Do you see my problem here? ( )
  StefanieBrookTrout | Feb 4, 2017 |
"I go to seek a Great Perhaps"

Miles Halter found his Great Perhaps and then some when he meets Alaska Young at a co-ed boarding school he enrolls at in Alabama. His claim to fame is memorizing famous peoples last words, which he quotes throughout the book. This is a coming of age novel about how Miles "Pudge" searches for himself and his place in the world, and what his beliefs are and how he comes to find the answer to some of life's most difficult questions that we all have to face. I've had this book on my Kindle for a long time but have been reluctant to read it because I was so disappointed by The Fault in our Stars. Luckily, this was nothing like that, far better and I wish I'd read Looking for Alaska before reading The Fault in our Stars so my opinion of John Green wouldn't have had such an awful first impression (did I mention I didn't like The Fault in Our Stars?). It's a quick read, I used it to break up the Game of Throne and the Outlander series' that I've been reading, needed something different and this was the perfect 2 day break. I give it 5 stars and recommend it to anyone of any age, not just YA. I'm now more optimistic about reading more of Green's books.
  JordanAshleyPerkins | Jan 26, 2017 |
I was so reluctant to read this book because I disliked "The Fault In OUr Stars" so muchand was worried they would be simialr, or at least similarly unenjoyable but much to my surprise I thouroughly enjoued"Looking for Alaska". This was a book about "Pudge" who goes to a co-ed boarding school in Alabama in search of his Great Perhaps. There "Pudge" meets Alaska Young, the book reading, sex loving, chain smoking, wine drinking, free spirit who has him from hello, with her story of how her boob got honked over the summer. As I said I didn't think I was going to like this book but I enjoyed it very much, it had some depth and very interesting characters (Pudge's claim to fame was memorizing famous peoples last words). I rated this one 5 stars and read it in a little under a day so I'd recommend it to anyone who wants a good book that won't take them long to read because you're dying to know how it plays out, at least that's how it was for me. ( )
  JordanAshleyPerkins | Jan 26, 2017 |
I read this book for Banned Books Week. I think it was challenged for inappropriate language and sexual nature or something like that. Anyways, it's a mature YA in that aspect. I am an adult that reads much more explicit all the time, but it did surprise me a little. I guess I've forgotten how it is to be a teen, but the author seems really in touch with those years. It made me remember how difficult parts can be. Also, throw in the Alaska situation, and you've got some things to contemplate. I think this is a great story because it kept my interest, but also it shows how life really can change in the blink of an eye. The intended age group doesn't seem to understand that, and we often forget it as adults too. I recommend this book to both groups. It may make you emotional, but for me it wasn't a crying situation like some of John Green's others. ( )
1 vote ToniFGMAMTC | Jan 19, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 565 (next | show all)
This was highly recommended by several authors. I like it so far. There are some seriously LOL moments. It is rare that an author can make me laugh. This one has promise.
Finished, and yes well worth the read. It reminded me of a modern day Catcher in the Rye but with lots more graphic oral sex.
It seems the more and more I read from YA fiction the more graphic the sex gets. WOW
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 editionscalculated
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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