young adult book reviews & more

Looking for Alaska by John Green

Looking for AlaskaMiles Halter is sick of not having a life, so he leaves boring Florida for Culver Creek Boarding School in Alabama in search of the Great Perhaps, a desire for something more to life inspired by the last words of poet François Rabelais. And Culver Creek is all Miles, ironically nicknamed Pudge, has been looking for because there, Pudge has genuine friends and an introduction to the wilder side of life via Alaska Young. Alaska is the most beautiful, enigmatic, fascinating, ingenious, mysterious, and dangerous girl Pudge has ever met, so it’s no wonder she steals Pudge’s heart and changes his entire perception of life. And it’s no wonder, after everything is said and done, that Pudge cannot alter the terrible greatness that is Alaska.

A beautiful tale of love and loss, life and death, Looking for Alaska succeeds in being hilarious, heart wrenching, and profound. Green’s realistically portrayed characters are so well created and placed that they become more than just words on paper, particularly the enigma that is Alaska. Alaska is the type of girl everyone loves to hate but don’t, and he sometimes impulsive and elusive behavior embodies the exploration and some of the greatest questions that I feel are at the heart of what it means to be a teenager. It’s not just about eh cigarettes, booze, and defying authority; it’s about learning to live, with the past and as oneself, and doing something right in one’s own view. This is a novel so soul searching of two amazing characters, primarily through narrator Pudge and indirectly Alaska. It asks and attempts to answer some of the most difficult questions about life and identity in a way that will stimulate readers’ minds. Reading this novel will give readers a greater understanding and appreciation for living.

I know great writing when I see it, and Looking for Alaska most definitely fits this category. I’d rate it among some of the all time best teen literature I’ve ever read. Fans of this novel will also enjoy the similar and less tragic Paper Towns also by John Green, The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart, Cracked Up to Be by Courtney Summers, and Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher.

Rating: 5.0

Review copy borrowed

9 munch(es) :

Emily said...

God I love this book. And John Green. *swoons*

Thao said...

I got it but haven't had time to read this book yet. It sounds so awesome.

Janssen said...

This man can write. I think this book is far and away the best of his books, however. I hope he writes something to match this one at some point.

Amelia said...

I heart John Green. His writing is awesome, he's super funny (vlogbrothers!) and let's face it he's a dreamboat.

anotherpageisused said...

I love John Green.

And Looking for Alaska happens to be my favorite book by him(:


Anonymous said...

This is the best book I have ever read. I need other books as good as this.

Michelle said...

Jon Green is da man. I love his books.

Kelly said...

Wow, lots of folks are ranking this as one of their all time faves. I've read Paper Towns & Abundance of Katherines but now I realize I *need* to read this one as well!

Tess said...

This book changes your life. It isn't the typical "let's pretend to understand teenagers and simmulate what they would think." John Green brilliantly depicted what a teenager thinks and feels and accurately describes situations. For anyone who needs a book that will move them and make them fall in love with reading all over again should read this book. It is amazing and I cannot praise it enough. I've re-read it 7 times and love it more everytime.

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