Looking For Alaska

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28 reviews with 5 stars
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A Modern Classic
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5.0
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5.0
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Reader reviewed by Gwen Kozak

Looking for Alaska
I had no interest in reading Looking for Alaska by John Green, even when it was forced into my hands by my best friend.  I finished what I was originally reading, and I started to read.  I was immediately hooked into the world that John Green created for his characters.  I did not stop reading until the book was done.  Miles "Pudge" Halter is a braniac and a nerd who has never had any close friends.  He has had no danger in his life until he goes to a boarding school to find where he belongs in life.  He soon finds himself in with a group of people he would normally stay away from, and they become his best friends.  Alaska Young and "The Colonel" are among those that take Pudge under their wing and teach him how to really live. Even when he goes out of his comfort zone, Pudge is happy for once in his life.  After a life changing event, Pudge must learn to live without something he has taken for granted.  Looking for Alaska is a book that you can reread over and over again, and love it every time.
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Awesome book!
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5.0
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Reader reviewed by Jill

I don't even know how to start this review.  First I'll state that I hate all the summaries out there for this book.  They just don't capture the true feeling of the book.  Second I'll state: I LOVED it.  I really did.  It had me laughing at some points and crying at others.  The characters were so real I felt like I knew them personally - like they were my friends.  Miles is made very likable even as he struggles to figure out how to manage the new world he finds himself in.  He messes up and makes some bad choices but that keeps him real.  Sure there were times I disagreed with what he did, but that was me (an adult) shaking my head at the choices of a teenager.  I understood why he made them, I just wished he would've done it differently. 


The organization of the novel adds to the brilliance of the story.  The first part of the books is labeled "before", and the second part is labeled "after", so you know something is going to happen, but you don't know what.  I had no clue what the event was, and I was completely blindsided by it.  For me that was ok because it made me feel what the characters felt.  That connection made my reaction to the story even stronger.  I struggled with them to understand why. As they came to understand it, so did I.  By the end I felt I had learned and grown with them. 



Final thought: A strong story that pushes the reader to face the reality of friendship, love and growing up.


Best stick with you image: The first scene in "after".


Best for ages: 16+  This one is definately for older teens due to language, mature scenes and themes.
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John Green changes YA lit forever
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5.0
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Reader reviewed by Jonathon Arntson

Writing: 5/5 
Originality: 5/5 
Cover: 5/5 
Characters: 5/5 
Reading experience: 5/5 

Candid and prolifically expressive, John Green's "Looking for Alaska" is a first-person novel about a scrawny kid nick-named Pudge. Obsessed with people's last words, Pudge gets inspired to search for the Great Perhaps by transferring to a boarding school in Alabama, similar to the one the author attended. While Miles, 'Pudge', searches for this Great Perhaps, he encounters some well-rounded and vividly three dimensional characters. First, we meet his roommate Chip, 'the Colonel', a short, stocky and cocky poverty-stricken scholarship student from downstate. Through the Colonel, we meet Alaska, who cannot be described in a few words, though Green does a fantastic job throughout the novel. We also meet a few other characters who keep the book grounded, while providing an intense dramatic foil for Pudge, Alaska, and the Colonel, further popping them off the page. 
The first two-thirds of the book are chapters titled by the days left until the After. Although you are wondering what the After is, Green's cleverly crafted plot keeps you distracted and entertained enough to not peek. While this is a precarious tactic for an author to choose, we often find ourselves a rabbit with a carrot hanging an inch from our nose, Green uses techniques otherwise complex and simplifies them. He uses homework assignments and school pranks as a catalyst for blossoming friendships, rivalries, and complicating Miles search for the Great Perhaps, and I ate it up. 
I cannot talk about the After. Not because it would be a spoiler, but because Green's writing is so exemplary, I almost feel incongruous just mentioning his finale, even though this is a review. 
I wish I had read this years ago, but I put it off until this week. I strongly recommend this book and, in fact, I urge both young adults and adults to read this novel. You will find yourself in a pursuit for knowledge yourself, and while it may not be the Great Perhaps, "Looking for Alaska" will certainly get your juices flowing.


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One of the Best Books I've Ever Read!!!!
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5.0
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Reader reviewed by Ashley

Looking for Alaska is about a boy named Miles who is fasinated with people's last words. Name a (dead) person, he'll tell you their last words. But Miles isn't happy with his life in Florida, where he can't find the Great Perhaps. Instead, he chooses to go to boarding school in Alabama where he meets Alaska. Alaska is beautiful, funny, witty, and slightly messed up. A girl like this might actually help him find the Great Perhaps and the answer to getting out of the labyrinth.




By far this is one of my favorite books. It kept me mesmerized with the story as unexpected turns were taken. This book was a real eye opener, and has definitely changed the way I look at things. I'd recommend Looking for Alaska to anyone!

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Such a Twist...
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5.0
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Reader reviewed by Brittany Leigh

Looking for Alaska by John Green might be one of my favorite books of all time.

Here's the jist...Miles, the male lead, is a teen obsessed with people's last words. Actors, writers, presidents...you give him a name and, if they have passed, he will know their famous last words.

I guess you could say that Miles wasn't the most popular boy in school. So when he meets Alaska Young, a wild, carefree girl, at his new boarding school, his life gets turned upside down.

He and his new friends have good times and bad times. But it's the worst time that has him and a few friends wondering what happened on a night that no one at Culver Creek Boarding School will ever forget.
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My all time favorite
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5.0
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Reader reviewed by Chantel

Green did it with this heart stopping novel.
It leaves with you heart ripped in two.
Unanswered question that leave you relating the story to life all the time.
Will anyone ever understand what really happen to Alaska, does she want you to know?
Will Pudge go on without her?
READ IT
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Best debut novel ever!
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5.0
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5.0
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Reader reviewed by MssJos

What I like about Green's male protagonists is that they aren't jocks, captain of the football team, wizards, invisible, or extraordinary in any particular way (well except for maybe being child prodigies or having memorized every famous persons' last words). Other than though, they are typically completely regular guys who are in search of something. In Miles "Pudge" Halter's case, he is looking for the "Great Perhaps."

While I wasn't completely sure what the "Great Perhaps" was, and for that matter, neither was Miles, I was surely hoping he would find it at Culver Creek private school which happens to also be in the state where I live. (that's probably tmi for a blog but it's a big state so I feel okay about it).

Though the Great Perhaps eluded Miles for the majority of the novel, he did make his first real friend, take his first drink, smoke his first cigarette, and have his first sexual encounter. So it was a big year for Miles. Through Miles, Green reminds us what it was like when we first started letting our parents' voices fade into the background, making our own decisions (some good...some not so good) and living our own lives.

At Culver Creek, Miles meets Alaska Young, a beautiful but deeply troubled young woman who leaves a severe impression on everyone she meets. Alaska reminds me of an ancient Chinese proverb that states:


"Life is like a peice of paper, on which every passerby leaves a mark."

After meeting and befriending Alaska, Miles changes a great deal throughout the novel, sometimes in ways that might make parents reconsider sending their children to private school. But underneath it all, he remains an intelligent, believable, likable, confused young man. If you liked Laurie Halse Anderson's Twisted, and J.D. Salinger's Catcher in the Rye, you will enjoy Green's characters.

Looking for Alaska was a wonderful read and again, another great male perspective ya novel. Green's depiction of teenage dialogue is 100% authentic. Green accurately depicts how truly screwed up being a teenager can be and how the power of friendship can change your life forever. Alaska's intensity, and Miles' need for it, keep the pages of the novel turning rapidly.
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Awesome Read!!!
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5.0
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5.0
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Reader reviewed by katie

The book, Looking for Alaska, is a reading that opens your eyes to the reality of teenage life. Suicide, drinking, and smoking are all scary things that happen in high school. Instead of saying everything is all good if you just say no, the author, John Green, shows what really happens and the pain of it all. High-schoolers who are looking for an adventure would enjoy this book. Looking for Alaska is also a good read for people who are getting over the death of someone close. The points made in Looking for Alaska on death are ones you can relate to. I think what really makes this book stand out from others is that it doesn't have a happy ever after ending. It is sensible and stays true to its genre, realistic fiction. Overall I recommend this book to people who want an emotional story that makes you start to think.
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One of the most influential books EVER!
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5.0
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Reader reviewed by Kayla (Midnight Twilight)

Miles is looking for the "Great Perhaps", this is why he moves to a boarding school called Culver Creek. Here he finds a zany group of friends, "The Colonel" (Miles roommate who gave him the ironic name of "Pudge"), Takumi, and the most influential person, Alaska Young. Alaska buys the cigarettes and booze then sells them to the boys, this starts Miles' bad habits. Alaska is also very good at pranks, so is the Colonel. This may cause Miles more trouble, but he loves Alaska, so he'll take whatever comes at him. But when something goes wrong everyones lives are changed forever.

This book was amazing. It will make you laugh and make you cry many times (at least that's what happened to me.) John Green has become one of my new favorite authors. The characters are very well written and seem down to earth, and the plot keeps you fully attentive. I think this is one of the best coming-of-age books ever!
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Wow...
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5.0
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Reader reviewed by Kristin

When I first read the inside flap of Looking for Alaska, I was a bit confused because it didn't really make any sense. That didn't stop me from continue reading the book because I heard it was awesome.

And it was.
Nothing short of awesomeness.

Okay, so I didn't enjoy the language or some of the things they did, but I truly enjoyed it. The main character--totally spaced on his name--was very relateable. However, I can only wish to have such exciting, charismatic friends like Colonel and especially Alaska. Plus, the pranks were totally awesome!

The climax of the book hit me like a raging bus. I was in shock. I should have picked up the clues, but...However, I felt pain when it happened.

John Green wrote a spectacular book--that's all I can say before I spoil anything.
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