Sorry it's taken me soo long to post this, i just haven't had the time.
Looking for Alaska by John Green gets a 3/5.
"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. "
The characters in this book were, to me, not very developed. All the people seemed kinda whiny and Alaska Young didn't seem like the strong character she was meant to be. I really couldn't stand "The Colonel" who seemed like everything was the end of the world. Pudge's character seemed to be really whiny, and he didn't really go through a transition fase of being at home then being there. (Who would really wanna spend their school year at boarding school?)
The plot was okay, I didn't expect the twist that happened to happen. I did like the setting, although they did whine to much about the weather.
Miles Halter (Pudge), the novel's protagonist, is fifteen years old and what parents and teachers would call a good kid. He's chicken-legged skinny, undeniably bright, and a bit of an idealist at heart. In addition to having a penchant for remembering famous figures' last words, Miles gets wrapped up in the significance of those words enough to leave his sheltered home in Florida in order to seek out Rabelais's Great Perhaps --- which oddly enough, translates into going to boarding school in rural Alabama.
There, he befriends a ragtag group of early teens, including his boisterous roommate, appropriately nicknamed the Colonel; Takumi, the soft-spoken and musically inclined Japanese whiz kid; Lara, the gorgeous and mild-mannered Romanian; and Alaska, the sexy, fly-by-the-seat-of-her-pants leader of the group. For a while, not much happens to push the plot along aside from these characters' occasional mischief, i.e. getting busted for smoking cigarettes on campus, drinking liquor in their dorm rooms, sneaking out after curfew, and the like --- harmless behavior with harmless consequences.
Alaska Young's death. In an up-close and personal manner, the details of Alaska's last moments are chronicled through the eyes of Miles and his pals as they struggle to understand how something so unthinkable could have happened in their intimate community. Was it an accident, or did she kill herself in a selfish attempt to plow her way out of the labyrinth? Could her friends have stopped her, knowing what they knew about her past? Would life ever be the same, now that Alaska was dead?
This novel was good just not great. I felt the author, John Green, didn't capture teenagers all that well. The characters weren't very believable and it just didn't do it for me. I would of thought the reason for what had happened to Alaska would of been something really big. Mind-blowing big. But it was just about something she had forgotten. I don't think I'll be reading another one of his books.
I think that what makes Looking For Alaska such a different and refreshing young adult novel is that the narrator although seemingly ordinary and normal has his own quirks& like his ability to remember peoples last words. This ability is obviously connected to the novel and is used to foreshadow and prepare readers for certain tragedy but it makes Miles Halter or Pudge interesting. Miles is a bored teenager who looking for more to life convinces his parents to let him go to a boarding school in Alabama known as Culver Creek. Miles soon realizes that Culver Creek is nothing like home in Florida when he quickly befriends his room mate named Chip or as he prefers to be called the Colonel. The colonel introduces him to the infamous and notorious Alaska who is beautiful inside and out. Her only flaw is her recklessness and Miles cant help but fall in love, the only problem is shes already taken. With friends like Alaska, the Colonel, he learns important life lessons like the pain of love, the strength in loyalty, the power of friendship and the hope that rises from tragedy. I loved this novel for its ending, which I thought, did the book more justice. The ending of the novel probably the last three pages were the best, satisfying without getting corny endings Ive read in a while.