Thursday, May 19, 2011

Review: Looking for Alaska by John Green

Looking for AlaskaTitle: Looking for Alaska
Author: John Green
Publisher: Penguin
Pages: 221

Miles Halter is fascinated by famous last words and tired of his safe life at home. He leaves for boarding school to seek what the dying poet Francois Rabelais called the "Great Perhaps." Much awaits Miles at Culver Creek, including Alaska Young. Clever, funny, screwed-up, and dead sexy, Alaska will pull Miles into her labyrinth and catapult him into the Great Perhaps. (

It's John Green Week! Yay!

Looking for Alaska  was thought-provoking and very well written! John Green has exceeded my expectation with a great debut novel. And to think I had pretty high expectations due to all the hype and recommendations received for this particular book.

Readers are easily captivated through the use of unique structure; John Green has cleverly divided the book into two sections, before and after, with each chapter acting as a countdown leading to some kind of event, “one-hundred and thirty-six days before.” This leave the readers inquiring what will happen in 136 days and the only way to find out is to read! He has also done a fantastic job with character development, with vivid, real, complex descriptions. Miles, aka Pudge, is an average guy who is driven by his new friends to discover the “Great Perhaps.” Readers can quickly identify with Pudge and his desire to seek bigger and better things.

John Green also pulls the reader in with the use of beautiful language. For example, to quote one of my favorite lines, “But I lacked the courage and she had a boyfriend and I was gawky and she was gorgeous and I was hopelessly boring and she was fascinating. So I walked back to my room and collapsed on the bottom bunk, thinking that if people were rain, I was drizzle and she was a hurricane,” (89). This metaphor really allows the reader to visualize and explore the characters even further.

As  I read, I continued to draw connections between Looking for Alaska and Going Bovine. Both protagonists go out in search of something better, as they start out as average, almost invisible teenagers. Though Pudge does not have a deathly disease like Cameron, both boys set out on a journey of self-discovery. However, Looking for Alaska is much more realistic than Going Bovine. On a side note, for some reason, I pictured the Pudge’s roommate and best friend, the Colonel, and Cameron’s tag-along teenage dwarf friend, Gonzo, as similar, though I am not entirely sure why.

I absolutely loved this book and I recommend it to anyone who wants a great, thought-provoking read. Although I have heard this is John Green's best book, I look forward to being impressed with my next read, An Abundance of Katherines.


1 comment:

  1. Hey, I'm glad you enjoyed Looking for Alaska :)
    I read An Abundance of Katherines and although it is very slow-paced that conclusion is absolutely stunning. I hope you will enjoy it :)

    Nickey @ The Book Shop Assistant


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