Friday, November 22, 2013

Looking for Alaska - John Green

Summary: 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.
Cover art and summary from

My Review: Miles Halter is in need of a change. Though smart, Miles is shy and awkward and has difficulty making friends. With great persistence he convinces his parents to let him enter his junior year at an Alabama boarding school.  Once on the boarding school campus Miles life is drastically altered. His roommate, Colonel, and the girl down the hall, Alaska, take him under their wings and suddenly Miles has friends. Miles has always walked the straight and narrow whereas Colonel and Alaska are wild, full of pranks and enjoy smoking and drinking. Yet the friendship develops quickly and is intense.

The book begins with a count down, though the reader is unsure what exactly is being counted down towards. I won’t say either as that information would give away a pivotal moment in the plot line. About two-thirds of the way through the story the count down hits zero and the the event happens which changes everything. The rest of the book is about the after, as Miles and his new found friends search for answers and meaning in life.

This is a wonderful coming-of-age story. It is about teens exploring their individuality, fighting against the currant. It is a story of life and how it feels so indestructible at that age. It is a story about finding meaning in life. It is about overcoming obstacles and making friends, being yourself, exploring emotions. Green brilliantly captures the feelings and emotions of this period of life in his realistic characters. You’ll definitely laugh, you’ll probably cry, and you’ll close the cover with a profound message and some new literary friends that won’t soon be forgotten.

My Rating: 4 Stars

To Sum it up: A realistic coming-of-age story exploring a difficult topic – human mortality.

Sensitive Readers: This one contains drinking, smoking, swearing and sexual exploration. Recommended for 9th grade and up.

Read Kari's review here:


Nidhi Mahajan said...

I also really liked this book. Great review! Keep writing!

Neha said...

This book is really entertaining and leaves the reader enthralled. The characters are truly amazing and the reader gets connected to them. Especially the strong character of the protagonist, Alaska Young. This book is definitely worth and read and never fails to make you laugh, smile or cry.


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