reading / writing

Book Review – Looking for Alaska

Two John Green books in less than a week. And probably my last YA book review for awhile (School play for the next two weekends). And if you read my review of Paper Towns, you’ll see that Looking for Alaska didn’t capture me in the same way.

LFA(Blurb from Goodreads)

Before. Miles “Pudge” Halter’s whole existence has been one big nonevent, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave the “Great Perhaps” (François Rabelais, poet) even more. Then he heads off to the sometimes crazy, possibly unstable, 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, who is an event unto herself. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart.

After. Nothing is ever the same.


I gave this four stars and not five (like Paper Towns) simply on a personal level. Green’s dealing with heavy subject matter: death, underage drinking and teen sexuality. I greatly respect him and how he presents these characters. I just didn’t relate. I wasn’t that kid and I don’t understand the need to rebel and go against the school’s rules as Pudge, Alaska, the Colonel and the rest of them do. I didn’t cry either (I say that because others have told me that that was their reaction to the book). I was grateful that consequences were shown for the choices that the characters make. It didn’t glorify their choices or demonize them. It was just real.

I do like that this is often used in schools to deal with such issues as above. That thrills me because it’s hard to find books students want to read that actually mean more than just a love triangle and angst.

I feel bad that this is so short, but it didn’t affect me as much as Paper Towns did.

© ecnewman, 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

4 thoughts on “Book Review – Looking for Alaska

  1. I feel the exact same way about feeling more meh about Looking for Alaska, but totally loving Paper Towns. Looking for Alaska seems more like a collection of good concepts, quotations, and funny incidents instead of a really cohesive narrative, which is not to say I didn’t like it. I just didn’t like it as much as I liked Paper Towns or The Fault in our Stars.

    • I will hopefully be reading TFIOS soonish. I’m very excited because well, I think perhaps why Paper Towns is better (to me) is because John Green has (like all of us writers) improved with experience. So TFIOS should be awesome. And the first bit of TFIOS they put in my copies of Paper Towns and Looking for Alaska totally whetted my appetite for the book.

      And thanks for the validation. I feel rather disloyal that I wasn’t crying my eyes out in Looking for Alaska.

      • Totally understand and agree. Since Looking for Alaska is such a cult classic and John Green is such a great writer it definitely feels like disloyal to admit not LOVING the book. I think you will like TFIOS!

  2. Pingback: Book Review: ‘Looking for Alaska’ by John Green | Ink and Page

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