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Looking for Alaska
Looking for Alaska
Author: John Green
Miles "Pudge" Halter is abandoning his safe-okay, boring-life. Fascinated by the last words of famous people, Pudge leaves for boarding school to seek what a dying Rabelais called the "Great Perhaps." — Pudge becomes encircled by friends whose lives are everything but safe and boring. Their nucleus is razor-sharp, sexy, and se...  more »
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ISBN-13: 9780142402511
ISBN-10: 0142402516
Publication Date: 12/28/2006
Pages: 221
Reading Level: All Ages
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.

4.1 stars, based on 266 ratings
Publisher: Puffin
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio CD
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

texastech avatar reviewed Looking for Alaska on + 71 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 7
Excellent read. Makes an older adult feel young and helps understand the experiences many youth are now going thru as we did as young adults. Michael Printz Award for excellence in Young Adult Literature - American Library Association

Not just for the young, but the middle age and old as well. A great read.
GeniusJen avatar reviewed Looking for Alaska on + 7145 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
Reviewed by Me for TeensReadToo.com

Miles Halter is the type of high-schooler who always faded into the background at his public school in Florida. He had few friends, by choice as much as by fate, and wanted only to study his passion--memorizing the last words of people who had died. After reading the dying words of poet Francois Rabelais, "I go to seek a Great Perhaps", Miles is convinced that there's more to life than what he's so far experienced.

So Miles sets off to spend his junior and senior years at Culver Creek, a private boarding school in Alabama. There he gains his first nickname "Pudge" (a misnomer, by far, since Miles is quite skinny); meets his first love, Alaska Young; has his first sexual encounter with a Romanian girl named Lara; and gains two great male friends, Chip "The Colonel" Martin and Takumi Hikohito. He also experiences the joys and sickness of getting drunk, the strangeness of smoking cigarettes, and the unadulterated pleasure of playing pranks.

Pudge's new group of friends have their own quirks--The Colonel memorizes countries, capitals, and populations; Alaska collects books for her Life's Library that she hasn't yet read; Takumi relishes being The Fox. They all work together to irritate their teachers, avoid confrontation with The Eagle, the school's dean, and pull off pranks against the rich Weekday Warriors that are the popular clique at Culver Creek.

But LOOKING FOR ALASKA is mostly the story of growing up, of falling in love, of dealing with loss, and getting through life as best that you can. With wonderful dialogue, fascinating prose, and characters that are so real you'll think you know them personally, this is a book well worth reading. Not just is it the story of a group of teenagers looking to find their way out of the labryinth of loss, or just the story of finding our Great Perhpas, LOOKING FOR ALASKA is about living the best life that can be led.

I loved this story, and highly recommend it. Once you do, you'll realize it's no surprise that it won the Teen's Top 10 Awards--in fact, it probably deserves more.
reviewed Looking for Alaska on
Helpful Score: 4
Looking For Alaska is one of the books that I would consider a find in a lifetime. I first saw this book for 2 dollars at a store and decided to try it out. Within the first sentence, I was hooked. The story of Pudge and his rag tag team are one in which anyone can relate to. Their life at the boarding school is one that seems like any teenage life. They have fun, break rules, believe that they already know enough to survive in the world and exhibit a vast range of emotions.
When I searched this book on this website, I was surprised by how many people where wishing for it. I have never meet anyone who knew this book. I truly do not want to give up this book but I might put it up so others can enjoy a story I truly teasure.
reviewed Looking for Alaska on + 6 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I read this book because one of my brother's friends told me it was her favorite. (I like reading other peoples' favorites.) To be honest, I really didn't like the book. I thought maybe it would pick up. I'm sure it is geared more towards the angsty teen than an older-than-twenty adult. Maybe I wasn't in the right mindset when I read it, but I thought it was so slow, maybe a little boring, and the end frustrated me. Sure, I will continue reading John Green , but not this book again.
chikken avatar reviewed Looking for Alaska on + 21 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Everyone has it: that one event in their life where the years surrounding it can clearly be defined as "Before" and "After". Welcome to the recount of Miles' Before and After.

Looking for Alaska is a wonderful first novel from John Green. It has been called a "modern day Catcher in the Rye", but it is so much more. It's more likable, more applicable (if that's even possible), and just as poignant of a read. In this novel, join Miles as he leaves his Florida home and regular high school for an Alabama boarding school in search of his "Great Perhaps". At his boarding school, he is immediately surrounded by a diverse group of kids--friends-- who experience life at its best and worst: loves, losses, pranks fit for the history books. It's a book that will have you laughing on one page, and crying ten pages later.

As far as coming of age novels go, this one should not be missed.
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tcollis avatar reviewed Looking for Alaska on + 8 more book reviews
I was unimpressed to say the least. I loved The Fault in Our Stars and thought I'd love this as well. The first half of the book included high schoolers smoking, drinking, swearing, and performing oral sex which I was not interested in nor did I want my child to read.

Now the second half of the book was actually amazing and very well written. I just wished I could've skipped the first part to get to it, but then it wouldn't have made sense.
ophelia99 avatar reviewed Looking for Alaska on + 2527 more book reviews
I have read all of John Greens other books and have had Looking for Alaska forever to read. So, I was excited to finally read it. To be honest it wasnt my favorite John Green book (that honor goes to The Fault in Our Stars, followed by Paper Towns, followed by Will Grayson Will Grayson). However, it was still a very good read.

I listened to this on audiobook and the audiobook was very well done. All the characters voices were easy to distinguish and emotions were portrayed really well too.

Miles Halter is a high school student who is obsessed by last words, he loves to read biographies about authors more than he likes reading the books written by them. Miles big issue is that his whole life has been a bit lot of nothing, he has no friends, no goals. Miles decides that transferring to Culver Creek Boarding School will change all that. And it does. He meets his crazy chain-smoking roommate known as The Colonel. The Colonel introduces him to the funny, beautiful, smart, and slightly insane Alaska Young. Between Alaska and the Colonel, Miles (who is nicknames Pudge in irony of his wiriness) has a decidedly not boring school year.

This was a very well done contemporary YA book. That is basically a coming of age story that deals with issues of teen drinking/smoking, grief, suicide, and sexuality. After reading all of John Greens books and then reading this one you can tell that this was his debut novel. Its a really good book, but it is a little rough around the edges at points.

I loved all of the literary quotes throughout. I also really enjoyed Pudges/Miles obsession with peoples last words. My favorite parts of the story were the pranks the kids pull. There are some pretty darn hilarious pranks in here that had me laughing out loud.

I know there was a lot of controversy over this book when it was released and it was banned in some states/schools. While I hate the idea of banning books, I can understand why people got a little worked up. There is an absolute crapload of drinking, smoking, and sex in this book.

All the kids seem to do well at their classes, this is a group of very smart kids we are reading about here. However they also chain-smoke and drink until they pass out.a lot. At times I would thinkgeez high school wasnt like this when I was in it or I would thinkWow is that what boarding school is really like? I think the behavior in here is pretty extreme for high schoolers. Additionally there are some explicit oral sex scenes and Alaska is absolutely sex-obsessed.

So being completely honest here...reading about people smoking themselves sick, finding new ways to smoke and get away with it, and drinking until they puke really isnt my thing. Yes there is a lot more to the story than that, but there was also a lot of drinking/smoking.

There is a lot of serious meat to the story as well. This is pretty much Miles coming of age story. However, all the characters deal with issues of grief and fitting in. There are a lot of family issues woven into the story (poverty, parents dying). There is also a lot of discussion about suicide and guilt. Ultimately the story is about the painful path that we call life and how to navigate it. This is a very engaging book and it absolutely pulls the reader in. It was hard to stop reading.

Overall a very good coming of age story about teens dealing with fitting in and grief/guilt. To those who dont like reading about a lot of drinking/smoking/puking I might recommend reading one of John Greens other amazing books. If you can get past all of that though this is a very entertaining, engaging and thoughtful book about finding your path in life and dealing with the trials you have to survive to get there.
Yoni avatar reviewed Looking for Alaska on + 321 more book reviews
I'm not sure why I requested this book initially. I don't typically read YA, and this is the second YA book I've read in a row. However, this is an excellent read. The characters are realistic and likeable, the story funny and sad. Well done!

Book Wiki

Miles "Pudge" Halter (Primary Character)
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