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.
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.
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.
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.
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.