May 30, 2010

Review of "Looking for Alaska" by John Green

"Looking for Alaska"
by John Green


Pub. Date:
March 28, 2005

Synopsis: 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.

Looking for Alaska brilliantly chronicles the indelible impact one life can have on another. A stunning debut, it marks John Green’s arrival as an important new voice in contemporary fiction.

"Looking For Alaska" beat all of my expectations, which were extremely high. I had read lots of great reviews of this book and I am so glad I finally picked it up off my bookshelf. One of the things I love about John Green is how realistic his characters are. Sometimes when I read a book I picture the characters being older than their stated age, but I haven't come across this problem reading Green's work. I also loved how each character was very distinct. Chip has a huge personality, while Miles is much quieter. Alaska's mood is all over the place, intimate one moment and uncaring the next.

I really liked how the book was set up in two parts, before and after. I had some guesses to what the before and after was referring to but I was totally wrong. Books like "Looking for Alaska" are the reason that I like to know as little about the plot as possible. I was totally shocked when the turning point of the book happened, but it still made sense.

"Looking for Alaska" is both well written and entertaining. The interactions between the characters are hilarious, but Green also focuses on serious subjects. The book shows the growing pains of being a teenager, from smoking, drinking, pranks, to first sexual experiences. I have to admit that this isn't my favorite John Green book, I liked "Paper Towns" just a little bit more, but I will be reading more of his books. I am so excited that I own "An Abundance of Katherines" already! It looks like there is a movie in the works based off the book with a 2013 release date.

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