Looking for Alaska by John Green
My Rating: 5 Stars!
Cover Rating: 6/10 I really like this cover. I like the simplicity of it, but I feel like something different could have been done. It does fit with the story, but I feel like there are elements that could have been played with a lot more.
Publish Date: December 28th, 2006
Number of Pages: 221
Received: from a friend
“Before. Miles Halter is fascinated by famous last words—and tired of his safe life at home. He leaves for Culver Creek boarding school to seek what the dying poet François Rabelais called “The Great Perhaps.” Much awaits Miles at Culver Creek, including clever, beguiling, and self-destructive Alaska Young, who will pull Miles into her labyrinth and catapult him into the Great Perhaps.
After. Nothing will ever be the same.
Looking for Alaska brilliantly chronicles the indelible impact one life can have on another. A modern classic, this stunning debut marked #1 bestselling author John Green’s arrival as a groundbreaking new voice in contemporary fiction.”
Opening Sentence: “The week before I left my family and Florida and the rest of my minor life to go to boarding school in Alabama, my mother insisted on throwing me a going-away party.”
This book feels like an odd one to review, because I loved it yes, but also it became something I could related to on a level that was deeper then most books I have read, but not in a way that makes it one of my all time favorites. More in a way that makes it a book that will always be remembered and a part of my life’s journey.
Some of you know that I’ve just gone through a breakup. When I first started reading this book it reminded me a lot of the person I was with. It was lighter in the beginning, funny, and sometimes serious too.. but that just kinda felt like who we were as a couple. Then, Alaska died and it broke my heart and as I was reading this quite slowly, my boyfriend broke up with me without a word and became as much a ghost as Alaska. It felt so raw to read this story where two guys look for answers for why she died while I looked for answers I would never find for why he left me. Finishing this book felt like saying goodbye to a guy I was convinced I loved and who loved me for good. In a way it’s helped the healing.
What I Loved:
The Humor. The humor in this book was amazing. It had some of the best one-liners I’ve read and some of the situations that arise with all the pranks make for some grade-A comedy. Except where the prank where a lot of Alaska’s books were destroyed.. that was no joking matter….
The important stuff. Even though this book was funny it also talked about heavy topics, Suicide, depression, grief, religion, and philosophical questions. Looking for Alaska is a hard hitter emotionally, but the humor bits break it all up nicely.
Alaska was a raging feminist. Alaska was a storm. That’s for sure. She was beautiful to Miles. She was the mastermind behind the best pranks and some days you’d talk to her and she’d say something cool and sometimes you’d talk to her and she’d make you feel like you’ve entered the loony bin (at least that’s how I felt like reading her conversations).
Takumi Rap GOD. I know that this is a book and it could have been written and rewritten to make it sound amazing, but I like to think that Takumi’s raps just come from a divine being. He’s just blessed to have the words come easy to him. Also in general I really loved this character. He was so cool to read about.
Everyone had their own thing. Each character had their own gift of sorts. Miles with the last words. Takumi with his rap skills. Alaska with her pranks. And so on. It was really cool to read and see everyone had their own thing that made them unique and in turn it made them memorable and they all had their own spotlight in the story.
Looking for Alaska destroyed me. I thought going into the book that it would end a certain way. I was very wrong. But in a way I was angry that Miles fell for Alaska in the first place. She was dating someone else. That should have been enough for him to stay away, but he didn’t and in so many ways Alaska led him on and because of all this her death destroyed Miles and me along with him. This is where the strongest connection with the pain of my break up lies. The looking back. Trying to hold on to beautiful memories. Realizing that it doesn’t matter why, I have no choice, but to let go. I felt all the emotions Miles felt acutely. But I didn’t have the luxury of knowing if all these emotions were just for what I’d lost or partially because of another even more difficult thing with my dad having had a stroke. Either way, this book will always be in my memories as being part of a journey of once beautiful happiness that led up to a lot of hurt.
Looking for Alaska is an amazing read that I highly recommend. This review became really personal, but it really couldn’t be helped with how it was read. This wasn’t the story I thought it would be, but I enjoyed it all the more for it.
About the Author
John Green is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Looking for Alaska, An Abundance of Katherines, Paper Towns, The Fault in Our Stars, and Turtles All the Way Down. He is also the coauthor, with David Levithan, of Will Grayson, Will Grayson. He was the 2006 recipient of the Michael L. Printz Award, a 2009 Edgar Award winner, and has twice been a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Green’s books have been published in more than 55 languages and over 24 million copies are in print. John is also an active Twitter user with more than 5.4 million followers.
Thanks for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below.
-Till next time!