June 22, 2015

Review: Looking for Alaska by John Green

Title: Looking for Alaska
Author: John Green
Published: December 28, 2006
Publisher: Speak / Penguin Books USA
Paperback: 221 pgs

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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" even more. 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 Alaska, nothing is ever the same.

This is the third novel I've read by John Green, and I can't say that I'm disappointed in the least. I truly thought that after The Fault in our Stars, nothing would ever be as good, but I was wrong. Looking for Alaska is one of those stories that, once you've turned the last page, you want to begin reading all over again just to make sure you didn't miss anything crucial. It's a book that will transport you back to your high-school days (if you're not still there) and remind you of all the ways you felt life was so dramatic and important -- that weren't so important at all.

I took a particularly keen interest in this book because I went to boarding school myself. Much like Pudge (our main character), I thought that going away to school would give me some great sense of adventure -- some "great perhaps". I believed that the world was just out there waiting for me to experience it and I couldn't wait to get the journey started. And like Pudge, I made some incredible lifelong friends along the way -- friends that I could tell everything too, play pranks with, and develop a deep appreciation for the ways we were all different and yet every one of us the same.

And like Pudge -- I had my own "before" and "after". Meeting Alaska is the turning point in Pudge's life. She is the girl he will fall hard for, breathe for, think non-stop about, and love harder than anyone else in his life. Meeting Alaska opens his eyes to a new world -- one where he could stop memorizing the last words of other people, and begin living his own life.

There's not too much more I can say about this novel without giving away some spoilers, so I will end it with this. Looking for Alaska is such an incredible read. It's about looking for yourself, looking for your friends, looking for love, looking for life, and looking for where you fit in in this world. You'll be sad when it's over, and yet, ready to take on the "great perhaps" in your own life.

5 out of 5 stars.


  1. I've only read The Fault in Our Stars (which I LOVED) but all my friends who have read John Green's books tell me that Looking for Alaska is my favourite. That, combined with your review, has me sure I need to check this book out soon! Nice review :)

    Zareena @ The Slanted Bookshelf

  2. Good to hear you liked it. I think that John Green has a special way of creating realistic and intelligent characters, which is a bit rare to see!


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