Monday, January 23, 2012

Review: Looking for Alaska by John Green

Publisher: Puffin
Publishing Date: March 3rd, 2005
Genre: YA, Contemporary
Pages: 221 pgs
ISBN: 9780142402511

Rating: 5 stars

Summary from GoodReads

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.
My Review: 
I had never read anything by John Green and recently I have discovered his YouTube channel: Vlogbrothers.  I couldn't get enough of the Green brothers.  They are charismatic and so informative.  My husband and I sat down and watching video after video after video and it was at this point that I decided that it was imperative that I read one of his novels.  I had Looking for Alaska already on my Kobo and so I figured that was a good place to start.  Green's writing does not disappoint!  He is just as charismatic and eloquent in his books as he is on his videos.  This book is a story about Miles, a teen boy who makes the decision to go to boarding school.  The novel takes place over his first year at boarding school and is centered on the relationships he builds over the school year.  I loved Miles!  Throughout the course of his narration he seems to just tell it like it is.  The description of his going away party was both a little sad and hilarious all at the same time.  I felt a bit bad for him but at the same time the way the book is written makes it humorous and interesting. I also loved that Miles can quote any famous person's last words.  It fit into the storyline perfectly but I also found it fascinating to learn about all these famous last words.   I wasn't quite sure what to make of Alaska Young.  Miles becomes infatuated with his peer and over time he develops a friendship with her.  I couldn't quite understand what her deal was.  At times she seemed to be so interested in Miles while at others she couldn't stop talking about her boyfriend who is mostly absent throughout the novel.  She seems intent on living life dangerously and in the end this becomes her downfall.  I do not want to give too much of the storyline away but I have to admit that I kind of figured it out before it happened.  This didn't make the novel any less enjoyable.  My favourite part of the book were all the little nuances that Green adds to his characters and plot lines.  I have to say that I am really excited to read my new copy of the newest Green book, The Fault in Our Stars.  Overall, I give this book 5 out of 5 and I highly recommend that you go out and pick this novel up if you don't already have it. 

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