Thursday, March 20, 2014

Looking for Alaska by John Green

Title: Looking for Alaska

Author: John Green

Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group

Date Published: March 28, 2005

Genre: YA fiction, romance, realistic fiction

Pages: 272 (hardback--Barnes and Noble Special edition)

Age Range: 17+ (for mature content and language)


First drink
First prank
First friend
First girl
Last words

Miles "Pudge" Halter is abandoning his safe-okay, boring-life. Fascinated by the last words of famous people, Pudge leaves for boarding school to seek what a dying Rabelais called the "Great Perhaps."
Pudge becomes encircled by friends whose lives are everything but safe and boring. Their nucleus is razor-sharp, sexy, and self-destructive Alaska, who has perfected the arts of pranking and evading school rules. Pudge falls impossibly in love. When tragedy strikes the close-knit group, it is only in coming face-to-face with death that Pudge discovers the value of living and loving unconditionally.


The book is good in the beginning, though it is rather slow moving because of John Green's descriptive writing style. I loved John Green's, The Fault In Our Stars so I thought this book would be just as fantastic. The characters are interesting, but immature while trying to act mature. The writing is good, slow, as I said before, because of the style of writing.

This is a mature novel. I haven't read such an inappropriate book before. It actually shocked me. I want to know how this is even categorized as a young adult novel. I understand how on a lot of points, but usually books with this kind of content is categorized as "new adult."

Smoking, drinking, and getting back at other students (pranking) seems to be the main focus for these teens. Though each teen has something they're going through, some sort of emotional suffering. I found all the characters interesting enough to keep turning the pages and find out the book's ending. John Green added his own personal experiences to this novel--if you get the Barnes and Noble edition of this book you can read his interview--which I liked. I always enjoy it when an author puts some of their own experiences and thoughts into their books.

There are sex references, drug references, the possibility of suicide (you are unsure if one of the characters committed suicide or if the death was an accident), and mature content that I wish not to go into.

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