Alaska Young, Gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, screwed up – and utterly fascinating. Miles Halter could not be more in love with her. But when tragedy strikes, Miles discovers the value and the pain of living and loving unconditionally.
First line of the book: “Everybody was sitting on sleeping bags, Alaska smoking with flagrant disregard for the overwhelming flammability of the structure, when Colonel pulled out a single piece of computer paper and read from it.”
Title: Looking for Alaska
Author: John Green
My edition: A paperback from HarperCollins Children’s Books from 2011, with 263 pages. (First published in 2005).
Age: Young Adult (16+)
Genres: Realistic Fiction, Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Mystery, Coming of Age
WHY THIS BOOK
I was, like a lot of others bit by the John Green-bug and wanted to read more of his work after reading “The Fault in Our Stars”. Looking for Alaska was another book I’d heard about that John Green had written, and I wanted to check it out. Normally when I read, it doesn’t take me long to finish a book, I normally read them within weeks after purchasing them, but this time it was different.
The story is kind of similar to “The Fault in our Stars”, only different. Miles Halter is that socially awkward guy who has some really weird quirks, but he gets around, because, well, he’s from a John Green novel. The plot is boring, I mean, we follow Miles to boarding school, where he’s bunked up with this other weird kid, and it’s just super strange. Because it’s just about his classes and his weird friends. It was boring, I wanted more. Especially after reading the fault in our stars, which was filled with those normal teenage angst kind of things, but it was also all about those other things like love and sickness and everything in between. It gave me more than this book, and it was kind of sad.
The writing is normal John Green style. It’s informative and it’s youngish. I mean, it’s clearly a young adult book. And it has the same style as The Fault In Our Stars. I really had a hard time reading this book, and the only thing that kept me from stopping was the fact that John Green decided to use different kinds of chapters. They were titled “One hundred and thirty-six days before” and it slowly counts down to “One day before” and then to “The Day after”, so you’re kind of just waiting to find out what that day was all about.
The characters were hard to actually connect to. “The Colonel”, the nickname of Miles’ roomate, was weird and I couldn’t relate at all. He used to live in a trailer park with his broke mother, and apparently Miles liked him a lot and described the friendsship between the two as “an old married couple”. Nah, I didn’t buy it.
Miles Halter, the main character was weird. And I guess that John Green thinks that every teenager has quirks that just are sooo damn unnatural. Like, Miles, he’s obsessed with people’s last words? Which is weird.
Then you have Alaska Young, the princess of the story. The girl Miles falls in love with, but can’t have and it’s all so heartbreaking. She’s also weird, she has like a ton of books in her room (who doesn’t though, not saying it’s a bad thing), but I can’t connect with her either.
Also, Miles, when he realizes he can’t have Alaska, he ends up being with Lara this Romanian girl, and she’s a total placeholder. He goes on and on about her not being as good as Alaska and how he can’t talk to Lara the way he can talk to Alaska, and it just becomes this unbearable thing.
ALL IN ALL
I didn’t really like the book. It’s not badly written or anything like that, but I guess that it was just too slow paced. I need to feel like a book has some kind of point to it, and this book just didn’t cut it for me. Nothing really happened, it was like I was reading someone’s school paper on how their summer was.
My cover is incredibly boring.
Favorite quote: “The only way out of the labyrinth of suffering is to forgive.”