- Reading level: 16.00+ years
- Paperback: 271 pages
- Publisher: Harpercollins; Latest edition (1 February 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780007523528
- ISBN-13: 978-0007523528
- ASIN: 0007523521
- Product Dimensions: 29 x 20 x 3 cm
- Customer Reviews: 6,030 customer ratings
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #206 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Looking for Alaska Paperback – 1 Feb 2013
|Paperback, 1 Feb 2013||
Mass Market Paperback, Import
Audio CD, Audiobook, CD, Unabridged
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“Miles's narration is alive with sweet, self-deprecating humor, and his obvious struggle to tell the story truthfully adds to his believability.” School Library Journal
“What sings and soars in this gorgeously told tale is Green's mastery of language and the sweet, rough edges of Pudge's voice. Girls will cry and boys will find love, lust, loss and longing in Alaska's vanilla-and-cigarettes scent.” Kirkus
“This is an amazing first novel by a writer who is young enough to vividly remember his powerful years of high school and he expertly turns remembrance into story.” Children’s Literature
“The novel's chief appeal lies in Miles's well-articulated lust and his initial excitement about being on his own for the first time.” Publishers Weekly
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Miles Halter is the main protagonist of the story who lives in Florida. He is not a social person and is in search of his “Great Perhaps”. So Miles decides to attend the Culver Creek Boarding School in Alabama to start a fresh life. There he makes his first friend Chip, known as “the Colonel” by all. He nicknamed Miles as “Pudge” and called him with the same name throughout the book. The Colonel introduces him to his friend, Alaska, who was a fierce and mysterious girl. Miles instantly falls in love with her. All of them are then involves in various pranks and mishappenings and then BAM! There is the unexpected mid-way surprise. I am not telling what that middle thing is (for the sake of spoilers) but that event divides the book into two part. One Before and one After that event.
The Before part is filled with a lot of high school events, the building of relations, the pranks that student plays and all. Yes, the typical high-school environment has been explained. The After part describes what happens after that tragic event, how the truth unfolds and how the lives of everyone involved changes. The Before part is kind of happier while the After is the one with lots of sorrow and heartbreak.
The best thing about Looking for Alaska is that it doesn’t feel like it’s a debut novel of John Green. It has so much more hidden things to say then the words can explain. John green has definitely shown his best raw talent in this and proving that you can literally emerge like a different person after you finish his book. It is a gripping tale. It is not a typical boy-meets-girl-falls-in-love-then-separate kind of story. It is a tale of true friendship, the effect of love, the longing for survival, the void in a relationship.
The story is more about Miles then about Alaska (as the title may confuse). The center point for both of them is looking for “labyrinth". I actually didn’t know about this word at the beginning but then it was used so many times in the book that it made itself clear. A unique thing that John Green has put as the hobby of Miles is “remembering the last lines of famous persons". I was like, why would anyone like to remember that? But surely, after reading many such sentences in the book it surely made me interested in those last lines.
"Thomas Edison’s last words were “It’s very beautiful over there”. I don’t know where there is, but I believe it’s somewhere, and I hope it’s beautiful.” "
The only problem that I had with this story was its ending. I felt like cheated. No seriously I wanted it to end correctly and to know the truth. But I think, the valid point in its favour can be that John wanted to think the readers about it?
All the characters that are mentioned feel like in real life. There are no cheesy ones, not even Alaska (though girls are generally shown as cheesy). I liked how the character of Alaska was made mysterious. And the fact is we often come across such characters in our lives too, who are mysterious in their own ways. The writing was typical John Green style – easy and flowing. And the best things is the beautiful quotes that he writes, which always make me love his work more.
"I may die young, but at least I’ll die smart. "
This story clearly reminded me of many things that were long forgotten. One such thing is the use of “Yellow Pages”. DO you remember this service? I used to use it like 6-7 years ago? There were other events too which clearly reminded that I am reading it little bit late 😛
Looking for Alaska is another fantastic book by John Green. It is funny and heartbreaking at the same time. This gives you new directions and point of thinking. If you love John Green then you should definitely read this.
"If people were rain, I was drizzle and she was a hurricane."
The book is divided into two halves - before & after. The two timelines are separated by a fateful incident which changes the distinct time frames drastically. It is this one event which gives us so much of pain that our heart pains and wants to reach out to the Alaska Young and hug her tightly. The grief of losing a loved one is irreparable. And not being able to recall his/her last words more pathetic. Sighs!
The narrative is impressionably mesmerizing. It hooks, lingers, and sticks with us till the end. It swallows you and gets you a different being by the end. The book points out the impulsivity of teenagers and I could totally relate to it. This is what probably every teenager goes through and eventually, takes a decision in haste. Thoughts rebound in their hearts, guilt and love grip them pretty quickly, their heart is heavy and fragile, and in this fragility, they break. Painful description.
Everything in the book was fine to a point but in the second part, I felt it dragged. I found it impractical and unnecessary. But then emotions overpower rationale and you are bound to believe that unimaginable things could actually happen and that everything could be figured out. Well, sometimes things should be left as they happened. Dwelling and holding onto them causes more remorse and grief.
REASONS TO READ THIS:
1. John Green pens down fantastic quotes. Simple and profound.
2. The writing style is reader-friendly with no typical jargon and verbosity.
3. The plotline is something you could feel attached to.
4. To read amazing connections his characters share.
5. Moreover, the narration is engaging and creates an everlasting imprint on our minds.
In a nutshell, it is beautiful but not enough to delight a seasoned reader.
John Green is the author of other bestsellers novels including The fault in our stars, Paper Towns and is quite popularly known for his teenage fiction books.
Miles Halter is the main character of the story who has an unusual passion for learning peoples last words.
Alaska young is the other character who is young wild and free.
Do read this book to find out how their lives affects each other.
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Top international reviews
I have purposely not mentioned anything that happens in the book, for I would not want to ruin it for anyone looking to read it. As a rule I only read a book once, never more. However, this one will keep a special place on my bookshelf and I will reach for it time and time again.
I’ll say no more, but whatever you do - buy it right now and read it!
This is intended, I believe, as a book for young adults but it grabbed my attention and never let up. After a catastrophe for the group, Miles is forced, not only by his own obsessive need to know, but also by the final paper set for the religion class, to consider the meaning of life, the finality or otherwise of death and the whereabouts of Alaska.
EDIT, Jan 2017: I recently purchased the 10th Anniversary edition as a gift for myself, and I cannot recommend it enough. The additional notes from John in the back of the book are amazingly insightful, and a wonderful edition for anyone who feels attached to the book.
This short novel, about a group of teenagers at boarding school, is divided into two halves; the first, measured in days before a pivotal event (no details to avoid spoilers), and the second in the days following it. The group are very much into practical jokes, which feature prominently in the plot (and are pretty far-fetched, especially the-near drowning of one character). The story is told in the first person by Miles (aka "Pudge"), who like some of his colleagues is obsessed with the beautiful and enigmatic girl Alaska of the title. What happens to Alaska is central to the plot.
I found this novel slow-moving and unconvincing, and while it is well-written, it didn't hold my attention. The behaviour of the students seemed unlikely, and the plot thin. I believe the book was aimed at teens upwards, but I'm afraid I wouldn't really recommend it to anyone.
I don't want to say too much about the actual story, as I don't wish to commit the spoiler sin. Suffice to say, this is not a love story. But it is definitely a life story. A book that will appeal to teens and adults alike. A book to make you think. The plot, pacing and character development were excellently done. With one exception ... with regards to a certain funeral ... and a certain character not attending ... it's like--why? There would be no good reason for said person not to go. There, hope I've said enough without spoiling. There are some minor typos and such, but not enough to complain about. I give 'Looking for Alaska' a strong 4 out of 5 stars, and will be buying more of John Green's books
Alaska is the impitimy of the ubah cool but messed up teenage girl who everybody loves but is always getting herself into trouble. While Chip is the chilled intellectual boy who was raised in a Trailor Park by his mum and has got the nickname of the colonel because of his ability to plan pranks with military precision.
I would and will recommend this book to friends and family. I bought the book as an ebook.
Miles is portrayed in the first chapter as dorky and friendless. However, after moving to a new school he finds a group of rebellious yet highly intelligent friends, and things go all a bit too well for him in my opinion. I sort of expected a similar story line to "The perks of being a wallflower" which illustrated Charlie's struggles making friends and fitting in, but this book isn't like that. Rather, this is book which examines the question of human suffering and loss through the eyes of a group of teens.
It's not a book with a happy ending or a sad one, but it does make you think. I didn't close the book and feel that 'final revelation' that you get with some books where everything comes together and you find out the purpose of it all and what the meaning of life is. And yes, this annoyed me. The book leaves you with a lot of unanswered questions, but I feel like John Green intended it that way. And as much as this book fustrated me at times, it is well written, funny and relatable. So for those reasons, despite all of what I've just written, I would recommend it.
This is not my favourite of his but it is a well-written novel, as you might expect from Green if you are familiar with his other writing. His use of language is probably what makes his books so exceptional for me, but his well-fleshed-out characters are also so relateable and I love how original and quirky his stories can be.
I hear this is now being made into a film and am interested in seeing how they do it. If it's as well translated as Fault was, it could be amazing.
BEWARE: May make you cry in public.
The book is split into before and after a life changing event without the use of chapter breaks. Instead Green uses section breaks related to time e.g. 121 days before in order to build tension throughout the story. I thought considering this was his first book, it was very well written. His writing style was relaxed, witty and honest and the characters well developed, each with their own unique flaws, strengths and complexities.
Green’s talent lies in his ability to vividly transport the reader back to their teenage or student years, exploring that turbulent and emotionally charged period of their lives with deep insight and depth of feeling, which will particularly resonate with young adult readers. My only criticism was that I couldn’t really relate to the character of Alaska, and although I can emphasise with her reasons for her self-destructive behaviour, I did find her a bit overly dramatic, annoying and self-absorbed. However, this is probably because I am not the right age for this book. I also found the event the story led up to was fairly predictable and therefore didn’t come as any great shock.
The part of the book that really stood out for me was the second half. I think most of us at one time in our lives can relate to the quote by Simon Bolivar, ‘How will I ever get out of this Labyrinth?’ Green cleverly weaves this theme into the storyline in such a powerful and thought provoking way, I admit that I shed a few tears. He also explores difficult issues such as loss, grief and life after death with sensitivity, honesty and an unexpected depth of understanding for his age. The ending is sad, poignant and very moving, where the characters not only come to term with their own labyrinth of suffering, but Green leaves the reader with the thought that in our search for the Great Perhaps, all that really matters in life is love, friendship and hope.
I don't know about you but sometimes when I read a book the characters names all blend into one.That was not the case in this book. The day after I finished reading this I woke up and each name and personality of each character was still very vivid in my head along with everything that happened.
I will be recommending this to everyone not just people that enjoy YA books. You could enjoy this book no matter what age you are.This book does what any great book is supposed to. It will get you thinking and caring about the characters .
There are alot of lines in the book that will stand out in my memory and make me smile.
It was a joy to read !!!
If you haven't read any of John Green's books, I'd wholeheartedly recommend that you read this one first. If you've read his other books and thought his writing couldn't get any better, then this book will prove you wrong.
The character development is beautiful, there's a mix of comedy, mischief, guilt, confusion, love, anger and I think anyone who has been through teenage life and went to school will be able to relate to Miles (the main protagonist). Green's descriptions of what's happening are so vivid, with minimal words used, and you definitely feel as though you're intruding on Miles, Alaska, and The Colonel as they get up to no good and well, enjoy some 'sexy time' haha.
I personally would have changed who **** on 'That Day', but that's just personal taste! I think the aftermath of 'That Day' was handled beautifully, and whilst the character's reactions and emotions prove extremely emotional, you get to follow them upon their journey of dismay, anger, guilt and acceptance and is brought beautifully to a close, with the reader left wondering of what 'might have been'.
Absolutely brilliant, I'd recommend it, and have done to everyone who likes reading. It really is a masterpiece.