Looking For Alaska By John Green

Monday, 4 March 2013

Looking for AlaskaSeries: Standalone
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction
Release Date: January 1st 2005
Source: Bought
Overall Rating: 5/5 Stars
Cover Rating: 2/5 Stars
Synopsis: Miles has a quirky interest in famous people's last words, especially Fran├žois Rabelais's final statement, "I go to seek a Great Perhaps." Determined not to wait for death to begin a similar quest, Miles convinces his parents to let him leave home. Once settled at Culver Creek Preparatory School, he befriends a couple of equally gifted outcasts: his roommate Chip―commonly known as the Colonel—who has a predilection for memorizing long, alphabetical lists for fun; and the beautiful and unpredictable Alaska, whom Miles comes to adore. The kids grow closer as they make their way through a school year filled with contraband, tests, pranks, breakups, and revelations about family and life. 

First Line: The week before I left my family and Florida and the rest of my minor life to go to boarding school in Alabama, my mother insisted on throwing me a going- away party.

This was the first John Green book I ever read and it will not be the last. I have heard great things about the legendary John Green so I went into this book with the highest expectations. Exceptionally, this book exceeded them. Looking for Alaska was completely different than what I thought it was going to be like,. Actually, I didn't have much clue what it was about, only that it was amazing and that it was. Looking for Alaska follows Miles who convinces his parents to let him attend his Dad's old boarding school in search of 'a Great Perhaps'. Once there he finds himself with an unlikely group of friends including the self destructive, bold and beautiful Alaska. But as time progresses Miles is led to new conclusions about the value of his beloved 'Great Perhaps'.

I heard from someone that the point of John Green's characters were not necessarily to be liked but to be truthful and I think that is an amazing approach to character building because to like a character you have to be able to relate to them. I both loved and hated all of the characters in Looking For Alaska. I loved them because they were so real and I think I hated them for the same reason. It's not often you come across characters that you can relate to so completely and when you do the effect they have on you is momentousness. Miles is just like any teenage boy you'd meet. He's awkward, kind and smart and although I don't hate characters who are described as witty, chiseled by angels and romantic (at all) this was a refreshing change. I also loved Alaska, she has such a convincing personality that it isn't difficult to think of at least one person you know like her. The Colonel was also a great secondary character in the book, he was totally loyal and surprisingly smart which made me like him even more.

One thing that's individual about John Green's books is that the characters always have something about them that separates them from the crowd. In Mile's case it was last words, one of the best parts of the book was reading all of the last words he's collected, I loved the idea. Looking For Alaska is about as realistic as books come and I would recommend it to absolutely anyone. This book put me through so many different emotions, I went from laughing one second to nearly crying in the next. It has very mature themes for a YA book which has caused much controversy so when I say anyone I mean older young adults. John Green is a genius and I will be reading every one of his books, he has officially been put on my automatic buy list.

My Favorite Quotes:

“When adults say, "Teenagers think they are invincible" with that sly, stupid smile on their faces, they don't know how right they are. We need never be hopeless, because we can never be irreparably broken. We think that we are invincible because we are. We cannot be born, and we cannot die. Like all energy, we can only change shapes and sizes and manifestations. They forget that when they get old. They get scared of losing and failing. But that part of us greater than the sum of our parts cannot begin and cannot end, and so it cannot fail.”

“Sometimes I don't get you,' I said. 
She didn't even glance at me. She just smiled toward the television and said, 'You never get me. That's the whole point.”

Email me at: confessionsofabookaholic@LIVE.CO.UK

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