Looking for Alaska
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Looking for Alaska

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4.2 of 5 stars 4.20  ·  rating details  ·  413,909 ratings  ·  28,768 reviews
Before. Miles "Pudge" Halter's whole existence has been one big nonevent, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave the "Great Perhaps" (François Rabelais, poet) even more. Then he heads off to the sometimes crazy, possibly unstable, and anything-but-boring world of Culver Creek Boarding School, and his life becomes the opposite of safe. Because down...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published September 15th 2010 by Penguin Group (USA) (first published January 1st 2005)
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Cristina
I didn't like this book.

This is not what I expected to be. I hoped to find a book in the style of Stargirl (or something novel) and what did I find? A bunch of teens who try to ease their anxieties in their not-so-original vices and a sudden drama which leads to nonsense talking. All hiding, of course, in a couple of beautiful quotes that wrap all the 'inspiring-sites' on the internet, the reason I got to the book and I bet that you too.

Boring, it was so so boring.

I didn't like the characters....more
karen

some people are careless, and in an adrenaline-fueled all-caps teen reviewing frenzy, will inadvertently give a major spoiler for this book.

avoid these people, even though ordinarily, they are pretty cool.

this is a really well-written teen fiction book. i mean, it won the printz award, i'm not discovering america here. i think i wanted to emphasize that it definitely reads like a book intended for a teen audience. and i think that me as a teen would have numbered this among my very favorite book...more
Patrick
My assistant Amanda has been a John Green fan for ages, which is one of the reasons I decided to start giving his stuff a read.

I decided to start here because it was one of his first books.

After I finished this book, I went to her and asked, "Are all of John Green's books going to leave me feeling like I've had a hole kicked straight through my guts?"

"Not all of them," she said. "But yeah. Some."

I thought about this for a while, then asked her. "In Name of the Wind, when X happens, did it fee...more
Meg ♥
This was the first book I ever read by John Green. It was given to me in 2007 when I had no idea who John Green was. I wish this book had been around when I was a teen. I really enjoyed the story, but I think I would have liked it even more if I wasn't already past that point in my life. Even still, I loved this book.

Miles is in search for the great perhaps, and has a fascination with famous last words. He meets Alaska Young who is basically the girl of his dreams. Their journey together at boar...more
Vanessa
I did not cry.

But, John Green still managed to hit me where it really hurt.

And it was awesome.
Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker  Queen of the Undead
Update- 4/12/14

This review/rant receives more comments than any other book review I have. I decided to reply to a few of the comments in my review because the people that don't like my review/rant don't like it for pretty much the same reasons. First, please note there are spoilers. However, the spoilers aren't really spoilers since it doesn't affect your enjoyment or lack of enjoyment if you know the big secret. Nevertheless, a helpful few have pointed out that I have spoilers and I didn't mark...more
K.D. Absolutely
Aug 04, 2011 K.D. Absolutely rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: Aaron Vincent
Shelves: ya, borrowed
I belong to the generation that enjoyed St. Elmo’s Fire, a 1985 American coming-of-age film that starred the then showbiz newbies, Emilio Estevez, Rob Lowe, Andre McCarthy and Demi Moore. That was shown here in the Philippines when I was in my first year of working after college and I was able to relate to many of its characters so I watched it twice or thrice. Oh well, I was with my girlfriend then and you know how dark and cold were the theatres during those years when they were not yet inside...more
Kristalia
Final rating: ★★★★☆/★★★★★

"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."


Loved it! I couldn't put it down - just like i expected. John Green is seriously talented, and even though i don't like this book as much as i love his "The Fault in Our Stars", it was still wonderful book.

I have to admit that i was o...more
Todd
Wow. I must've skipped a bunch of pages or read the Hebrew translation or was having root canal or something because that was one terrible book. All those awards-- WHAT??? Such a clumsy story— every move of the author was heavy-handed and so transparent I felt like I was a fly on John Green's ceiling watching him go "Oh that's good-- oh that's just precious" and fall asleep in his soup again.
Miles—I mean "Pudge,"as he is deemed within minutes of his arrival at his School of Great Perhaps— may b...more
Kristopher Jansma
I've been getting in touch with my inner Young Adult this week, in preparation for yet another final rewrite on my own YA book. This has, for the most part, amounted to listening to Death Cab for Cutie and reading Looking for Alaska - a book that I have been actively avoiding. The story of this is long and somewhat personal, so feel free to skip this part if you just want to know if the book is good.

I first heard of Looking for Alaska in my thesis workshop, when a girl very snidely told me I'd h...more
Kat (Le Pauvre Cœur)

First time hearing about this book;

Friend online gushes on how amazing and fantabulous this book is.

Me: Okay, I'll check it out. Plus it's cool since I was born in Alaska. The book is about Alaska right?

Friend: *laughs*

Me: O__o It's not about Alaska?

Friend: *still laughing*

Me: IT'S NOT ABOUT ALASKA?


The End.

True Story.
Mariel
Apr 05, 2011 Mariel rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: workin' on leavin' the livin'
Recommended to Mariel by: exit does not exist
What was I doing reading John Green's Looking for Alaska when I famously (coughs) despised large parts of the author's An Abundance of Katherines? (I'm emulating Miles here. Wait, I already talk like that!) 1. I disliked it enough to feel mean and want to give John Green another shot before writing him off forever as a potential book friend. 2. It was super cheap in the closing local Borders. 3. I'm not that original about selecting books. 4. What else are the late hours of the night for if not...more
Carrie
In Looking For Alaska, John Green tells the story of Miles, a smart, skinny teen who decides to go to the same boarding school his father attended in the hopes of finding a different life. The reader gets a glimpse of what Miles’ home life is like at the beginning of the novel when his mother throws a going-away party for him, and only two people show up. Once at boarding school, Miles quickly befriends his roommate, nicknamed The Colonel. The Colonel introduces him to the rest of his inner circ...more
Tricia
Did not finish.

This book was just too much--too much smoking, drinking, sex, and foul language. As a teenager, I hated it then and I don't want to rehash it now. I didn't care about any of the characters except Miles and I hated how he just went along with everything thrown in his path without a second thought--the smoking, drinking, porn, etc.
Stephanie
This review will be somewhat of a spoiler. Don’t read it unless you’ve read the book or don’t want to. You have been warned.


“Poof……….and you’re gone.”

This was a line in the book that described death, sudden death in particular. It’s sounds just about right to me. It is exactly that. One moment there was a person, full of life, and then the next moment that person ceases to exist. It’s a difficult thing to wrap your head around.

In Looking for Alaska there is a sudden, stupid death and I thought J...more
Madeline
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Emma
I was recommended this by a good friend and I was really looking forward to it. I love the vlogbrothers videos and the first chapter really made me want to read it and find out more but it didn't live up to the expectation that the first few chapters set up.

My main problem with the book was the characters. It wasn't even that they were underdeveloped. Alaska and Miles just pissed me off. I let some of it slide by because I understand certain parts were intentional but Miles was just so whiny. I...more
Leslie
This is a decent book. I pretty much devoured it despite a big qualm. Perhaps it's sour grapes but why perpetuate the age-old idea that hot teen girls who are emotionally tore up = glittery/alluring? What about girls with tore-up physiques AND tore-up emotions? Oh, silly me. They’re repugnant.
Tatiana
Oct 04, 2009 Tatiana rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Tatiana by: Heather
Shelves: 2009, ya, ala-ya-2006, printz
I love John Green. For me he is one of a very few male YA authors whose writing I really enjoy. His nerd-boy perspective on the world is fresh and interesting. For a change, it's nice to read how boys perceive girls instead of being stuck in boy-obsessed girls' minds portrayed in numerous female-POV YA books so popular these days.

"Looking For Alaska" is the second John Green's novel that I've read. This book is a Printz Award Winner, and rightfully so. The story is funny and sad, profound and si...more
Anna
Oct 10, 2009 Anna rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Anna by: my sister
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Isamlq
I was looking through reviews of Looking for Alaska to see if I was the only one who thought it awesomely hilarious and touching. As well as to see exactly where to start my review: a quote perhaps? Nah. A synopsis was a given, but I just couldn't reduce Looking into a paragraph or two without oversimplifying it. Then I came across this, "Inane, juvenile story about teenagers going to private school in Alabama. Meandering, silly, vapid, pointless, etc.”

My reaction? Ouch. Ouch and ouch some mor...more
Martha
I feel slightly unworthy of reviewing this book.
That is the feel I get whenever I read a book that is so phenomenal I couldn't even begin to describe it.

So...

Awkward...

I guess all I'll say is read it.
Read it.
Just do yourself a favour.
rachel
Before I head to book club tomorrow night to share my feelings about this book with a group of girls whose opinions of John Green range from indifferent to love, I’m going to try to explain here why I’m not a fan of the whole John Green thing -- Looking For Alaska being in one big way indistinguishable from the other two books of his that I’ve read and in another way, refreshingly different.

Whether or not you love John Green depends heavily, I think, on whether or not you like his main characte...more
Jessica
Looking for Alaska, by John Green, was the winner of the 2006 Michael L. Printz Award.

“I go to seek a Great Perhaps.” - Last words of Francois Rabelais

“How will I ever get out of this labyrinth!” - Last words of Simon Bolivar

Miles Halter, a sixteen year old with a passion for last words, has decided to leave his high school and home to find his Great Perhaps at a boarding school in Alabama. Upon arriving, he falls in with “the Colonel,” his roommate, Takumi, Lara, and Alaska. The group is an int...more
Alyssa
“I wanted to be one of those people who have streaks to maintain, who scorch the ground with their intensity. But for now, at least I knew such people, and they needed me, just like comets need tails.”

Boy genius Miles Halter is looking for the “Great Perhaps,” and he finds it at Culver Creek Boarding School, a selective institution for the intelligent and rich. Never does Miles believe he’ll find his "Perhaps" in the cigarette-smoking, Mountain Dew-drinking, beautiful curvy-babe Alaska Young,...more
BritishWotsit
A brilliant book for a number of reasons, but the main reason above all, was that it had soul!
You get book's that read off the pages like an instruction manual, and then you get books that replace your dreams and inspire you to live.
This book triumphantly finds itself in that second category.

So I'm on my way to France, and this book struck me as the one to read. My gut instinct has never been so right. I consumed this whole book in my 12 hour car journey across England and France, only stopping...more
jzhunagev
Grand Possibilities: Things we Seek, Sometimes Lose and Always Gain
(A Book Review of John Green’s Looking for Alaska)


In Looking for Alaska, John Green explores the themes of friendship, suffering, loss, grief and coping. The novel follows a year in the life of high school junior Miles Halter (a.k.a. Pudge) a friendless Floridian who begged his parents to enroll him in Culver Creek Preparatory School, his dad’s Alma Mater. Miles dreams of starting anew at his elite Alabama prep school, to choose...more
Amanda
Divided into two parts (before and after), I was all set to give this book a 4 until the last half of the book. The book is structured around a tragic event that changes the lives of a close knit group of friends.

The first half of the book focuses on the main character, Pudge, a high school nobody with a penchant for collecting the last words of the dead and famous. Pudge, seeking a "Great Perhaps" that will change his life and provide him with direction, opts to attend Culver Creek, a private...more
Joyzi
Dec 29, 2010 Joyzi rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Peeps who don't mind BJ (Buco Juice?)
Recommended to Joyzi by: John Green, vlog brothers
Book Review...down there somewhere

Caution : This book review was ridiculously self-absorbed and will not be entirely wholesome (R-16 will do).

***************************************
(You can skim this through, these are just self-absorbed anecdotes, scroll down for the Pros and Cons )

First off I'd like to say that I've seen like this book Looking for Alaska for so many times in Listopia( a feature here in goodreads) and when I've met The Filipino Group in Goodreads last last week John Green's Abu...more
Cynn
Antes que nada quiero decirles que no empiecen a leerlo con altas expectativas . Después de leer "The Fault In Our Star" es complicado encontrar superarlo, así que ni de cerca se puede comparar el uno con el otro.



Miles aka "El Gordo" tiene un pasatiempo muy extraño: conoce todas las últimas palabras de personas conocidas. Leyendo una de éstas, Miles encuentra las de un poeta en las que dice que uno debe buscar su Gran quizá. Es por esto que decide irse a estudiar a Culver Creek, el internado e...more
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1406384
Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

John Green's first novel, Looking for Alaska, won the 2006 Michael L. Printz Award presented by the American Library Association. His second novel, An Abundance of Katherines, was a 2007 Michael L. Printz Award Honor Book and a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. His next novel, Paper Towns, is a New...more
More about John Green...
The Fault in Our Stars An Abundance of Katherines Paper Towns Will Grayson, Will Grayson Let It Snow

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“The only way out of the labyrinth of suffering is to forgive.” 13606 likes
“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.” 11509 likes
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