Int'l librarian's Reviews > Looking for Alaska

Looking for Alaska by John Green
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's review
Aug 05, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: coping-with-loss, teen-boys, grades-9-and-up

This book got tougher to read as it stumbled along. It’s John Green’s debut novel, but my first impression was that it’s a weaker imitation of his “Paper Towns.” Another manically unpredictable hot girl wraps boys around her finger, milks her mystique, and ruins everything, marooning our puppy dog hero in fevered despair.

In this version, Miles Halter, the puppy, is a disciple of the “Great Perhaps.” That’s a phrase from the poet Rabelais’ dying words. Miles’ familiarity with last words is his strongest character trait, and graces the novel with its best tangents. It’s significantly harder, however, to appreciate the meaning that Miles bludgeons out of these words.

His band of boarding school brothers exist primarily to feed the pretense. Way too much teen philosophizing, not to mention the teen drinking and smoking and sexing and swearing.

I still like John Green’s writing, and I’m very glad this book was not his own last word.
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