Tricia's Reviews > Looking for Alaska

Looking for Alaska by John Green
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Feb 05, 2009


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.
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02/03 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-38 of 38) (38 new)

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Onur Çağın Gürlek I don't like drinking, smoking, porn... etc. too, that's one of the few things in the book I don't like about the characters but let's be real, teenagers smoke, drink... in real life too and Miles, Colonel or Alaska wasn't much diffrent from an avarage teenager. I think that made the characters so organic and real, they weren't ideal.
And if you didn't finish it you missed the best part; the important part of the book was the "After"


Kelly Tricia - I could not agree more. After scanning all the reviews it looks like there are only a few of us that didn't like the pervasive debauchery ;-) We belong to an exclusive discerning club!


Melodee Bourdeau The "bad" in this book may be "what teens do" (and I'm not completely sold on that) but I think it detracts something from the story. I personally would have enjoyed this book more if the characters were more developed and less reliance was placed on being a stereo-typical smoking, drinking, sexual teen. And for this reason I am not recommending this book. I finished this book feeling like I just read the first draft.


message 4: by Ruby (new)

Ruby Johnson As a teenager, I can honestly say that the majority of teens aren't out smoking/drinking/having sex all the time, or even most of the time. It's simply a stereotype authors use to make the teenagers seem "realistic" or something like that.


Kelly Melodee and Ruby - I agree...I know that some teenagers do those things, but it is unfair to assume they all do (and normalize it like it is a normal rite of passage).


message 6: by Emma (new) - added it

Emma Allred I applauded you for not finishing it! I have this weird thing where I have to finish a book if I've gotten at least half way through, but this book could've probably never been written and the world would be fine. So I totally agree with your review.


Lenora Dinunzi I am a middle school librarian who read this after a student recommended it. And I agree with you all, the language and sex is uncalled for. I don't know why he had to put in the graphic description of Lar giving Miles a B.J. It didn't add anything to the story and only limited the audience, Not a book for younger middle school kids to read. I wouldn't want my 6th grade daughter reading about this teen escapade.


Robert This is a teen book that is written about and for teens - not middle school kids. I think that there are teens like this - not that every teen is like this.


message 9: by Kelly (last edited Apr 11, 2014 03:47PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Kelly Lenora wrote: "I am a middle school librarian who read this after a student recommended it. And I agree with you all, the language and sex is uncalled for. I don't know why he had to put in the graphic descript..."

I wouldn't even want my older kids reading it. Just completely inappropriate for teens.


Miquiel Annika Luniza I am not yet finished reading the book, but I agree with you on this. This is a book for teens, and I am also a teenager but I found it inappropriate for us. It just made me feel how we teenagers can be very screwed up nowadays. Just please not into so much details about the porn and those things should not be detailed so much especially sex


message 11: by Kelly (new) - rated it 1 star

Kelly Miquiel Annika wrote: "I am not yet finished reading the book, but I agree with you on this. This is a book for teens, and I am also a teenager but I found it inappropriate for us. It just made me feel how we teenagers c..."

Well said...I totally agree :-)


Nicky Panchita I totally understand that ya'all think that this book presented too much dirty stuffs.however I think u should try to finish this book,it has a lot of worth lessons for teenagers. Believe me :-)


message 13: by Kelly (new) - rated it 1 star

Kelly I'm glad you found something redeeming in this book Nink :-) I thought it seemed a bit pointless.


Claire Olmstead The characters actions throughout the book make them relatable to most teenagers, allowing for us to more deeply feel the emotions that are portrayed. Coming from a social 16 year old, I think john green hit it spot on.


Haylee Definitely agree!! I threw it away!


message 16: by Cari (new) - rated it 1 star

Cari Brazie Couldn't have said it any other way. I'm 21 and feel so uncomfortable reading this. I have to remind myself it's just a book. Why doesn't miles just walk away?!?!
Really disliked this book.


Halie Jordan I'm a teenager and I totally agree!! They were never happy either unless doing these rebellious actions.


Violethill Personally I loved the book. And I understand that some people didn’t enjoyed it as much as I did because the characters smoked, drank or were too sexual but the truth is that; they were teenagers! Maybe not all teenagers are the same but I’m sure as hell there are quite many that are very similar to the characters of this book. The characters were real, and that us what I loved about this book. He didn’t make up some flawless characters that always do the right thing, he showed us our own humanity; full of flaws and sometimes willing to do anything in order to fit in.


message 19: by Kevin (new) - added it

Kevin Smyth It's not often that one reads a negative review of a book with the sole reason being, "the characters smoked, drank and cursed." We're adults, not children.
I know a man who can't watch a film if it contains bad language and he's in his sixties! But he is a born-again christian, so there's that.
I haven't read this book, but now I'll have to, just to see what all the fuss is about.


Marcia I agree to an extent. I think that the book definitely had some inappropriate behaviors to it. But if you look past that the book is very interesting and captivating. If the book didn't have the drinking and the smoking it wouldn't be as interesting and the storyline would be completely different.


Taulbee2 Grow up, seriously. We have internet now, if your children wanted to know anything, they'd Google it. Anything they read in this book is probably something they already know about by age 14, to be honest.


message 22: by Brandon (new)

Brandon Ringer Yeah, I dont like any of that either but that didnt stop me from reading it. Its a great book if you dont think about all that. Its what most teenagers do now a days so i Mean the book is pretty realistic


Nadhira Amalia actually in my opinion, the reason why this book is likeable is in the "after" part. you should read it till the end if you want to know why :)
ps : i don't like the idea of teenager smoking, drinking, sex everytime.. however, i think i like this book and idk why.


Shella i finished the book thinking that maybe somehow it'll change my impression in the end but it did not. I did not like it and im disappointed bec this is the second book of John Green i did not appreciate. Does a teenager really have to experience those things? I think not, it's your choice, it might sound fun but i think otherwise. Well, everybody has their own definition of fun anyway.


message 25: by Katie (new) - added it

Katie Patient I love how people these days are so ignorant as to the life of a teenager, acting like not acknowledging that this happens will stop it from happening


Marisa No teenager in the world has ever been exposed to smoking, drinking, or sex. What an absurd thing to include in a book...! It would be much more realistic if the kids wore purity rings and D.A.R.E. shirts and waited until they were 21 to have their first drink.


message 27: by Leah (new) - rated it 1 star

Leah M. I am a teenager and I couldn't agree more. To anyone who says that the review is being ignorant to the "average life of a teen," you're being stereotypical because not all teens are like that. In fact, there is a decent majprity that isn't. Although I have respect and tolerance for a certain amount of drinking, drugs, sex ect, I feel like this was just over the top and didn't add to the plot line or story whatsoever.


Cindy Mooney I understand kids do these things...but it was almost painful to keep reading through page after page of smoking then drinking then drinking then smoking. Even in the days I partied hard I'd hope I could find some other details of my life worth writing about. So dang boring.


Julie Reed I know! I just wanted to spank them all, give them a good shower to wash the booze and cigarette stink off them, take them to church, and then put them to bed. ha!


message 30: by Kelly (new) - rated it 1 star

Kelly Julie wrote: "I know! I just wanted to spank them all, give them a good shower to wash the booze and cigarette stink off them, take them to church, and then put them to bed. ha!"

AMEN Julie! haha


David Many teenagers smoke, drink and are sexually active...simple as that. Of course not all do but I'd be very shocked to think that, even those teenagers who don't partake in any of this, don't at the very least think a lot about drink and sex. You have to remember that this novel isn't just written for young adults it is also written from a young adults perspective. Whilst having a drink or having a sexual experience might seem very normal and possibly even mundane to us as adults, they are things of great wonder, desire, fear...etc to a teenager. So I personally believe it shouldn't come as a shock to us as readers to discover this book contains such things and that the main character is interested in such things. Also maybe things are very different in the states but over here in England I think most would agree that to complain about the use of language in the book would be rather extreme, and if you as a parent are sincerely that concerned about your 14 year old occasionally reading the word fuck then I believe you are perhaps both rather being a little overprotective and also completely deluding yourself to what is it to be a teenager nowadays....to put it bluntly, your child is already quite familiar with this language...blame the Internet. I could talk a while on this topic but I fear I might offend some people and that is by no means my desire.


David Many teenagers smoke, drink and are sexually active...simple as that. Of course not all do but I'd be very shocked to think that, even those teenagers who don't partake in any of this, don't at the very least think a lot about drink and sex. You have to remember that this novel isn't just written for young adults it is also written from a young adults perspective. Whilst having a drink or having a sexual experience might seem very normal and possibly even mundane to us as adults, they are things of great wonder, desire, fear...etc to a teenager. So I personally believe it shouldn't come as a shock to us as readers to discover this book contains such things and that the main character is interested in such things. Also maybe things are very different in the states but over here in England I think most would agree that to complain about the use of language in the book would be rather extreme, and if you as a parent are sincerely that concerned about your 14 year old occasionally reading the word fuck then I believe you are perhaps both rather being a little overprotective and also completely deluding yourself to what is it to be a teenager nowadays....to put it bluntly, your child is already quite familiar with this language...blame the Internet. I could talk a while on this topic but I fear I might offend some people and that is by no means my desire.


Justin Lewis The genre is YA fiction for a reason. Green's intended audience is, in fact, young adults (teenagers) who very easily interact with the ideas of each character. I don't know all of those things either, but it isn't unheard of to happen. Great novel, Mr. Green!


message 34: by Sheally (new) - added it

Sheally I do not approve of or condone the behavior of teenagers like those in the book, however, I think you missed the point of the book. It would make absolutely no sense if they did not behave that way. The smoking was symbolism.


4_achiles I am a freshman in high school, and read this book for my english class. Although many people might not think I know much about "sex, drugs, cursing and drinking", I see it happening around me every day. Personally I loved the book and thought it was completely relatable. Im not saying I partake in such rebellious activities, but it's not like Miles's actions are unrealistic. The character's actions made them more alive in my opinion, it showed the constant struggle and pressure of being a teenager. I don't think the "rebelliousness" ruined the book what so ever, on the contrary I believe it enhanced the ability for the reader to understand the characters.


message 36: by Irunforicecream (new)

Irunforicecream Thank you for your review. I personally don't enjoy reading books with degrading language and themes. Personal preference. Thanks for saving me the money and disappointment.


Chinmaya Nagpal It does not glorify any of those things. At max, it comments on those things.


Celeste Skywalker Well, not to be blunt but I'm pretty sure that um the actions and settings presented in this book are a big normal portion of life.


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