babyhippoface's Reviews > Looking for Alaska

Looking for Alaska by John Green
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Jan 15, 2010

it was ok
bookshelves: young-adult
Read in January, 2010

2.5 stars. Interesting characters in an overused setting, way too much foul language and alcohol for my personal taste, and an out-of-the-blue oral sex scene that just didn't need to be there. While I suppose I can see what John Green was trying to reveal to us about his characters ("self-absorbed" and "irresponsible" come to mind), I just have a problem with this kind of ultra-casual, no-real-consequences sex being put in front of our kids. While the consequences of alcohol consumption are absolutely involved, and I do appreciate that, not every teenager engages in those types of behaviors, and I'd like to see more quality YA lit that recognizes that.

My 14-year-old daughter is reading Green's Paper Towns right now. While I won't forbid her from reading Alaska, I most certainly will discourage it, and I'll tell her why. Too bad. I think Green's got real talent for creating memorable characters. I just wish they weren't all so self-centered, depressed, bi-polar, and hopeless. Margo in Paper Towns was much like Alaska, just a little less self-destructive, and Quentin & Miles were virtually the same character obsessed with different girls. It irked me that Miles was this good, smart teenager who moved off to boarding school and almost overnight transformed into a smoking, drinking, cursing rule-breaker not living up to his potential. Realistic? Probably. Annoying? Ohhhh, yes.

And while I enjoy books that can make me laugh then cry, I don't enjoy those that make me laugh then plunge the characters into a pit of despair and self-destruction. Would love to see Green write a novel for teens that's more hopeful and uplifting than dark and disheartening. More helium; less lead.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Mandi Murphy I was seriously thinking about putting this book down, even though that is a really difficult thing for me to do. From your review I can see that things don't get better...I couldn't agree with you more. I sure wish I had read this review before starting the book.

babyhippoface I think John Green has real talent. I'd just like to see him write something...happier.

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