Jasmine's Reviews > Looking for Alaska

Looking for Alaska by John Green
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If people were rain, I was drizzle and she was a hurricane.

Throughout the book, extremely loud and incredibly close soundtrack came to my mind the whole time. The melody fits the story so well.

I never thought Miles "Pudge" Halter's turning point in life would be like that. Absolutely, totally, completely life-changing difference before and after. It's like, well, experiencing a heartbroken and mysterious loss at school. Ironically, he went to Alabama in search of his so-called "Great Perhaps" and that was the way he found out the way out of labyrinth of suffering. It's a come-of-age book about life and death, mortality and immortality, faith and despair. Highly recommend to everyone since it's inevitable for us to face the miseries and important for us to learn how to deal with them.
We'd failed, maybe, but some mysteries aren't meant to be solved.
I'd like to share my thoughts for some of the intentionally vague and broad discussion questions below.

Do you like Alaska? Do you think it's important to like people you read about?
My answer is yes and no. Yes, I like Alaska Young in the book because she was portrayed as a witty, humorous, sexy, but self-destructive and always felt screwed up everything in her life. She was an interesting character for me, and I like that she changed Pudge entirely after they met. On the contrary, no, I don't like her. She was capricious sometimes, and I didn't get her actually. One minute she was still having fun when drinking heavily plus smoking to death, and within a blink of eye, she was freaked out and started blaming herself without clear reasons(or maybe she did have a reason and just nobody knew why. (view spoiler)).
She didn't leave me enough to discover her, but she left me enough to rediscover the Great Perhaps.


Is forgiveness universal?
Speaking of forgiveness, I'm not sure whether this is a coincidence or not. Yesterday morning, I got a phone call from my friend and shocked enough to be informed of my best friend's death because of the failure after 20 days of his emergency treatment. I met him three years ago in a summer camp and later became good friends. 20 days before, he invited me to go to a color party but I had a plan that day so he said he'd go with other classmates and I promised him to have a brunch the next day. Never did I expect that he was one of the victims in the dust explosion in that party. What's worse, he got 65% large-area, third to fourth degree burns all over his skin and was sent to the hospital immediately. Even though in the instant moment I knew how badly he was injured, I had a bad feeling that there was a slim chance for his survival, I still held some hope for him because he was a strong guy I used to know. 20 days after, his family told me he was in a coma during the last period of his life and never woke up ever since. As for me, I was too scared to visit him so I didn't have the chance to say goodbye. I don't even know his last words.
Everything that comes together falls apart.
Sometimes it's really hard to swallow the fact that my best friend is dead, like "Poof" and gone. I have no way to fulfill my promise to him anymore but when I know that once the doctor took off his ECMO(extracorporeal membrane oxygenation), he had let out his last breath and he'd no longer feel the excruciating pain, I was kind of relieved. I think he'll forgive me in the heaven as long as he knows what I'm thinking and how his friends are feeling for him. So yes, forgiveness is universal, no matter the circumstances and it's possible for the dead to forgive the living, and vise versa. Tears in heaven by Eric Clapton is the song in memorial to him, and he'll be in our hearts forever.

In my opinion, when we lose someone we love, or someone we happened to encounter with in the seemingly short life, all we can do instead of lamenting our losses is change the state of mind. Change the way we think about the death/depress we all have to face someday. That's the best solution for us, I suppose. Just as the old saying goes, "Time will heal all wounds." So, why not find your own way out of the labyrinth?
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Quotes Jasmine Liked

John Green
“The only way out of the labyrinth of suffering is to forgive.”
John Green, Looking for Alaska

John Green
“Francois Rabelais. He was a poet. And his last words were "I go to seek a Great Perhaps." That's why I'm going. So I don't have to wait until I die to start seeking a Great Perhaps.”
John Green, Looking for Alaska

John Green
“He was gone, and I did not have time to tell him what I had just now realized: that I forgave him, and that she forgave us, and that we had to forgive to survive in the labyrinth. There were so many of us who would have to live with things done and things left undone that day. Things that did not go right, things that seemed okay at the time because we could not see the future. If only we could see the endless string of consequences that result from our smallest actions. But we can’t know better until knowing better is useless. And as I walked back to give Takumi’s note to the Colonel, I saw that I would never know. I would never know her well enough to know her thoughts in those last minutes, would never know if she left us on purpose. But the not-knowing would not keep me from caring, and I would always love Alaska Young, my crooked neighbor, with all my crooked heart.”
John Green, Looking for Alaska

John Green
“Sometimes you lose a battle. But mischief always wins the war”
John Green, Looking for Alaska

John Green
“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.”
John Green, Looking for Alaska

John Green
“What is an "instant" death anyway? How long is an instant? Is it one second? Ten? The pain of those seconds must have been awful as her heart burst and her lungs collapsed and there was no air and no blood to her brain and only raw panic. What the hell is instant? Nothing is instant. Instant rice takes five minutes, instant pudding an hour. I doubt that an instant of blinding pain feels particularly instantaneous.”
John Green, Looking for Alaska

John Green
“Imagining the future is a kind of nostalgia. (...) You spend your whole life stuck in the labyrinth, thinking about how you'll escape it one day, and how awesome it will be, and imagining that future keeps you going, but you never do it. You just use the future to escape the present.”
John Green, Looking for Alaska

John Green
“I found myself thinking about President William McKinley, the third American president to be assassinated. He lived for several days after he was shot, and towards the end, his wife started crying and screaming, "I want to go too! I want to go too!" And with his last measure of strength, McKinley turned to her and spoke his last words: "We are all going.”
John Green, Looking for Alaska

John Green
“So I walked back to my room and collapsed on the bottom bunk, thinking that if people were rain, I was drizzle and she was a hurricane.”
John Green, Looking for Alaska

John Green
“They love their hair because they're not smart enough to love something more interesting.”
John Green, Looking for Alaska

John Green
“When I look at my room, I see a girl who loves books.”
John Green, Looking for Alaska

John Green
“Have you really read all those books in your room?”

Alaska laughing- “Oh God no. I’ve maybe read a third of ‘em. But I’m going to read them all. I call it my Life’s Library. Every summer since I was little, I’ve gone to garage sales and bought all the books that looked interesting. So I always have something to read.”
John Green, Looking for Alaska

John Green
“We are all going, I thought, and it applies to turtles and turtlenecks, Alaska the girl and Alaska the place, because nothing can last, not even the earth itself. The Buddha said that suffering was caused by desire, we'd learned, and that the cessation of desire meant the cessation of suffering. When you stopped wishing things wouldn't fall apart, you'd stop suffering when they did.”
John Green, Looking for Alaska

John Green
“I may die young, but at least I'll die smart.”
John Green, Looking for Alaska

John Green
“Thomas Edison's last words were "It's very beautiful over there". I don't know where there is, but I believe it's somewhere, and I hope it's beautiful.”
John Green, Looking for Alaska

John Green
“Y'all smoke to enjoy it. I smoke to die.”
John Green, Looking for Alaska

John Green
“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.”
John Green, Looking for Alaska

John Green
“That didn’t happen, of course. Things never happened the way I imagined them.”
John Green, Looking for Alaska

John Green
“It always shocked me when I realized that I wasn’t the only person in the world who thought and felt such strange and awful things.”
John Green, Looking for Alaska

John Green
“And then something invisible snapped insider her, and that which had come together commenced to fall apart.”
John Green, Looking for Alaska

John Green
“It's not life or death, the labyrinth. Suffering. Doing wrong and having wrong things happen to you. That's the problem. Bolivar was talking about the pain, not about the living or dying. How do you get out of the labyrinth of suffering?”
John Green, Looking for Alaska

John Green
“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.”
John Green, Looking for Alaska

John Green
“What you must understand about me is that I’m a deeply unhappy person.”
John Green, Looking for Alaska

John Green
“I wanted so badly to lie down next to her on the couch, to wrap my arms around her and sleep. Not fuck, like in those movies. Not even have sex. Just sleep together in the most innocent sense of the phrase. But I lacked the courage and she had a boyfriend and I was gawky and she was gorgeous and I was hopelessly boring and she was endlessly fascinating. So I walked back to my room and collapsed on the bottom bunk, thinking that if people were rain, I was drizzle and she was hurricane.”
John Green, Looking for Alaska

John Green
“We need never be hopeless because we can never be irreperably broken.”
John Green, Looking for Alaska


Reading Progress

June 5, 2015 – Shelved
July 23, 2015 – Started Reading
July 24, 2015 –
page 40
18.1% "Hmm... Pudge and Alaska and the Colonel are interesting characters."
July 24, 2015 –
page 40
18.1%
July 25, 2015 –
page 85
38.46%
July 26, 2015 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-42 of 42 (42 new)

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Katerina Kondrenko I see why this story touched you. And for me your review is better than the book itself. Beautiful writing, Jasmine!


Jasmine Thanks, Katerina! It's sweet of you to say something like that. I think it's just too coincident for me, I mean, it happened when I was reading this. So lots of feelings and they were so real.


Katerina Kondrenko Jasmine wrote: "Thanks, Katerina! It's sweet of you to say something like that. I think it's just too coincident for me, I mean, it happened when I was reading this. So lots of feelings and they were so real."

I started to read this review and had to re-check who's the reviewer. You sound here more mature, more experienced and deep and... That's what we've got when our souls speak! Hold on, Dear! *hugs*


Jasmine I'm glad you understood my thoughts. It's really nice to know someone out there can relate to the way I feel. :) *turning tears into smiles*


message 5: by Nastassja (new)

Nastassja Beautiful review, Jasmine *hugs* ❤


Jasmine Nastassja wrote: "Beautiful review, Jasmine *hugs* ❤"

Thanks, Nastassja! :-*


message 7: by Lily ☁️ (new) - added it

Lily ☁️ I kind of gave up on John Green books, because they all seem to have the same identical protagonists and characters, just with different names :P


Re̶i̶g̶n̶ Warner [Last Words for The Rogue Bookwolf] I'll share my review of LFA, too. For all the feels of the book. :D

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


Jasmine Lily wrote: "I kind of gave up on John Green books, because they all seem to have the same identical protagonists and characters, just with different names :P"

I've read TFiOS and this one so far and honestly I love them. But you're right, there were many bittersweet stories and characters in his books, so sometimes I don't like the tragedy in them.


Jasmine Raziel wrote: "I'll share my review of LFA, too. For all the feels of the book. :D

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show..."


I've been focused on Pudge and Alaska too much and forgot to mention about the Colonel. He was a very helpful friend and definitely had his own way of living. We all need this kind of friends around us, so it's sort of related. Thanks for sharing yours!


Re̶i̶g̶n̶ Warner [Last Words for The Rogue Bookwolf] Jasmine wrote: "Raziel wrote: "I'll share my review of LFA, too. For all the feels of the book. :D

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show..."

I've been focused on Pudge and Alaska to..."


Yes. We would be lucky if we have plenty of them. :) Thanks for reading my review! :D


Aj the Ravenous Reader Love this beautiful review, Jazz! Very insightful and inspirational especially the last paragraph.^^


Jasmine Another thanks, Aj!! Your comments are always super positive, though. And I just realize that the Great Perhaps in this book is so much alike the Great Manifesto in All the Bright Places!!!!! No wonder I love both of them a lot. :P Totally recommend these two books to you, Aj! :-)


message 14: by A_Ryan (new)

A_Ryan I'm not a fan of this author's books but your review is brilliant and very touching!


Jasmine Thanks a lot, A! :-*


Katerina Beautiful and heartbreaking review Jasmine <3 *sends you a big hug*


message 17: by Henz (new) - added it

Henz Beautiful review Jasmine ...


Emer Jasmine, what a gorgeous and such a thoughtful review. My heart goes out to you and your friend's family for your tragic loss. Alaska is such a wonderful novel, I read it a number of years ago during a very difficult period in my own life and I remember it touching me deeply. It is a book that challenged me, helped me question things in my own life and to see certain aspects of events that I had experienced as life changing and opportunities for personal growth. I held tight to the idea of seeking a great perhaps and my life began to move forward again. I'm so glad that you had such an emotional connection with this book too and I hope that it helps you with coming to terms with your grief at your friend's loss. hugs Xx


Jasmine Katerina wrote: "Beautiful and heartbreaking review Jasmine <3 *sends you a big hug*"

Thank you, Kat! I felt it! ;)


Jasmine Henz wrote: "Beautiful review Jasmine ..."

Thx, Henz. :)


Jasmine ALittleHaze wrote: "Jasmine, what a gorgeous and such a thoughtful review. My heart goes out to you and your friend's family for your tragic loss. Alaska is such a wonderful novel, I read it a number of years ago duri..."

Wow, thanks for sharing your honest thoughts as well, ALittleHaze. This book affects more on those who can truly relate to the incidents and characters' feelings here and it definitely gives us the positive energy we need when coping with our misfortune. Although sometimes I still can't believe it happened in the beginning of this summer vacation, I indeed felt better after finishing it and so, so, so much better after reading these comments and supports from all of you. Really. And I'm also glad that you've overcome yours and cherish what you've learned afterwards. I think we both grew a bit from Alaska's story and hope that more people can feel the same way. ^^


§ Bookworm Nidhz § (Loves Romance) WOW … FAB and well written review my BABY GIRL !!!
i fell in LOVE vth it as always …

glad u liked this series :)xx
yes , Alaska is an AMAZING novel …
i enjoyed reading it !!!


Jasmine § Bookworm Nidhz § wrote: "WOW … FAB and well written review my BABY GIRL !!!
i fell in LOVE vth it as always …

glad u liked this series :)xx
yes , Alaska is an AMAZING novel …
i enjoyed reading it !!!"


Thanks! In case you don't know, this is actually a standalone book instead of a series. ><


§ Bookworm Nidhz § (Loves Romance) Thx for the correction :)xo
silly me !!!


Razan Great review!


Aj the Ravenous Reader My pleasure Jazz. Also, I've read both books already. hehe


Jasmine Razan wrote: "Great review!"

Thanks, Razan! I'm happy you gave it 5 stars as well. :)


Jasmine Aj the Ravenous Reader wrote: "My pleasure Jazz. Also, I've read both books already. hehe"

Fabulous! <3


message 29: by Tabetha (new) - added it

Tabetha Beautiful and touching review, Jasmine...I am so sorry that you lost your best friend...brought tears to my eyes, so tragic. You wrote such a beautiful review xoxo


Jasmine Tabetha wrote: "Beautiful and touching review, Jasmine...I am so sorry that you lost your best friend...brought tears to my eyes, so tragic. You wrote such a beautiful review xoxo"

Thanks, Tabetha! :>


Brooklyn Tayla What a beautiful review, Jasmine! Very moving :) *hugs* <3


Jasmine Brooklyn wrote: "What a beautiful review, Jasmine! Very moving :) *hugs* <3"

Thank you, Brooklyn! :')


Ann  Andrea I like your review and I love this book so much. This book is so much awesome than the other John Green's book


message 34: by Pearl (new)

Pearl Angeli Wow, your review is so stunning, Jasmine! Now I want to read this!


Jasmine Ann Andrea wrote: "I like your review and I love this book so much. This book is so much awesome than the other John Green's book"

Well said! I totally agree with you and so glad there's another one loving this book as much as I do. :D


Jasmine Pearl wrote: "Wow, your review is so stunning, Jasmine! Now I want to read this!"

Haha, thanks, Pearl! I related to the characters deeply and hope you'll feel the same. ^^


message 37: by Deanna (new)

Deanna This is a wonderful review!!!


Jasmine Deanna wrote: "This is a wonderful review!!!"

Thank you so much, Deanna! :)


Shahad takleef wow , very nice review , jasmine


Jasmine Thanks again, Shahad!


Saket This is among the best review i have come across. It somewhat gave a better understanding to what john green was talking about.


Jasmine Saket wrote: "This is among the best review i have come across. It somewhat gave a better understanding to what john green was talking about."

Wow, thank you so much for your compliment! It truly made my day. :D


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