Download Looking for Alaska by John Green PDF novel free. Looking for Alaska is the romance, young adult fiction and suspense novel which. Written by the acclaimed author John Green, who wrote the best selling novel "The Fault in Our Stars" [Read The Fault In Our Stars at [link] ] Insufficient Words"I can't say everything in an email," he said. His mother must have been able to see the future, Jared thought through. Looking For Alaska. Page 1 of 88 To my family: Sydney Green, Mike Green, and Hank Green "I have tried so hard to do right." (last words of Alaska.

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Read Looking for Alaska online free from your iPhone, iPad, android, Pc, Mobile. Looking for Alaska is a Young Adult novel by John Green. A great addition for your John Green Collection. Check out Looking For Alaska and its audiobook and PDF. Looking for Alaska is one of those books that once you pick it up, you won't be able a well-known author of many young adult fiction novels, wrote Looking for.

When tragedy strikes the close-knit group, it is only in coming face-to-face with death that Pudge discovers the value of living and loving unconditionally. He heads off to the sometimes crazy and anything-but-boring world of Culver Creek Boarding School, and his life becomes the opposite of safe.

Because down the hall is Alaska Young. The gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, self-destructive, screwed up, and utterly fascinating Alaska Young. She is an event unto herself.

She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart. Nothing is ever the same. John… More about John Green.

Stand up, and take a step into the Great Perhaps. Printz Award Honor Book. Michael L. Grew up in? Orlando, Florida and Birmingham, Alabama Childhood ambition? For a little while, I wanted to be an earthworm scientist. But from about the age of six on, I wanted to write. Desert island book? Favorite city? Chicago Favorite movie? Rushmore Where do you write? In a little office off of our bedroom.

What made you decide to write Looking for Alaska? I always wanted to write a novel, but I guess I started writing that particular one because I was thinking a lot about loss. What would you like readers to learn from Miles?

What adjectives would you use to describe Looking for Alaska? Oh jeez. Sushi Favorite song?

My lucky boxers. And no, I do not wear them every day. Greatest achievement? Getting married, I think. Publishing a book is extremely difficult, but getting married is—at least in my experience—even more difficult. Most embarrassing moment? One time I got into thee separate car accidents all minor with three separate cars during a hour period, and the same police officer showed up at the scene of all three accidents. Is her puppy kicking dealt with?

Do any of the characters say "listen Alaska Darling, you kick one more puppy and I'm kicking your ass"? Ok, maybe that is a bit extreme, how about does Mr. Green have his characters abandon Alaska because she refuses to give up her puppy kicking ways? I know, you are saying, "listen, you stupid idiot, Alaska didn't abuse puppies, she only abused other's people's kindness, took advantage of people, emotionally manipulated people and was an all around piss poor person that used her own poor past to lash out".

Oh, ok, I see what you mean, nope, not a puppy kicker Poor Alaska. She screwed up in her past. She blames herself for something that happened when she was a child. It caused her to be moody, withdrawn, angry, and unpredictable. The next minute, she was the bitch.

Poor, poor Alaska. Give me a break! Alaska acted the way she did because she could. She used her past as an excuse for her destructive behavior. Many people had really shitty childhoods. Many people were physically and mentally abused as children. Many people were left to survive on their own as children…hungry, dirty and alone. Far from it. I have a ton of compassion. But being a victim does not excuse your behavior. Being a victim does not justify your behavior.

You still have to treat people with kindness, compassion, love, and honesty regardless of what struggles you survived. Get help, and then move on. If someone is treating you wrong, call them on it. That is BS. If a person is friendly, kind, caring one minute, but then angry, withdrawn the next, THEY have a problem. If a person is drinking too much, partying to hard, ignoring authority, breaking the rules, THEY have a problem.

Alaska sucked as a friend and she was a lousy human being, and she took up too much of my time by reading the book. View all 79 comments. Mar 08, Todd rated it did not like it Shelves: 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 be looking for Alaska throughout this story but I sure knew her right away.

She's the pretty girl who's even prettier because she's a bit damaged and makes you feel like you have a chance with her because she's a flirt. Yes, she's a hopelessly thin character, as are they all with the exception of The Colonel. Lara, Pudge's first girlfriend, is so bland she is given a Russian accent complete with long e's for short i's "I put the stuff een the gel In fact, each character is carefully provided with a shtick, often a savant-like "talent" that would in reality win game shows but is meant to be That Thing That Makes Him Special: The Colonel can remember capitals of countries to the point of extreme autism!

Pudge knows the last words of famous people— only he's so doggone quirky that he reads the biography but not the work of the famous person! And our precious Alaska? She keeps stacks and stacks of books in her room that she intends to read when she's done selling cigarettes to high school kids, I guess , called her life library or something , but has wrestled with life's Big Questions alongside some very Heavy Thinking Authors, and can recite poetry, of course.

Everybody is way too philosophical and literary for their own good, but god forbid the reader is allowed to think. Lest you miss the point, every moment is interpreted for you: I finally understood that day at the Jury: Alaska wanted to show us we could trust her.

Survival at Culver Creek meant loyalty, and she had ignored that. But then she'd shown me the way. She and the Colonel had taken the fall for me to show me how it was done, so I would know what to do when the time came Ok, then—I guess that's what happened, except that's just not the way high school kids work.

Even word choice reveals fear we won't get it; if an author has to tell you FIVE TIMES in the book that the character "deadpanned" instead of "said" the Colonel"deadpanned" three times and Pudge, just a little less dry I guess, "deadpanned" twice then either the dialogue is not written well or the author believes it is not written well. The former, at least. So just hanging with these kids leaves one searching for a third dimension, but then the story itself pretty much jumps genres halfway through, from slacker-YA-Holden-mentioned-on-the-back-cover to straight mystery.

Why'd she do what she did? Lest I "spoil" this story for you, I won't go into this part, but suffice it to say the above question is left out in the sun to rot while we are forced to look on, sniffing the decay.

The story doesn't work in any genre anyway. I know what the story is supposed to do— make me fall in love with Alaska, feel all warm and cozy when the four friends smoke cigarettes, shoot the breeze, and look out for one another, and care when one of them screams with cosmic agony, but alas. Maybe if I wasn't basically tapped on the shoulder and demanded these reactions I would be better at having them, but lines fall flat and soggy like cigarettes tossed casually into some cliche prep-school lake: The Colonel let go of my sweater and I reached down and picked up the cigarettes.

Not screaming, not through clenched teeth, not with the veins pulsing in my forehead, but calmly. I looked down at the Colonel and said, "F— you. View all 46 comments. Then we met the Colonel, and I did this because the Colonel is awesome!

Then we met Alaska and I go because, who knows? She's really not that bad. Then we really get to know her and I'm like Then ALL this stuff happens and I don't know what to expect, because now we're at the After part, and I'm excited Then BAM! And I'm like Then I realize its not a joke, and the waterworks start flowing Then I finally calm down And I'm trying to stay strong and remember it's only a book so I'm like Then I can't help myself and go back to ugly crying Then, after all that, I realize View all 34 comments.

This was the first book I ever read by John Green. It was given to me in 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 This was the first book I ever read by John Green.

Their journey together at boarding school begins and John takes us on an exciting ride in which you constantly feel there is impending doom lurking ahead. I'm going to keep this review short, because so much has been said on this book. The writing is as great as I always expect now from JG, and the story unfolds with a great pace that makes you never want to put the book down.

You will probably feel some excitement, sadness, and maybe even a little anger reading this book, but I think this book will be memorable.

This is an outstanding coming-of-age novel that doesn't resort to a "happily ever after" ending, but the characters each seek closure on their own terms. The characters are well drawn, witty, and full of individual quirks. This book also includes some fun pranks, some great humor, and some shocking turns of events. I thought that was a really neat tool that helped build suspense. Looking For Alaska is a book I still love and recommend years later, and occasionally still think about.

It remains my favorite JG book, and I would like to personally thank the person who gave me this book for introducing me to this wonderful writer. Recommend to everyone, really! View all 38 comments. This book is incredibly popular, and it's been waiting patiently in my bookshelf for at least two years now. Looking for Alaska was something in between.

Miles, the main character, is as interesting and charming as toast. So are his parents, but their lack of character depth is even worse. She is every toast-boy's fantasy, curvy, but also smart, a bookworm and feminist.

What's the plot? Boarding school, pranks, bullies, girls with boobs, alcohol and cigarettes. Way too many cigarettes - which really annoys me. Yeah, teens smoke out of stupidity but why write about it, and, in a way, promote it.

Not cool. Listen guys, smoking: I don't get the point. I didn't feel emotionally connected to any of the characters and this lack of feelings took away the sympathy and understanding for them. In a way, it seemed pointless. Not because it's not sad, but more because the whole novel left no impression on me.

The dialogues are okay and the pranks are fun, but I don't feel like this must have been written. Find more of my books on Instagram View all 39 comments. Nov 04, Kat Lost in Neverland rated it really liked it Shelves: First time hearing about this book; Friend online gushes on how amazing and fantabulous this book is. Okay, I'll check it out. Plus it's cool since I was born in Alaska.

The book is about Alaska right? The End. True Story. View all 10 comments. Aug 27, Nick rated it really liked it. My favorite from John Green. This reminds me of high school. View 2 comments. May 12, K. Aaron Vincent. I belong to the generation that enjoyed St. 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 I belong to the generation that enjoyed St. 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 the malls. So, now at 47, graying and with joints aching especially during cold mornings, I am just too old to appreciate a story about a bunch of young college kids who get into all troubles precisely because they are young.

They drink booze, smoke, defy school rules, swear, have free sex and, in their attempt to cover their foolishness, do various kinds of franks towards the school authorities.

I definitely had my share of foolishness when I was at their age. Last Sunday, my daughter had an outburst inside the car saying that she did not have a friend at school. My daughter who was very active in school leading the Robotics Team, emceeing school programs, leading the daily prayer as one of the school DJs, being class president for at least two years and playing various kinds of sports during annual intramurals.

She said that she felt alone she is an only child and she oftentimes ate lunch alone. My wife and I felt sad about her revelations. This was something that I and my wife did not experience when we were in high school as we were low-profile people then and even now in our respective life circles.

We advised her to just make the most of what can still be done for the rest of the senior year - probably concentrate with a few friends instead of reaching out to all — as it is just 8 months before graduation. In college, she will probably have a totally new set of friends so she can forge new ties and hope those will be stronger and more lasting.

Anyway, friends come and go. Those classmates-friends we had in college tend to stick with us after our school years as we normally land in the same field or industry. Moreover, in the end what really matter are the learnings from each friend we encounter in our lives. Learnings that help us to become better persons as we take our journey in this thing called life.

John Green shows us the generation of today.

His characters may not be totally different from the St. However, this is their time. We had ours. Thanks to Dra. Ranee for lending to me her copy of this book! View all 37 comments. Feb 05, Tricia added it. 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.

Jul 01, Darth J rated it it was ok Shelves: I had been putting off reviewing this book for a while.

It also took me much longer to read than I thought it would. Having read An Abundance of Katherines and Paper Towns first, I can say that Green seems to repeat a lot of the same themes and personalities. This may have been his first book, but it was probably my least favorite of the ones I've already read.

The one thing I did like about this book and saved it from being a 1 star w I had been putting off reviewing this book for a while.

The one thing I did like about this book and saved it from being a 1 star was the bufriedo, which is a fried burrito. View all 11 comments. Mar 04, Sarah rated it did not like it Shelves: This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers.

Looking for Alaska by John Green - review

To view it, click here. I got 23 pages into this stink-bomb of a novel and had to put it down. This is exceedingly rare for me, but it's just that bad. Our hero, Miles Halter, is a weird, spoiled kid who likes reading the ends of biographies just to get people's last words.

He doesn't always even read the whole book, just the ending. Miles thinks this habit makes him deep. Miles is wrong. We know Miles is shallow from page 3.

He's leaving his public school for a fancy boarding school, and only two friends, Marie and Will I got 23 pages into this stink-bomb of a novel and had to put it down.

He's leaving his public school for a fancy boarding school, and only two friends, Marie and Will, show up to bid him adieu. Miles does not appreciate this gesture because Marie and Will are dorks, theater geeks, and they like Jesus Christ Superstar , which Miles has somehow never heard of but already knows he doesn't like.

Also, Will is fat. The horror. Luckily for Miles, he is soon to escape this hellish existence of being forced to socialize with overweight people who don't recoil like demons at the name of Jesus. At his fancy-pants school, he meets Chip "The Colonel" his jerk of a roommate, but Chip's alright because he looks like "a scale model of Adonis" and he smokes.

Then there's Takumi, who's Asian and talks with his mouth full. So far, that is all we know about Takumi, and I have a horrible feeling that that is all we will ever know about Takumi. And then there's Alaska Young- "the hottest girl in the world" who introduces herself to Miles by gleefully recounting how she got groped by a random, randy boy over the summer.

Alaska is like Miles in that she loves to read a word which here means "parse, but pretend to have read the whole thing" big nonfiction books. Usually girls who like this kind of reading don't boast about their sexual exploits, because they are mature enough not to have any.

They also don't drink, smoke, or partake of drugs. But to paraphrase Gandalf at the edge of Mirkwood, this is the John Green-verse, a world that only appears similar to ours, and we're in for all kinds of fun wherever we go. Chip gives Miles the nickname "Pudge" because Miles is skinny.

Green clearly expects us all to be rolling in the aisles over this one. Green's expectations are way off. The night before school begins, Miles gets abducted from his room while Chip is out. The boys who take him make him a duct tape mummy and throw him in a pond, an ordeal which he miraculously survives.

These three guys tried to murder him, but they were thin and attractive and didn't say anything about Jesus, so we're cool. I neither know nor care what happens after this point. Then Alaska goes drunk-driving and dies, prompting an existential crisis on the part of her friends, who wonder if the car crash was a purposeful suicide.

They market this book to kids as young as twelve. John Green is not a particularly good writer, despite what you might have heard. His prose isn't bad, but it's hardly the ambrosial poetry it's been marketed as. The supposedly deep thoughts of the kids are clearly tacked on - it's not natural for Alaska to go from "OMG he honked my boob" her words, not mine to "General Bolivar wondered 'How will I ever get out of this labyrinth?

Nobody on Earth thinks, acts, or talks like this. Green clearly fancies himself a great sage of adolescence, and his characters worthy to keep the company of the best YA protagonists.

What he doesn't realize is that the great characters are great because they're not sold to the reader as perfect; rather, they are shown to be real kids with flaws and virtues. A few examples: But unlike them, she learns the value of temperance, sacrifice, and humility. But unlike Green's nihilistic dramatis personae, Anne believes fervently in Goodness - not just in God, while that's big, but in the inherent potential of every human being.

She also recognizes her mistakes and learns from them. He collects bugs, and he could probably have a good conversation with Miles and Alaska about famous last words and grain elevators. Eustace looks down on his cousins the Pevensies, whom he perceives as stupid, and he keeps a journal, wherein he is the only smart or sane person in a sea of idiots who enjoy the outdoors and talk about Aslan Christ Superstar.

Eustace basically is a Green hero at the start of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader , but Lewis sees him as he is - utterly insufferable. What a pity no one could turn Miles Halter into a dragon; it might have been a character-building experience.

She never even really recognizes how different she is from the children around her. She's nine when the story ends, but she's far more mature than Miles or any of his friends. She doesn't degrade the people around her. She just wants to save her family. The last two examples are from a movie and a TV show, but they're still light-years ahead of anybody in a Green book.

The Novelization fancies herself a genius, who's so much better than her peers that she'd rather do one-person plays in the park than interact with other high school kids. She quickly learns that she's not nearly as grown-up as she thought she was, and that by living mentally in a fantasy world, she almost lost her baby brother and got embroiled in a relationship with a rather unstable man that neither she nor he was ready for.

Sarah becomes mature when she admits her immaturity. Green's people don't think they have anything to learn. The Complete Scripts, Volume 1 are strange, maladjusted, and alienated from the mainstream like Green's kids are - but in realistic ways. Some of them are drug-addled partiers, others are readers and perceivers.

The writers of the show understood that a wild girl like Kim Kelly, who boasts of her Maenadish adventures just like Alaska, would not enjoy reading, while a bright kid like Lindsay Weir would try pot and skipping school, but feel the whole time like she was betraying herself. Green just amalgamates incompatible personality traits without a shred of realism. That's not even getting into the zig-zagging language of the book.

Green drops heavy swear words frequently, but thinks the reader needs every bit of real information spelled out for them. At the end of chapter 1, Miles explains to his parents who Francois Rabelais was, despite the fact that his dad owns the book about Rabelais that Miles read. This unnatural dialogue reveals how dumb Green thinks his readers are. It would have been better for Miles-as-narrator to step away from the scene and explain Rabelais briefly to the reader. Believe it or not, kids, there was a time when novelists knew you were smart enough to use an encyclopedia!

And what of the gratuitous crudity and innuendo in this book? Alaska is utterly objectified. The first time we meet her, she's bragging about getting felt up. To a pair of boys, no less, one of whom she doesn't even know. When she's having a supposedly deep conversation by the pond with Miles, he's more focused on her curves, which he describes over and over again in detail, than in anything she's saying.

It's the Male Gaze Run Amok. I understand that men are easily distracted by the bodies of women, especially women as beautiful as we're told Alaska is. But Miles is so filled with lust for her that it's uncomfortable to read about. If I have to read about men looking at women and being horny, I'll stick with Ovid. He can get disgusting, but he's a far superior writer to Green in any translation, and at least in Ovid many of the women do not seek to be objectified.

Also, Metamorphoses boasts such niceties as symbolism, flashes of genuine humor, and explosions. All in all, this is a terrible book which somehow won awards and gained its author a huge, worshipful following.

He has since rewritten it many times, changing the characters' names and tweaking the subject matter slightly. All his books pretend to be profound when they're really just paeans to narcissism, nihilism, and bad decisions.

His fans gobble this stuff up because it makes them feel special and unique without challenging them to change their lives or examine their characters. Worse, Green's genre can be a slippery slope to other "profound" YA novels such as the potentially harmful Thirteen Reasons Why , which in light of its alarmingly popular Netflix adaptation will soon be getting a review from me.

In short, don't give this man your money, time or brain cells. View all 53 comments. Aug 02, Fabian rated it really liked it. Here's me acknowledging the power of John Green. No, this one is not as bittersweet as "The Fault in Our Stars", but still, this is unputdownable supreme! Its the type of literature that gets one excited about reading, about reminiscing about adolescence and school. To read one of his novels is to remember t Here's me acknowledging the power of John Green.

Final rating: We need never be hopeless, because we can never be irreparably broken. We think that we are invincible because we are. 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 Final rating: I have to admit that i was on verge of crying on almost every page from the "After" part.

And then, in the end, i did cry a little. Let out a tear or two But, it was beautiful ending, and i loved it: I liked Miles a lot, he was cool, interesting and nice Colonel, on the other hand, was fantastic character, crazy, with strong personality Takumi was great too, even though i wished there was more of him; Lara was here and there, likeable and cute girl and in the end we have Alaska Alaska is a different story Sure, she may be crazy and she might be awesomely defensive of womankind, but overall i didn't feel much about her.

But, she was still loveable. She didn't even glance at me. She just smiled toward the television and said, 'You never get me. That's the whole point. My fox hat. Some people say that the best years of our lives are when we are young, when we are teens, when we are in college When we are with friends But some stories finish before we even blink. View all 47 comments. Aug 22, kat rated it really liked it. View all 8 comments.

Jun 14, Madeline rated it it was amazing Shelves: He meets a girl, who is your typical Manic Pixie Dream Girl, except on crack. Boy obsesses over Girl, Girl does not give much of a damn. Girl is impulsive and difficult to understand and shows many signs of being mentally unbalanced, but Boy does not care because she is hot.

Story continues in this vein for a while, and then Girl does something that causes all hell to break loose, goes totally off the rails, and Boy is left to pick up the pieces and continue worshipping Girl, although not quite in the same way he did before.

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Katherine I is mostly normal, although still a constant source of mystery and worship. Margot Roth Speigleman is Alaska Young on medication. And Alaska Young is Remember the mermaids? But the second you get close to them, they grab you and drag you under the water and drown you.

Alaska Young is a mermaid. He falls, hard, for Alaska and bravely endures her ups and downs, and he suffers for it along with everyone else who was foolish enough to fall in love with her. She stubbornly remains a mystery throughout the book, refusing to explain her actions or moods, and this continues to the moment when she drives off campus, drunk and raging, and ends up driving her car straight into a police car the siren was on, the lights flashing that was parked on the highway at an accident site.

She is killed instantly, and even after her death Miles and his friends continue to be consumed by her. The thing I love about John Green and the reason this gets five stars, despite my griping is the way he writes about emotions. I cannot stop thinking that she is dead, and I cannot stop thinking that she cannot possibly be dead. People do not just die. It is so cold today — literally freezing — and I imagine running to the creek and diving in headfirst, the creek so shallow that my hands scrape against the rocks, and my body slides into the cold water, the shock of the cold giving way to numbness, and I would stay there In all the Before sections, it just felt like the characters were stalling for time, waiting for that inevitable disaster to happen.

Once it does, I suddenly became completely invested in the book and decided that I needed to give it five stars. And if Alaska took her own life, that is the hope I wish I could have given her. Forgetting her mother, forgetting her friends and herself — those are awful things, but she did not need to fold into herself and self-destruct.

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Those awful things are survivable, because we are as indestructible as we believe ourselves to be. We thinks 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 part of us greater than the sum of our parts cannot begin and cannot end, and so it cannot fail. I think she did it on purpose. I think she meant to do it.

Whilst dicking around on tumblr, I found a snippet of a poem by Warsan Shire and I had to post it at the end of this review, because I think it perfectly expresses what Alaska would say if she were allowed to tell this story in her own words, and it also illustrates what John Green fails to understand about his Manic Pixie Dream Girl obsession: View all 25 comments.

I first read this book in when I was 14 and it turned out to be the book that sparked my love for literature. I've always loved reading, but before that I only read for the sake of entertainment.

Looking for Alaska was the first book that I thoroughly enjoyed reading, but that simultaneously and more importantly, made me think about greater issues in life for a long time after I had finished reading. Now that I'm 21, I understand that while this remains to be a highly philosophical book, it's I first read this book in when I was 14 and it turned out to be the book that sparked my love for literature.

Now that I'm 21, I understand that while this remains to be a highly philosophical book, it's not the "deepest" and most perfect book ever. However, it still means the world to me and I'll always be thankful for John Green for writing it. Apr 26, Kristopher Jansma rated it liked it Shelves: 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 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.

I first heard of Looking for Alaska in my thesis workshop, when a girl very snidely told me I'd have to take out part of my own book because it sounded very similar to this book she'd heard about on NPR, which had not even come yet out at that point.

Stubbornly I refused to cut the section and even read it at my thesis reading and when Alaska finally did come out, I flipped through just enough of it to decide my book was way better and then abandoned it.

Sadly, Alaska has dogged me ever since. Agents and editors alike have told me that my book is too similar to it - which is apparently not a good thing - despite Alaska having won a number of awards and such. Anyway, sour grapes aside, I decided that if the comparisons are inevitable, I might as well know what I'm being held up against. So what do the young adults of this world really want? Sex, apparently.

Looking for Alaska

And a stiff drink or twelve. Looking for Alaska is about normal, skinny Miles Halter, quickly nicknamed Pudge, who gets into Culver Creek Boarding School and leaves in search of something more interesting.

His quirky personality trait is that he memorizes the famous last words of various historical figures - a party trick that he uses to successfully get in with his roommate, who goes by "the Colonel" and the smoky little sexpot down the hall, Alaska Young.

Wait, you might be saying, what's with all these funny nicknames? Well, Alaska turns out to be nearly the only name in the book that isn't a nickname - though we do find out that her parents decided to let her name herself at the age of 5. Try as I might I can't recall a lot of excessive nicknaming in my youth. I suppose there were a few guys I knew who pretty much went by their last names, when there were too many Adams or Brians in the bunch.

I had one friend who referred to himself as the Emperor Anyway, I digress. All I will say is that the structure and the subject matter reminded me immensely of The Secret History by Donna Tartt which incidentally was my main inspiration as well But just as I felt that the second half of History sags, Alaska does too. It's hard to talk about why without spoiling the twist, so I'll focus my energy on the Before section, which will give you the gist. As I said earlier, Pudge loves Famous Last Words, this is actually the facet that the snarky workshop girl told me was too close to my own book and I expected to hate this quirk - but in fact it grew on me.

Looking For Alaska

The whole book grew on me - the romantic tension between him and Alaska is perfect, and there are an awful lot of incredibly poignant moments as Pudge grows accustomed to the school and it's strange rules and rhythms. Ultimately the book becomes a youthful meditation on life and death, which made me realize part of the joy of YA writing - just as in the Death Cab songs, the emotions can be laid much barer than in more serious literary works where things always seem to have to stay sort of ambiguous and sophisticated.

Teenagers are supposed to be a little melodramatic, and that's sort of the joy of it. Badly done, you get Gossip Girl style antics, a lot of who-cheated-on-whom-with-whomever-else. But rightly done, you get something like the better parts of Looking for Alaska. So what's leftover? A lot of ridiculous stuff. The Colonel and Alaska are more or less perpetually drunk she buries wine bottles in the woods and there's a good deal of cigarette smoking going on as well - for which they are occasionally punished.

Fellatio is simulated on a tube of toothpaste then performed in real life. Alaska's big hunky boyfriend from another school comes by frequently and everyone talks racily about how much sex they seem to have and just how much Alaska loves it. Worse than anything, when the characters are good and drunk which is often they will break out in absurd, spontaneous, freestyle rapping.

In between all the genuine, poignant moments of the book, are a million moments where they're all so jaded and edgy and wacky you almost wish you could reach in and smack all their heads together. Maybe that's just me. A friend of mine who actually went to boarding school observed to me the other day that none of the boarding school books she's ever read including Alaska, which she did not like give any realistic idea of the sheer volume of WORK that needs to be done.

There's essentially no time leftover to get up to any trouble, she said. At any rate, Culver seems to be a somewhat less romanticised boarding school than the Exeters and Andovers of the world. It's in Alabama for one thing. Most of the rich kids head home on the weekends leaving only our protagonists to get up to trouble. There's very little sense that any of them feel pressure to do well or accomplish anything extraordinary in life.

The overriding question of the book is how one can escape the constant sufferings of life - not suffering like having to work hard or being humiliated or anything - think more like a teenager - it is the suffering of unrequited love, parents that just don't get it, the fear of getting expelled for one's various illicit pleasures, the embarrassment of puking on a girl Ultimately the book hinges on a more deeply serious moment - the sort that makes this philosophical question really important for them, and puts their previous, childish problems in perspective.

However, as I said earlier, this moment comes halfway through, making the final half of the book one very tedious denouement. Ultimately, the good in this book will stick in my mind far more than the bad. The character's absurdities and the shaky structure are both quickly forgotten upon putting the book down.

I'm genuinely glad that I read it, and not only because now I have a better idea of what to avoid with my own book. Alaska is a great character, when she's not a little bit over the top. And maybe that's just what being a teenager is all about. View all 16 comments. 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 I was recommended this by a good friend and I was really looking forward to it.

I couldn't handle it. By the time I got to the "After" section of the book I was going through the motions; counting pages, skipping whole paragraphs that seemed unimportant and screaming internally at my book. The took so long to figure out the great mystery of the incident that is didn't seem plausible for a group of teenagers who are supposed to be smart. I have since read another John Green book and I truly loved it. His writing is excellent and it is so refreshing to see a YA novel with a male voice.

I also rather liked that they actually did homework and went to classes. So, please, go and but another of his books and truly enjoy the author that is John Green.The thing I love about John Green and the reason this gets five stars, despite my griping is the way he writes about emotions. The writing wasn't bad. It wasn't a waste of time being around them even if I didn't get past the surface we're all in this together stuff. Did Mr. These three guys tried to murder him, but they were thin and attractive and didn't say anything about Jesus, so we're cool.

Many people had really shitty childhoods. This is exceedingly rare for me, but it's just that bad.

KELLE from North Charleston
Look through my other articles. I have only one hobby: rossall hockey. I do relish reading comics zestfully .