Looking For Alaska
by John Green
Reading level: Ages 14 and up
Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Speak (December 28, 2006)
Buy the Book: Amazon
Miles Halter is fascinated by famous last words and tired of his safe life at home. He leaves for boarding school to seek what the dying poet Francois Rabelais called the "Great Perhaps." Much awaits Miles at Culver Creek, including Alaska Young. Clever, funny, screwed-up, and dead sexy, Alaska will pull Miles into her labyrinth and catapult him into the Great Perhaps.
Looking for Alaska brilliantly chronicles the indelible impact one life can have on another. A stunning debut, it marks John Green's arrival as an important new voice in contemporary fiction.
This isn't really a review, since most have you have either already read this book, or decided that you'll probably never get to it, but I thought I'd post my thoughts anyway.
I know this is a favorite for so many people, but it just wasn't for me. We read this book for our Forbidden Book Club last month, and I found myself having to be forced to read it. Why? Was the writing bad? No, really, not at all. Obviously it connects with so many people. I think that I've just come to the conclusion that I don't want to be sad. And this book is sad, in too many ways. I get SO frustrated when I read books like this. Books where the characters are SO infuriating and screwed up. And I don't feel like anyone is any better off in the end of the book than they were in the beginning. I know it's supposed to be realistic, and that's fine, I just don't want to spend my time reading it. It makes me sad and angry and leaves me feeling helpless to change anything.
I just don't like it.
I could get into specifics, like the fact that Miles (nicknamed Pudge....barf) was a pretty sad and pathetic puppy dog, following Alaska around begging to be pet. Or how Alaska was portrayed as every guy's dream girl, because she was crude, unthoughtful, unattainable, and talked about sex like it was nothing (wow, I can tell this book was written by a guy). Or about how when the "after" finally came, I just wanted to cry, and I hate crying. And let me just mention that I'm a girl....so no, I don't want to read about......a guy.....doing.....that. Gross.
So, I guess my question is this. Is this (Alaska) really what guys are looking for? What is it about this book that you liked? And, if this book didn't work for me, should I read The Fault in Our Stars? It's sitting on my shelf, staring at me.
This rating is a reflection of my taste, not of the writing
P.S. I still think John Green is very talented and does amazing things for YA. Just because I don't like the book doesn't mean I don't like and appreciate him. See....here's me and his van.....
- Sexual Content: Very Heavy
- Profanity: Very Heavy
- Violence: Mild
- Other Notables: Heavy underage drinking, death, possible suicide