Monday, November 24, 2014

Review- Looking for Alaska by John Green

Goodreads Summary:

Before. Miles "Pudge" Halter's whole existence has been one big nonevent, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave the "Great Perhaps" (François Rabelais, poet) even more. He heads off to the sometimes crazy, possibly unstable, 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, who is an event unto herself. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart.

After. Nothing is ever the same.


When I first bought Looking for Alaska, I had already read and loved The Fault In Our Stars. When I picked it up to read, I wasn't sure what to expect, but seeing as it's a John Green book, I knew that it would be, in it's own and unique way, epic. Unfortunately, it wasn't all that life-changing, mind-blowing and totally oh my God, but Looking for Alaska was still a great read, but I only wish I had loved it more. 

Looking for Alaska is actually a very simple story of a bunch of friends who realise how short and valuable life is after they are struck by an incident none of them foresaw. I've read plenty of books with a similar plot and I've definitely read better. But what I must say is that Looking for Alaska is indeed a very nice story. I loved the aspect of what remains when we are gone that was taken up in it. Finding the "Great Perhaps" and all that. That was very interesting. But what has stayed with me and will stay with me most is the following line which I loved so much: 

"You just use the future to escape the present." 

The bunch of friends I spoke of before are Miles or Pudge, Chip or Colonel, Takumi, Lara and Alaska. I loved the gang, yes, but I especially loved Colonel. He was a cool and funny guy. And I loved his mom as well. While the book is actually from Miles' point of view, aside from his curiosity, I didn't really connect with him. Takumi had two absolutely great moments that I'll always remember when I look back at the book. Lara was really nice in her own way, but I didn't really like Alaska all that much and it's a shame, because the book is about her. She was messed up, but I would have loved to know the "whys" of everything, but I felt that somewhere, it was necessary to keep it unsaid and undone anyway. 

What made Looking for Alaska a very quick and interesting read was John Green's writing. It was nice and simple and there were plenty of funny moments, although after reading The Fault In Our Stars, I didn't find it as brilliant. Besides, if I take into consideration the fact that this book is the author's debut, it was some really great writing.

I liked how the book was divided into Before and After and we go backwards and forwards from the day on which the incident that I won't tell you about happens. The summary is a little deceiving though when it talks about the After. I didn't find anything that wasn't the same except the excessive drinking and smoking which I didn't care about anyway. Speaking of the incident, I have my own theory, but to avoid spoilers, I won't mention it, although I feel everyone knows it for what it actually was than what it was made out to be. Looking for Alaska had some aspects that made it just about great for me, and I did like it while I was reading it. 



  1. Excellent review, Sarika! I have been wanting to read John Green books other than Fault in Our Stars, so I hope I get to this one soon. Too bad our expectations are sky high for his books!

  2. I started to read this book several times and gave up every single time. I just can't get into it. On the other hand, my sister won't shut up about how brilliant it is. I guess I have love/hate relationship with J. Green novels.


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