Looking for Alaska

Looking for Alaska

Looking for Alaska

by John Green

Genre: YA Contemporary, YA Romance
Published: December 28th 2006
by Penguin




Miles Halter is fascinated by famous last words – and tired of his safe, boring and rather lonely life at home. He leaves for boarding school filled with cautious optimism, 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.


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 OK 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.

I have a bit of a unique stance when it comes to John Green. I really respect and admire him as a person, but his stories just never seem to click with me the way they seem to everyone else. They never completely devastate me or leave me in tears, they never shock me, and, in the end, I felt that exact same way about Looking For Alaska.

Miles wants a break from his life, the loneliness and routine of it, so he decides to start attending Culver Creek Boarding School. There, he falls in love, makes friends, and is stricken by a heartbreaking tragedy.

Miles was a decent main character, but he wasn’t especially memorable or spectacular. There’s very little development within his character beyond his obsession infatuation with Alaska, which made him hard to sympathize with at some points.

The problem with the story is you truly need to be able to connect with Alaska as a character to feel the book’s emotional appeal, and, unfortunately, I wasn’t able to do that. Alaska never truly came off the pages or captured me in one way or another. She felt a bit too mysterious and unrealistic for me to care about one way or another, and, frankly, I never understood why Miles adored her so much.

I feel if I had a stronger emotional connection with Alaska I would have enjoyed this a lot more, but, alas, that didn’t happen. It’s still a solid read with some wonderful writing and dynamic friendships, and is certainly worth the read.


1 thought on “Looking for Alaska

  1. I didn’t like this book at all. I read it at a very young age (for the book) and thought it was uselessly graphic. Alaska seems like more of a symbol than an actual character (which is okay to do if it is done right but I don’t really think her character was). Overall, I agree that it wasn’t very relatable which is sad since I feel like it had so much potential. As far as the whole John Green thing goes, sometimes I wonder how books would be received differently if no name was ever attached to it. Because readers expect greatness from certain authors and don’t like others, does it make these authors live up to the expectations placed on them? Interesting to think about. Thanks for sharing!

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