Book Review : Looking For Alaska by John Green


                                      Looking For Alaska by John Green

Product Details
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Speak (December 28, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0142402516
  • ISBN-13:  978-0142402511

This book is divided into two sections, Before, and After.

Before“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.” Sixteen-year-old Miles (Pudge) Halter’s life has been devastatingly dull. He has no friends, no girls and no adventures, except for an obsession over the last words of dead famous people. And so he leaves Florida for a boarding school in Alabama, in hope to find the Great Perhaps. There, he befriends an interesting group of students consisting of his genius-scholarship-student roommate, Colonel; the witty-rap-obsessed Japanese, Takumi; the gorgeous Romanian, Lara; and the beautiful, interesting, complicated Alaska Young who inhabits his soul. The plot goes with the group’s occasionally getting busted for smoking cigarettes and drinking ‘Strawberry Hills’ liquor on campus, sneaking out after curfew and playing pranks. The plot ended when they played Truth or Dare, Pudge and Alaska are kind of experiencing a little foreplay (despite how faithful Alaska is to her boyfriend) and Alaska starts freaking out and with the help of Pudge and the Colonel, she manages to drive off campus. Pudge and the Colonel then got to bed, thinking nothing was wrong.  


Somewhere between looking for the sequel of the Night Angel Trilogy and P.S I Love You books, I found John Green’s Looking For Alaska. “I never liked writing concluding paragraphs to papers - where you repeat what you've already said with phrases like 'In summation', and 'To conclude'. – Looking For Alaska. To write a summary and review on this book with only 800 words would be unfair, it’s not enough. So, here goes nothing. This is by far one the best books I’ve ever read. Sadness, guilt, anger, mischief, trust, love, John Green penned these in a way I’ve never encountered in any other books. I read this book in one siting; it’s haunting and compelling in the simplest of ways. This is a story of one boy’s journey to seek a Great Perhaps, a story about friendship unlike any told before, a story full of quiet incidents with larger than life lessons. This is not a love story; this is a story about love. After reading and re-reading it again and again, I’ve decided that the Great Perhaps is not a destination, but a journey instead. And I think Pudge found it within himself. 

“We need never be hopeless because we can never be irreparably broken.- Pudge. I've messed up everything I could possibly have messed up. For the longest time I was wallowed in self-pity it made me stop doing things for everyone else and it made me realized that this is my life, and one day nobody else is going to care so I need to do things for me. I think I learned this because it showed me how short life really is and that I can take control of things and make my life what I want it to be. This book deals with teens in a realistic and important way. The sprinkling of famous last words and philosophies completes the plot with precise dosage, rather than distract. And the characters, flawed as it is are still very human, well-developed and their actions come across as genuine.

This book connects itself so much to me that at one point, I could basically picture myself as Miles ‘Pudge’ Halter. I have so much in common with him, that I’m able to read the book from my point of view. When he says things like “I hated sports. I hated sports, and I hated people who played them, and I hated people who watched them, and I hated people who didn't hate people who watched or played them.” and “I hated talking, and I hated listening to everyone else stumble on their words and try to phrase things in the vaguest possible way so they wouldn’t sound dumb.” I laughed so loud that my mom thought I was on drugs.

There were lumps inside my throat as I read the last page of the book. Because I’d like to believe Alaska isn’t dead. I’d like to picture her smoking or drinking in the barn, sorting out her priorities. I’d like to picture her driving home, and stopping at her boyfriend’s house to tell him it’s over. I know she isn’t fully committed to her boyfriend. If she loved her boyfriend, she wouldn’t have felt the need to say it to Pudge. I’d like to see her at home, reading a book alone in her room and most of all, I want to see her happily in love with Pudge. I want to picture her being alive.

”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.” – Pudge. 


“We didn't have sex. We never got naked. I never touched her bare breast, and her hands never got lower than my hips. It didn't matter. As she slept, I whispered, "I love you, Alaska Young.”  

John Green first novel, Looking for Alaska, won the 2006 Michael L. Printz Award presented by the American Library Association. The film rights to Looking for Alaska were purchased by Paramount in 2005. His second novel, An Abundance of Katherines, was a 2007 Michael L. Printz Award Honor Book and a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. His next novel, Paper Towns, is a New York Times bestseller. He also coauthored a book with David Levithan called Will Grayson, Will Grayson

In 2007, John and his brother Hank were the hosts of a popular internet blog, "Brotherhood 2.0," where they discussed their lives, books and current events every day for a year except for weekends and holidays. They still keep a video blog, now called "The Vlog Brothers," which can be found on the Nerdfighters website. 

3 creative remarks:

Aik said...

Hey, Naadir! Thanks for this review! Now I know why you like John Green so much.

You don't actually have to write 800 words for a review. In fact, most people only write a quarter of 800. But of course, there's no wrong in expressing your love for a book, even if it takes a thousand words.

Keep up the good work! :)

Naadir said...

well this was my English assignment the other day. lol. didnt post the 'after' part cause i wudnt want to spoil it for d readers. (y)

Loraine said... i love JOHN GREEN