Sunday, 22 December 2013

Review - Looking for Alaska by John Green

Genre: young adult / contemporary
Pages: 272
Rating: 3,5/5 stars

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. Then 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.

My thoughts
On the internet I had seen that a lot of people where very enthusiastic about John Green's books so that was the reason I asked Looking for Alaska for my birthday. I had quite high expectations from this book, and although I really enjoyed this book a lot, it didn't completely meet them.  I thought this would be one of those books that I wouldn't be able to put down, but it wasn't. I wished that I hadn't heard so much about this book already, because then I probably would have been able to read it more open minded. Apparently I had already formed a very clear idea of what the book would be like.

Although I sometimes do read contemporary fiction, it is not my favorite genre. Looking for Alaska was a pleasant surprise on that front. I loved the descriptions of life at Culver Creek boarding school and it's characters. I do wish that I had gotten to know the characters a little bit better, but the book wasn't very long so it is not strange that this didn't happen. Eventhough the characters smoke and drink in the book, they are far from stupid, which I think was nice for a change. A lot of writers have the tendency to write characters who smoke and drink as dumb. Maybe drinking a lot or smoking is not clever, but that doesn't mean that smart people in real life don't do it. John Green did a great job of writing real teenagers. They swore like teenagers do (and not like some adults seem to think they do), they questioned life and they got mad at each other for no particular reason. The main character Miles Halter was a believable character and I really liked hist interest in people's last words.

This book is fast paced and is very easy to read. It was not hard to get into at all. I read it over several days, but if I would have read it in one go I could definitely have finished it in one day.

I can't really pinpoint why I wasn't blown away by this book. There is really not that much I can say against it. It's just that I had expected it to be even better. This is definitely a book that I will be reading again, because maybe now that I see it in a different light I can apreciate it more, because the writing style is really beautiful and I really want to love this book.

'I wanted to be one of those people who have streaks to maintain, who scorch the ground with their intensity. But for now, at least I knew such people, and they needed me, just like comets need tails.'


  1. I haven't read this one yet, but I have enjoyed some other John Green books. This one's definitely on my TBR list!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    1. I'm definitely going to read more books of him. I'm really curious about Looking for Alaska since I've heard so many people talk about it and it is now being made into a movie!