Looking for Alaska
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The award-winning, genre-defining debut from #1 bestselling author of The Fault in Our StarsWinner of the Michael L. Printz AwardLos Angeles Times Book Prize FinalistNew York Times bestsellerBefore. Miles “Pudge” Halter is done with his safe life at home. His whole life has been one big non-event, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave “the Great Perhaps” even more (Francois Rabelais, poet). He heads off to the sometimes crazy 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. She is an event unto herself. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart. Then. . . .After. Nothing is ever the same.From School Library JournalGrade 9 Up - Sixteen-year-old Miles Halter's adolescence has been one long nonevent - no challenge, no girls, no mischief, and no real friends. Seeking what Rabelais called the "Great Perhaps," he leaves Florida for a boarding school in Birmingham, AL. His roommate, Chip, is a dirt-poor genius scholarship student with a Napoleon complex who lives to one-up the school's rich preppies. Chip's best friend is Alaska Young, with whom Miles and every other male in her orbit falls instantly in love. She is literate, articulate, and beautiful, and she exhibits a reckless combination of adventurous and self-destructive behavior. She and Chip teach Miles to drink, smoke, and plot elaborate pranks. Alaska's story unfolds in all-night bull sessions, and the depth of her unhappiness becomes obvious. Green's dialogue is crisp, especially between Miles and Chip. His descriptions and Miles's inner monologues can be philosophically dense, but are well within the comprehension of sensitive teen readers. The chapters of the novel are headed by a number of days "before" and "after" what readers surmise is Alaska's suicide. These placeholders sustain the mood of possibility and foreboding, and the story moves methodically to its ambiguous climax. The language and sexual situations are aptly and realistically drawn, but sophisticated in nature. Miles's narration is alive with sweet, self-deprecating humor, and his obvious struggle to tell the story truthfully adds to his believability. Like Phineas in John Knowles's A Separate Peace(S & S, 1960), Green draws Alaska so lovingly, in self-loathing darkness as well as energetic light, that readers mourn her loss along with her friends. - Johanna Lewis, New York Public Library Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. ReviewAn ALA Best Book for Young Adults Top 10An ALA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young ReadersA 2005 Booklist Editors’ ChoiceA Kirkus Best Book of 2005A 2005 SLJ Best Book of the YearA New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age"What sets this novel apart is the brilliant, insightful, suffering but enduring voice of Miles Halter." --Chicago Tribune"Funny, sad, inspiring, and always compelling." --Bookpage"Stunning conclusion . . . one worthy of a book this good." --Philadelphia Enquirer"The spirit of Holden Caulfield lives on." --Kliatt"What sings and soars in this gorgeously told tale is Green’s mastery of language and the sweet, rough edges of Pudge’s voice. Girls will cry and boys will find love, lust, loss and longing in Alaska’s vanilla-and-cigarettes scent." Kirkus, starred review"Miles’s narration is alive with sweet, self-deprecating humor, and his obvious struggle to tell the story truthfully adds to his believability. Like Phineas in John Knowles’s A Separate Peace, Green draws Alaska so lovingly, in self-loathing darkness as well as energetic light, that readers mourn her loss along with her friends." --SLJ, starred review"...Miles is a witty narrator who manages to be credible as the overlooked kid, but he's also an articulate spokesperson for the legions of teen searching for life meaning (his taste for famous last words is a believable and entertaining quirk), and the Colonel's smarts, clannish loyalties, and relentlessly methodological approach to problems make him a true original....There's a certain recursive fitness here, since this is exactly the kind of book that makes kids like Miles certain that boarding school will bring them their destiny, but perceptive readers may also realize that their own lives await the discovery of meaning even as they vicariously experience Miles' quest." --Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, starred review"Readers will only hope that this is not the last word from this promising new author." --Publishers Weekly“John Green has written a powerful novel—one that plunges headlong into the labyrinth of life, love, and the mysteries of being human. This is a book that will touch your life, so don’t read it sitting down. Stand up, and take a step into the Great Perhaps.”—K.L. Going, author of Fat Kid Rules the World, a Michael L. Printz Award Honor Book
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Community ReviewsSee all
"7/10 this is probably an unpopular opinion but I’m starting to think John Green is a little overhyped. Nonetheless, I still enjoyed this book. I liked the first half way more than I liked the last half though. The first half was full of anticipation, but the rest of it just felt like a wild goose chase with no real resolution."
"This book had such a twist, it’s a very coming of age book about a high schooler trying alcohol living teenage life. He’s very interesting and knows the last words of everyone’s death but what in the story he realizes there’s one last word he will never know. Also don’t search for spoilers it ruins the whole book, I didn’t search for spoilers and it was amazing. "
"Have not read it, but I just learned that this book was written by John green. The brother of the guy who taught me science. Just wanted to share with the class. I am very surprised. He has also APPARENTLY written many other famous books… so that’s a thing. "