Title: Looking For Alaska
Author: John Green
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Rating: 3 (3.5) Star
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.
Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS
I have to say, I am not following this John Green banned wagon that everyone else besides me seems to be partying on. Besides The Fault In Our Stars, I have not really liked any of his books that I have read. I did round this book up to a 4 star but upon further reflection put it down to a 3 because I have read better things on the 4 scale. I hold up in hope though that when I get to Paper Towns I feel some of the love again.
This review will contain spoilers.
I like the overall plot of this book. We meet this whirlwind of a girl, Alaska, and get swept up in her just over-the-top behaviour and then she dies in a car crash and people are left remember. Our main character Pudge is then left to deal with his feelings for her which never went anywhere other than one stolen kiss the night before she dies. Because in his mind he had built her up to this wonderful goddess like creature, and then after her death he realises she was not as perfect as he was making her out to be.
This is the part I like. The dealing with the realistic aspects of human nature, how we are generally not all good and bad, and just because you may love someone, or that someone has died, doesn’t change those things and we need to remember and love them despite those aspects. The parts of the plot which were very generic and cliché to ‘how teenagers act out’ were less than desired though.
I think my biggest issue with this story was the fact that I didn’t connect with any of the characters. Don’t get me wrong, around the middle of the book I was really feeling for them and connect with the struggles they were having, but it was the same kind of feeling that get when I hear a news story about something bad has happened to people I don’t know. It doesn’t last.
For me the writing style was fine. It wasn’t great and it wasn’t so bad I wanted to claw my eyes out either. There were a few things I would call ‘try hard’ where they seemed to be through in there just to try and force the story to be more exciting or edgy and ended up failing. But I did like the last sentence thing that popped up throughout the book. I don’t know if any of them were actually true, but those kind of things I find interesting anyway so I liked the way they were weaved in to help tell the story.
This is the second book from a males perspective that I have read of John Green’s work, and thus far I don’t think I like the male perspectives from him. I loved TFIOS, but I hated An Abundance of Katherines, and this fell in the middle. Does he have more books from a girls perspective? I would like to pick one of those up next if he does to see if that makes a difference, or if TFIOS is just on its own.
I would recommend this book to people who have read other John Green books and have liked them so that they can see where he has come from, because I believe this was his first book, correct me if I am wrong though. If you have read a few Green books though and haven’t really been interested in what was going on I would give this book a miss.
Till Next Time…