Tuesday, April 05, 2011

REVIEW: Looking for Alaska by John Green

Looking for Alaska
By John Green
Pages: 272
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication Date: 31st March 2010 (new cover edition)
Format: Paperback.

From Amazon
Miles Halter is fascinated by famous last words - and tired of his safe life at home. He leaves for boarding school 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.

Looking for Alaska brilliantly chronicles the indelible impact one life can have on another. A stunning debut, it marks John Green's arrival as an important new voice in contemporary fiction.

You don't even know how EXCITED/HAPPY I was when I opened up the package to find this. If you were there, you probably would've seen my eyes glaze over, mouth shaped as a perfect 'O', admiring the beautiful masterpiece that is Looking for Alaska, in total awe of this book that I've (shamefully) waited so long to read. Now, what is so special about Looking for Alaska, you ask? And well, if you *do* ask that, then I don't even know what is wrong with you. Go visit Amazon.co.uk RIGHT NOW, search for 'Looking for Alaska/any other John Green book' and click ADD TO BASKET. AND THEN BUY because y'all are going to be freakin' BLOWN AWAY by this.

Looking for Alaska tells the story of a boy who is content with memorising the last words of famous people. A boy who moves to Culver Creek boarding school, where he is hoping to meet some new friends (he doesn't have many at the moment..) who will help him on his mission to seek his "Great Perhaps". There, he meets his new roommate the Colonel (real name: Chip) and the gorgeous, crazy Alaska Young. This is the story of Miles Halter, but most of all, it's a story of friendship, loss and love.

John Green, wow. I wonder if he can impress me anymore than he already has, because I don't know about you, but there's something about his writing that makes me feel overwhelmed- with beauty and enchantment and just wowness.

The way in which Looking for Alaska was set-up was fantastic; split up into Before and After. (Before and After what you'll just have to find out by reading it, won't cha?) The first half was paced quite slowly, very cleverly actually, we meet all these new people, people that Pudge will be seeing nearly everyday, and then we see the kind of things that they like to get up to in their spare time: smoking, drinking and pulling pranks on the Weekday Warriors (READ IT). Like you do.
   The way each bit was separated was fascinating, counting down until The Day, almost like some sort of bomb. Don't even ask me why I'm comparing it to a bomb, but it reminded me of one, kay?! I swear, trying to explain it is the craziest thing every, I bet John Green had a lot of fun laughing at all the people who dared to review his work.

When I think about it..there isn't *actually* much of a plot. I guess a lot of it is driven by the characters. And the pranks. That's what makes it stand out against other YA novels..

Pudge (Miles's nickname given to him by Alaska, keep up!) was SUCH a great character. And by 'great' I meant totallyrelatableandstuff. But seriously, and not just him, all the characters in Looking for Alaska, The Colonel, Takumi and Alaska, they were all so real, so ordinary, just like you and me, but Green managed to make them seem so special. His writing, all the things he can do with this bunch of words, it's something I could only *dream* of achieving. BUT, having said that they are ALL just like you and me (bor-ing) except Takumi. Takumi is the *swear-word* FOX. AND NOBODY CATCHES THE FOX. *dies*

There's parts of the book that are so funny, they had me laughing out loud, and then you get to places where you can practically SEE every raw emotion right before you eyes. It's mind-blowing.

I know this is only the fourth month of the year, but Looking for Alaska beats all the other books BY FAR for the title of 'Best Book (This Year)' and that's saying something because everything I've had the chance to read so far this year has been pretty awesome. But guys..Looking for Alaska is like..a special kind of awesome. Reserved only for books written by people whose names begin with 'John and end with 'Green'. Y'know what I mean?

John Green knows exactly what makes us YA readers tick, and he uses that and I LIKE IT.

I'll stop gushing now.

What we have achieved by the end of this review: The fact that Iffath really loves Looking for Alaska. Understood? Yes? Good.

*In no way was Iffath paid to write this review. The book just arrived at my doorstep. Brought to me by my fairy-godmother on her unicorn who is also friends with my unicorn, Unicorn. (I'm guessing, it may have been that guy..what's his name? Oh yeah, Mr P. Man).

^ Um. Sorry about that. I went a little bit crazy. But I got a comment from somebody who though that I get paid to write these review because most of them are good ones. Hm. I might have to write a post on this soon. But you should know, I DO NOT GET PAID FOR WRITING REVIEWS.

Quotes I loved

"The only way out of the labyrinth of suffering is to forgive." 

"So I walked back to my room and collapsed on the bottom bunk, thinking that if people were rain, I was drizzle and she was a hurricane." 

"What the hell is that?" I laughed.
"It's my fox hat."
"Your fox hat?"
"Yeah, Pudge. My fox hat."
"Why are you wearing your fox hat?" I asked.
"Because no one can catch the motherfucking fox."

"When I look at my room, I see a girl who loves books." 



  1. Yes. No one catches the Motherfucking fox. Nobody. *sits there rocking her Fox Hat* ;P (but seriously, I need to get me one of those things!)

  2. Next time I go to the library, I am SO putting this on reserve! It sounds incredible and your review was amazing!

  3. This book sounds beautiful. I will add it to my list!

  4. I had a similar reaction to this book. Amazing!!!!

  5. That is the second review I've read that raves about this book. Must read it then.

  6. Heard about this one. Sounds great.
    Thanks for the review


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