Looking for Alaska (Review)

Looking for Alaska (Review)
Hi guys!
Title: Looking for Alaska
Author: John Green
Publisher:  Speak
Published Date: 28th December 2006 (Reprint edition)
Rating: 2 Stars
Synopsis: 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: After reading the Fault in Our Stars a while ago and
finding it an okay read, I decided it was time I gave John Green another chance
to blow me away. So I decided to read his debut novel, Looking for Alaska. I was a bit disappointed though. 
The book is about Miles, nicknamed Pudge, who joins a
school at Culver Creek to find his Great Perhaps, a way of escaping the
everyday, dull life back home. There he meets The Colonel, Takumi and Alaska –
a rag tag group of friends with unique personalities and who bring a whirlwind
into his life. Miles ends up falling for the rollercoaster Alaska seems to
bring with her, and he soon finds there are a lot more conditions when living a
carefree life on the edge.
I would like to start by saying I did like this book a
whole lot more than I liked The Fault in Our Stars, which is good. But then
again, I didn’t like it that much.
The book is fairly slow paced, but it’s perfect, because this isn’t the kind of
book that is packed full of action. This is the book where we see character
development, where we get to really connect with the characters and feel what
they feel. I am one who loves character based books, so I enjoyed that this
book centered on that, and it kept me wanting to read.
My favourite character had to be The Colonel, who seems
to be the poorest of the bunch. He hates the “Weekly Warriors”, who, in other
words, are the rich kids in the school. And yet, he is dating one of them
himself. He feels too much and loves too much, and is proud of his home even
though some might be embarrassed when they are always hanging around such rich
people. But he isn’t, and he becomes an admirable character for that. But at the same time, I found him (like most of the characters in TFiOS) a bit unrealistic. Once again, I couldn’t imagine anyone speaking like that to each other.
In general with this book: NOPE
There are multiple themes here – romance, trust,
friendship and ultimately another one with I wouldn’t want to share with you
without giving away a bit of the story. Throughout the book there is a
countdown, which is gradually leading to a big event. The shameful thing was, I
predicted what that event would be, so it wasn’t much of a surprise… I was pretty impressed with how I could predict every little detail of what was coming. John Green really needs to change up his style some more.
The writing style is one that is not for me, and I am starting to think that is just John Green in general. It was sort of bland, which made this a bit boring to read in general. So basically this is a character driven book that was a bit dry and bland.

Links: Goodreads and Amazon!

Olivia’s Question: Have you ever been to a boarding
school, or ever wanted to go to one?
Olivia-Savannah x

34 thoughts on “Looking for Alaska (Review)”

  • That seems to be a theme with John Green books, particularly- the characters just aren’t realistic because of the way they talk. I’ve read this and enjoyed it quite a lot, but it’s not a favourite. I thought it had beautiful elements, but Pudge frustrated me and was so immature, and I guess it just doesn’t feel like real life, even though it’s a contemporary. Does have a lot of beautiful quotes, though!

  • Eventhough I did enjoy The Fault in Our Stars, I agree with you that this one was a little boring and also because of predictability anticlimactic. I also think that Jonh Green's writing style is not really for me. I find his characters often pretentious.

    But yeah, like you said, his youtube videos are fun!

  • Already told you on Goodreads that when it comes to John Green's books we are kinda in the same place – but I only read one of his books. I do like John Green on youtube, but his books are just not my thing.

    As for the boarding school – I really wished to be sent to one, but only if it were Hogwarts!
    Andreea Catsfika

    • His youtube is really cool and I love his crash courses! He actually seems like a cool guy, so it's a shame his books don't really work for me. Ahaha, I think a lot of people would've loved to go to Hogwarts like you!

  • I didn't like it either, don't know what the fuss is all about with this writer. At least with TFiOS you got a whole new view at cancer patients, which is what I enjoyed most about it.

    • He is okay, but I don't think he is amazing like people make him out to be. That was a good different view and it did set the way for a lot of future YA books as well. I can definitely appreciate Green for setting a new writing trend!

  • Hi Olivia! Welcome back from your break! 🙂

    First of all: wow. I don't actually think I've seen a bad review for a John Green book before. It's kind of refreshing, lol. I've read three of his books – this being one of them – and I kind of agree that he has a similar style in all of them. He kind of has a signature, I suppose… You can tell when you're reading a John Green book.

    This wasn't a favourite of mine, but I did love TFIOS; I have read it quite a few times.

    I appreciate your honesty. Not everyone likes the same books and it's interesting to hear from people whom didn't like a bestseller.

    • Thanks Chantelle <3

      Yeah I am sort of an odd one out when it comes to not being a crazily huge fan of his xD His writing and stories are okayish, but they just really aren't blowing me away. But you are definitely right about his signature style.

  • I finished this book with one seating because I just want to get it over with and I want to know if my theory is correct. Turned out it is.

    Sometimes, I'm not sure why some books get to become bestsellers and some even turned into movies too.

  • Haven'the read a John Green book at all and never been inclined to either. And as I'm reading the blurb and your review I'm strangely reminded of the trailer for Paper Towns. Which I just found is based on the same novel. If anything, by your review, I think John Green has to change things up a bit. Sorry you didn't enjoy the book as much. And like yiu, I don't like it when I can predict things either. I like to be surprised and kept to the edge of my seat.

    • Yeah, I think the lack of diversity is mostly the problem I am having at the moment. I have been thinking about trying Paper Towns, especially with the movie coming out. I will have to think about that some more…

  • Dang Olivia. This book doesn't sound like a good read AT ALL. Like AT ALL. I've never read a John Green book yet (and haven't wanted to try the Fault in our Stars yet because of the ending and not have I watched the movie) GOSH. But I think it's just that John Green has a certain way he tells his stories but it's the same way each time and I guess makes them predictable?

    • It wasn't :/ Which was a shame. Maybe you will like TFiOS, but SO much try the movie! That movie was wonderful !!! Yeah, I think it is the similarity. At least it means if you love one you are likely to love them all ^^

  • Don't you just hate it when you can figure out what is going to happen? That ruins everything for me when reading or watching a movie. I want to be surprised as the story moves along.

  • I've read two books by John Green — The Fault in Our Stars and Paper Towns. Both, to me, have been OK reads. I have yet to see the movie for TFIOS. As far as boardig school, never been and can't say I've ever wanted to go. 🙂
    @dino0726 from 
    FictionZeal – Impartial, Straighforward Fiction Book Reviews

  • I would definitely avoid this book after reading your review. The plot itself does't sound very appealing so better to give it a miss.
    Also, I have never stayed at a boarding school but I have stayed at the University hostel if that counts. 🙂

    Love Priya


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