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Looking for Alaska [Kindle Edition]

John Green
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2,704 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $9.99
Kindle Price: $4.99
You Save: $5.00 (50%)
Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC

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Book Description

Winner of the Michael L. Printz Award An ALA Best Book for Young Adults An ALA Quick Pick A Los Angeles Times 2005 Book Prize Finalist A New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age A 2005 Booklist Editor’s Choice A 2005 School Library Journal Best Book of the Year Before. 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.

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 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.


"Miles's narration is alive with sweet, self-deprecating humor, and his obvious struggle to tell the story truthfully adds to his believability." School Library Journal "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 "This is an amazing first novel by a writer who is young enough to vividly remember his powerful years of high school and he expertly turns remembrance into story." Children's Literature "The novel's chief appeal lies in Miles's well-articulated lust and his initial excitement about being on his own for the first time." Publishers Weekly "Debut novelist and NPR commentator Green perfectly captures the intensity of feeling and despair that defines adolescence in this hip, shocking, and emotionally charged work of fiction." Barnes & Noble

Product Details

  • File Size: 427 KB
  • Print Length: 254 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 014241221X
  • Publisher: Speak; Reprint edition (August 14, 2008)
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000YI1K0C
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #773 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
509 of 543 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't do what I did... March 30, 2005
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
...and read this book in one sitting. Okay, it's short and incredibly good, which makes it easy to bolt down. But then you are going to feel like an idiot for not savoring the pleasure, and you're going to be bleary as hell the next day (if you finish it at 4 in the morning, like I did).

This book deals with the Big Ones: suffering, loss, and grief, but it does so with such compassion and humor that the net impact is uplifting. Even the principal turns out to be a human being. There are no cardboard cut-out characters here.

Be aware that the kids in this story do what kids actually do (smoke, drink, and have sex). If that bothers you, read it anyway. There are more important things in life than observing proprieties and pretending that bright kids aren't exploratory. You don't have to approve of these characters. It is enough to love them and learn from them.
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334 of 378 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Senior Perspective March 25, 2005
Somewhere between searching for the secret to winning at Texas Holdem in Doyle Brunson's SUPER SYSTEM II, A COURSE IN POWER POKER, and envying a 101 year old lady boat captain in Jimmy Buffett's A SALTY PIECE OF LAND, I found John Green's Young Adult Novel, LOOKING FOR ALASKA.

I kept looking at the alluring cover of ALASKA on my night stand and decided that POWER POKER could wait and rushed through A SALTY PIECE.

If you have a child going to boarding school soon, goes there now or has gone there, as my son did, you must read LOOKING FOR ALASKA. If you want to understand the loneliness, happiness, mischief, joy, sorrow, sadness and a few other emotions of a teenager, you must read LOOKING FOR ALASKA. If you are convinced your teenager will not mature until much later, you better not read ALASKA. If you are concerned about the experiences that your teenager might have, do not read ALASKA. If you are a teenager, read this book!

Need help with a pair of Aces? Simple - see Doyle. Got Margaritaville on your mind? No problem - Jimmy is your man. But if you want to come of age with an extraordinarily endearing group of kids, read this book.

My son tells me it is being touted as Young Adult Fiction. I don't know about that. I can only tell you that at 64, I am a younger man for having read it.
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124 of 144 people found the following review helpful
Green's debut YA novel follows a year in the life of high school junior Miles Halter, a friendless Floridian who begged his parents to enroll him in the Culver Creek boarding school. Miles dreams of starting anew at his elite Alabama prep school, of finding Francois Rabelais's "The Great Perhaps." At school, he falls in with a prankster of a roommate, the Colonel, and the sassy, sexy, messed-up Alaska Young. For an unforgettable 128 days, Miles learns life lessons in love, loyalty, friendship, literature, and poetry, as well as experiences the thrill of a first girlfriend. When tragedy strikes Culver Creek, Miles is forced to undertake an even closer examination of his own character and relationship with his friends.

This is an outstanding coming-of-age novel that has already proved to be a favorite teen read. It doesn't resort to a cop out of a "happily ever after" ending, but the characters each seek closure on their own terms. The characters are well-drawn, witty, and full of individual quirks and spunk. Green even manages to bring in the reality of cigarettes and alcohol without a preachy or over-glorifying tone. This novel has won the Teen's Top 10 award as well as the Printz Award, and Green is well on his way to YA superstardom. I'm looking forward to his next novel.
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80 of 105 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars OK But Not As Amazing As Everyone Seems To Say July 31, 2009
Story Overview

Miles Halter -- for all intents and purposes -- is a bit of a social misfit. He has few friends -- much to the chagrin of his doting parents. Feeling stifled and like an outsider in his Florida high school, he convinces his parents he wants to attend Culver Creek boarding school in Alabama (his father's alma mater). Although his parents aren't quite sure why he wants to leave, he explains it by sharing Rabelais's last words -- "I go to seek a Great Perhaps." (Miles's greatest eccentricity is that he "collects" people's last words.)

At Culver Creek, he is quickly befriended by his roommate Chip Martin (known on campus as The Colonel). A forceful personality who is one of the masterminds behind elaborate pranks, the Colonel includes Miles (now christened "Pudge") in his circle of friends -- which includes a Japanese exchange student named Takumi and an attractive girl named Alaska. The Colonel fills Pudge in on the social hierarchy of Culver Creek -- the boarders vs. the Weekend Warriors (the rich kids who go home on the weekend), how to outfox The Eagle (the stern headmaster), and how to camouflage smoking and hide liquor. The friends navigate the school year together -- weathering difficult classes, exploring their sexuality, planning pranks, and feuding with the Weekend Warriors.

Miles quickly falls into life at Culver Creek -- and into love with Alaska. Never having had a girlfriend, he finds Alaska fascinating. Not only is she beautiful, but she is a free spirit -- alternately fascinating and moody, friendly then standoffish. And he's not the only one with feelings for Alaska -- her captivating personality and good looks has more than one boy lusting after her.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Storytelling
4.5 Stars
Beautifully written, poetic, and emotional. Looking for Alaska will have you gripping the book and turning the next page eagerly awaiting a resolution.
Published 1 day ago by Kyle Waters
5.0 out of 5 stars Looking for alaska
It was amazing one of the best books ever written. I balled and laughed the entire time thank you John greene
Published 1 day ago by caitlin boyton
5.0 out of 5 stars "If people were rain, I was drizzle and she was a hurricane.”
This book was recommended to me by a friend. It is one of my favorites now too. The reader was fun, changing his voice to fit each character so I always knew who was speaking. Read more
Published 2 days ago by Amberlc
5.0 out of 5 stars amazing
John Green is one of my favourite author's if not my most fave. He grasps difficult aspects of life (and death) in ways that are morbid, but not only that, they are real... Read more
Published 2 days ago by April Self
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 2 days ago by Stephanie Day
4.0 out of 5 stars Read this book
This was an enjoyable read. The characters were very relatable. I thought the ending could have been better though. Read more
Published 2 days ago by Sheryl D.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good book, solid characters, well written, enjoyable.
Published 2 days ago by patricia pekola
5.0 out of 5 stars Memorable
This is a thought provoking book, confirmed by the list of discussion topics that follows the ending. Read more
Published 3 days ago by C. Christensen
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Gift for my sister in law!
Published 3 days ago by Amanda Melton
1.0 out of 5 stars liligood book 5 stars why do I have to do this when all I want to do...
I liked the book a lot why do u need more words when I bought this book to read for pleasure without future harassment?
Published 4 days ago by joan hargis
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More About the Author

John Green is a New York Times bestselling author who has received numerous awards, including both the Printz Medal and a Printz Honor. John is also the cocreator (with his brother, Hank) of the popular video blog Brotherhood 2.0, which has been watched more than 30 million times by Nerdfighter fans all over the globe. John Green lives in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Amazon Author Rankbeta 

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#26 Overall (See top 100 authors)
#3 in Books > Teens
#26 in Books
#50 in Kindle eBooks
#3 in Books > Teens
#26 in Books
#50 in Kindle eBooks

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Would this book be appropriate for an adult?
I'm about your same age...32... and love to read. I wouldn't say I read a ton of YA literature, but sometimes I'll pick up a YA book, and more often than not, I'm completely sucked in and find it's written just as well, if not better than, other fiction. I was particularly interested in this... Read More
Sep 30, 2007 by Heather |  See all 9 posts
is this book for 10-12 year olds?...
I'm an adult and I read many YA books and many that are "banned" I just roll my eyes. But this one, I would NOT recommend to anyone under 14 (Freshman). There is an oral sex scene that makes it completely inappropriate for younger kids. Throw in the drinking, smoking, swearing,... Read More
Oct 18, 2011 by opinions |  See all 10 posts
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