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Looking for Alaska Audio CD – Audiobook, CD, Unabridged
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From School Library Journal
Grade 9 Up—From the very first page, tension fills John Green's Michael L. Printz Award-winning novel (Dutton, 2005). Miles Halter, 16, is afraid that nobody will show up at his party because he doesn't have many friends. He loves to read biographies and discover the last words attributed to famous people. He's particularly intrigued with the dying words of poet Francois Rabelais: "I go to seek a great perhaps." Miles is leaving his loving Florida home for the "great perhaps" of the same Alabama boarding school attended by his father. Ominous chapter headings (40 days before, 10 days after) reveal that something tragic may happen. At school, Miles is accepted by a brainy group of pranksters led by his roommate and Alaska Young, a smart and sexy feminist. The teen becomes captivated by his new friends who spend as much energy on sex, smoking, drinking, and cutting-up as they do on reading, learning, and searching for life's meaning. As the school year progresses, Miles's crush on Alaska intensifies, even after it becomes evident that her troubled past sometimes causes her to be self-destructive. This novel is about real kids dealing with the pressures of growing up and feeling indestructible. Listeners will be riveted as the friends band together to deal with the catastrophic events that plague their junior year, and rejoice at their triumphs. Jeff Woodman clearly delineates the voices for each character in an age-appropriate, smart-alecky manner, injecting great emotion while managing not to be overly sentimental. This story belongs in all collections for older young adults, especially those who like Chris Crutcher, David Klass, and Terry Trueman.—JoAnn Carhart, East Islip Public Library, NY
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An ALA Best Book for Young Adults Top 10
An ALA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Readers
A 2005 Booklist Editors’ Choice
A Kirkus Best Book of 2005
A 2005 SLJ Best Book of the Year
A 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 Inquirer
"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 --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
Top customer reviews
The book as a whole is beautifully written with humor and depth. The style fit perfectly with the characters. I enjoyed all of the characters and their stories. I can see why this is a popular YA book and a popular author.
Looking for Alaska is more than a coming of age story. There are many questions posed about religion, how we see ourselves and the world and the big question of what comes next.
His dialogue is witty and believable. He is able to portray the angst that all of us feel at some point in our lives. If you don't feel it you're not maturing or you are completely oblivious that there is a wealth of experiences available to us all.
I enjoyed being part of Will's exploration of the Great Perhaps and the courage he showed in stepping out of his comfort zone. The interaction between the main characters show just how different they were and how they relied on their friendships to survive boarding school.
I hope those who are still in their teens are encouraged to read by the writings of John Green. This world is in serious need of thinking adolescents because without them our world is doomed. So, thank you John Green for being such an appealing writer. Continue to fight the good fight and keep reminding us to be awesome.
The book is constructed around a shattering event in the center. Before the cataclysm, we see Miles, now nicknamed "Pudge," become adopted by the group and learning their variously self-destructive behaviors, which we are invited to regard as benign. (Let's remember that many people acquire lifelong drinking and smoking habits as teenagers - so I can't really agree with the author on this.) Pudge feels a strong sexual attraction to Alaska, which appears to be somewhat returned - although she has a boyfriend off campus. Pudge also throws himself into a religion class and begins to ponder the big questions of life and death - questions which become all too real in the second half of this book. Pudge and the the colonel now become obsessed with trying to make sense out of a tragedy so that they can find a way to go on living.
To really enjoy this book uncritically and really identify with the characters, I think one should be around 16 years old. From my vantage point many years later, I can appreciate the angst and strong emotions evoked - but also temper them with the knowledge that being around on earth a few more decades brings.
Bottom line, good characters, pretty good plot - but a little too feverish for this reader.
I don't want to spoil anything, so all I'll say is that there is a twist to this one in the – sometimes – formulaic plot structure. I didn't want it to happen, kind of knew it was going to as I reached it, and then couldn't imagine the story without it.
There's a lot of philosophical questioning going on throughout the novel, which can lead to good discussions. The story doesn't resolve in a way that gives you a black and white answer to those questions, which is good, because I often don't agree with their "answer" anyway. Instead, it allows the you, the reader, the chance to answer the question a bit on your own.
I also can't recall the last time I started and finished a book in one day. I'm not a fast reader and, at just under 250 pages, "Looking for Alaska" was kind of a hefty feat for me to achieve.
Most recent customer reviews
While in search for the “Great Perhaps” Miles Halter leaves his home and school to go to private school.Read more