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Showing 1-10 of 3,303 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 4,483 reviews
on May 19, 2017
"Looking For Alaska" follows, for me, soon after his novel, "The Fault In Our Stars". There will be more, I'm sure. Both books have young characters dealing with pain and death yet radiate wisdom, hope, and as many smiles as tears. I love the fact that John and his brother Hank are vloggers so I get to know something about their lives and preoccupations and hear the stories told in their own voices. I then see the author's reflection in his characters and hear them speaking as he might. I am left no less convinced of the genuineness of the people on the page and the reality of their fictional conditions. Both books have been rich, rewarding reading experiences for which I am grateful. John Green and one of his principal characters in "Looking For Alaska" are fascinated with the last words of people. I expect it is exceedingly rare that any of us gets to choose what ours will be. If I could and had to right now, they might be, "Keep up the good work, John Green."
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on December 9, 2014
Miles Halter found his Great Perhaps and then some when he meets Alaska Young at a co-ed boarding school he enrolls at in Alabama. His claim to fame is memorizing famous peoples last words, which he quotes throughout the book. This is a coming of age novel about how Miles "Pudge" searches for himself and his place in the world, and what his beliefs are and how he comes to find the answer to some of life's most difficult questions that we all have to face. I've had this book on my Kindle for a long time but have been reluctant to read it because I was so disappointed by The Fault in our Stars. Luckily, this was nothing like that, far better and I wish I'd read Looking for Alaska before reading The Fault in our Stars so my opinion of John Green wouldn't have had such an awful first impression (did I mention I didn't like The Fault in Our Stars?). It's a quick read, I used it to break up the Game of Throne and the Outlander series' that I've been reading, needed something different and this was the perfect 2 day break. I give it 5 stars and recommend it to anyone of any age, not just YA. I'm now more optimistic about reading more of Green's books.
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VINE VOICEon June 5, 2014
Miles has decided he needs to take risks in life, so he enrolls in a boarding school to escape his friendless and uneventful existence. There he meets a motley group of mischievous students, including his roommate Chip, aka "The Colonel" and troubled wild-child, Alaska, who becomes the object of his affection. There were several elements that I really enjoyed. 1) Miles' narrative voice, for both his innocence and his willingness to expand his horizons. 2) The characters' intelligence and resourcefulness. These kids are all smart in their own unique ways and use their talents in inspiring and sometimes misguided endeavors. 3) Green doesn't shy away from the realities teenagers face, including sex and substance use. 4) The Before and After format. Knowing that some significant event is going to occur allows for a sense of anticipation and drama. 5) Pranks!

(Warning: MILD SPOILERS) Though not as emotionally charged as The Fault in Our Stars, this book did convey how tragedy affects an individual and a community. I could sympathize with Miles' grief and how it changed his friendship with Chip and his other classmates. Alaska herself was somewhat of an enigma, rarely exposing her own vulnerability. My only qualm would be that the conclusion was a bit tidy and mildly ambiguous. Though the cause of the incident was eventually defined, it was never determined whether Alaska was truly self-destructive. Despite any vague inferences, it was a great book that depicted the tumultuous teenage existence quite well.
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on September 1, 2015
When it comes to most of forms of entertainment wether that be video games, books, music, art, anime, etc. very rarely do I find one content provider (exception being YouTube) that provides me with a meaningful experience every single time. I've read The Fault in our Stars beforehand and it was really enjoyable but this book really made me feel deep emotions. I'm not bragging when I say this but I don't often get attached to the above mentioned media like other people do. But this gave me a feeling of wanting to explore this fictional setting that I haven't felt in an extremely long time. It distracts me when I finally manage to put the Kindle Fire down to play video games or do homework so that it makes me want to go back to reading to calm my hunger as to "What happens next?" Even if you don't often read books or haven't read a good book in a long time like I was before reading this, I still strongly recommend this. This book helped re ignite the spark I had back in the days of me reading the Percy Jackson and the Heroes of Olympus series. Also this book also clearly establishes what's the best and worst of a character in a way I haven't seen before. I do have to warn that if you were expecting a book that was free of any swearing, alcohol and tobacco, and sexual situations and tones then you would be wrong. These themes are very central to the story and you will encounter them often, however they are handled well and aren't there just for the sake of being there. Otherwise you will find this book to be very thought heavy, humorous, and enjoyable. That is my reasoning for the Five Stars I gave.
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on May 2, 2017
This book is a great way to open up your mind. It will allow you to be interested in the flow of the story. At first I thought the time sequences were something that you are not sure what time it is. I highly recommend this book as it allows you to read and think about what is happening. VERY GOOD
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on September 4, 2016
I thought this book was well written but I think I'm 25-30 years too old to appreciate it. If I was 18, I think I would have related more to the struggles of the main characters in the book and how they respond when something happens to one of their fellow students. I'm trying to be cryptic so I don't reveal too much and spoil it for others but I think that one of the benefits of being older is that you're able to better process the crap that life throws at you and the experiences over the years enable you to learn how to cope and move on. I would much rather be my older self with the wisdom and experiences of life and would not like to be 17 or 18 again for anything! The characters in this book find it really hard to cope with 'said event' and to move forward. To me, the fact that much of this book was devoted to this struggle was much ado about nothing and there really wasn't much to keep me interested and turning the pages. I had to force myself to labor through this and it took several weeks for me to finally finish it.
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on September 11, 2016
John Green never ceases to entice his readers and fully submerge them into the complex worlds he creates within each of his novels. Throughout, this book is upbeat and has a wonderful pace to keep every reading level entertained. Looking for Alaska is guaranteed to keep you inside all day reading, and if you're determined it may only take you a day! Until the end the twists are not overly dramatic, but when they happen everything begins to make sense and the reader starts to really piece together who Alaska is. This is a light hearted must read and will have you clinging onto what is going to happen until the very end.
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on December 22, 2012
This book was recommended to me because of my love of The Catcher in the Rye. I was told that there had been some comparisons made between the main character, Miles, and Holden Caulfield. While I did see some similarities between the two, I found Looking for Alaska to be filled with original characters who were memorable all on their own. Every character had such a vivid personality, and the relationships between them was much deeper than you find in your typical young adult novel. I loved that the characters were genuinely good people - even the principal ended up being decent - and they were all there for each other, working through the hard times, and learning from each other. There were a lot of serious issues covered, but they were covered with such wit and humor and such an amazing choice of words, that by the time you finish you feel as if you are a changed person. You feel as if you learned something important about the world - which I believe is the test of a really good book. Needless to say, I loved it and highly recommend it.
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on July 3, 2012
I really loved this book. Mr Green does an excellent job in capturing the very essence of what makes these characters tick. Of who they are. No matter how out of left field they may seem at times. They were real. And they had real issues. This one is a very entertaining, heartfelt, endearing, and at times a hilarious read. I had plenty of laugh out loud moments with this one.

This story is the story of Miles. A 16 year old average boy who leaves his home in Florida by choice, to attend a boarding school in Alabama.
There, his world is opened up. Mainly surrounded by the people he meets and the experiences that come with that. Good and Bad. But ultimately it causes him to find himself. This is just one of those stories that sucks you in and keeps you there. But you're always aware that something tragic is about to happen.

I could have done without all the "Detective" work that came about in the middle of the second half of this book. It just didn't really read as a realistic event concerning these characters to me, and I was really wishing that during this time, it would have taken a different route. But the internal struggles that Miles and his friends go through rang true for me. And is what kept me reading through to the end. And how the "answer" came about surprised me. In a good way.

All in all this one is a great read. I highly recommend this one.
I have to say this though.. Although I got her, I really could not stand Alaska! LOL
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on February 18, 2014
Before I read this book, I had only recently been introduced to John Green, and had just the week before devoured 'The Fault in Our Stars'. After reading this book, and 'Fault', I know for a fact that John Green will not be able to write books fast enough to satisfy my need to read them. I'm a 36 year old mother of four, who before John Green had not read a Young Adult novel since I was a young adult. John Green reopened a whole new genre for me and I'll be forever grateful. As an adolescent, I was always terribly irritated with adults who presumed that young people were all soulless creatures that are incapable of advanced intelligence, or dynamic feelings and thought processes, and John Green's characters are exactly that. In 'Looking for Alaska' I actually became so emotionally involved in the characters that I had to slow myself down reading the "Before" because I didn't know if I wanted to know about the event that precluded the "After". “Pudge” is so honest, so likable, and so endearing, that I personally wanted to hunt down anyone who made his life miserable, and give them a piece of my mind. This is a very similar reaction I have when someone hurts one of my children. In my opinion, there’s no better compliment to an author, that they have created someone so “real” that as a reader, I felt a maternal need to defend him. While reading, I also expressed out loud to my husband that “this book is just written so well”. I love that John Green does not dumb down books for his intended audience, and that any person who reads his books will really just be, literally smarter after doing so. Cannot wait to crack open the next one on my list.
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