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Showing 1-10 of 3,297 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 4,474 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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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 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 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 October 20, 2015
After so much hype for Fault in Our Stars and being a fan of the VlogBrothers, I wanted to give Greens' first novel a try. The book was a solid start and Green has an interesting voice for young teens. The story centers on a group of friends away at boarding school, but not from the typical/stereotypical perspective you may expect. The first part of the book has a countdown that was an intriguing way to tell the story, although as much as I was intrigued, I was also bored just waiting to know what happens.
Overall, while a nice book, it just didn't connect for me. I found the beginning a little slow, but once the story picks up, it does maintain a steady pace. I also never really connected to the characters. Even Miles, the narrator, remained a bit of a mystery. I think the slowness of pace and characterization was a result of the story being told in first person. You learn about others at the same rate the narrator, and since I felt that Miles was swept along in the orbit of those around him, it was hard to really connect to the characters in such a way that the eventual tragedy of the story connects. (Also, this is not a spoiler-no book countdown ever leads to something good)
As with most YA books, the real benefit ultimately lies in being able to grab your nearest teenager and ask their thoughts. While I’m typically put off by books that unrealistically portray teens as fully actualized and deeply philosophical, I do think teens have deeper waters than often given credit, and authors like Green offer a great tool for those thoughts to be explored.
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on November 17, 2015
After enjoying a few of John Greens books, I was excited about Looking for Alaska. Unfortunately it was a huge let down. The characters were irritatingly predictable, and the use of profanity was ridiculous. Whereas Greens other books manage to cross over to enjoyable literature for older adults, this felt like I was reading something designed to be read by snickering teenage boys in the corner of the library.
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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 November 1, 2015
Best Novel I’ve ever Read

At first I was pretty iffy about getting this book because John Green book because his books seem to be a little too poetic and emotional for me. But I was told that this book would be the book for me and man they were correct! Looking for Alaska is an all-time classic. I think it could me my new favorite. It’s a very emotional book, it really gives you the feels. Especially towards the end when Pudge finds out that nothing he could have done could save Alaska. I also really loved the pranks that came along with the book, it seemed to even out all the depression that came along with it. John Green really did a fine job with this book and it really touching. I totally recommend this book to anyone who is 14+ years old because of the sexual scenes that are all over this book. This is a book that you should talk about with your parents and you if you’re 13 or younger you shouldn’t read at all. This book is very helpful for young adults struggling to fit in. this book shows you that you shouldn’t give a flying flap jack about what people think or say. And you should be you. In the end of the book Alaska kills herself and Pudge whom is in a sexual relationship with Alaska is blaming himself and he’s sad and confused and it really hits him hard. But you soon find out that no one and nothing could save Alaska.
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As I absolutely loved the movie "The Fault of Our Stars". I decided to try reading a Green book. They do seem geared more to younger people. I liked it OK but I could not relate to the willingness of these young people who had a chance to be at this well thought of prep school and how they could that away for "pranks". It did not seem to have any real end. Green did seem to tie it up with the idea of Alaska's end stragity to the labyrinth, but I was never too happy with it. I wasn't crazy about Alaska's willy, nilly flippancy either . Her moral "looseness" offended me. Guess I will have to maybe try another one to see if I missed out here. I think my problem is my age. I kinda wish that there would be a ball park figure on the reviewers age then you might get a better idea of where the reviewer is coming from in their comments so you would be better able to see how this might affect your reading of the reviewed book.
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