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Exclusive Collector's Edition of Looking for Alaska, John Green's bestselling debut, features an exclusive jacket design, all-new endpaper art, a letter from John Green and his answers to readers' questions!
Winner of the Michael L. Printz Award
Los Angeles Times Book Prize Finalist
New York Times bestseller
Miles "Pudge" Halter is abandoning his safe-okay, boring-life. Fascinated by the last words of famous people, Pudge leaves for boarding school to seek what a dying Rabelais called the "Great Perhaps."
Pudge becomes encircled by friends whose lives are everything but safe and boring. Their nucleus is razor-sharp, sexy, and self-destructive Alaska, who has perfected the arts of pranking and evading school rules. Pudge falls impossibly in love. When tragedy strikes the close-knit group, it is only in coming face-to-face with death that Pudge discovers the value of living and loving unconditionally.
John Green's stunning debut marks the arrival of a stand-out new voice in young adult fiction.
Posted March 27, 2012
I feel heavy. And empty.
I have read the book. It is over. For me, anyways.
This makes me sad.
The reviews of this book make me sad, and also a little bit angry because when people say that a book like this is 'amazing,' I think that they do not understand.
This book was enormous.
Today I told a friend that I was reading a beautiful book called 'The Fault in Our Stars,' but that she had better not read it, because it was mine.
I understand Hazel.
This book was enormous, but it came and went very quietly. I do not want it to be a sensation. I do not want it to be sensational for anyone but me. I do not want it to be anything. I do not want it to be made into a movie.
I want it to be loved.
I am very conflicted.
I do not want people to read it who will not understand.
I think I understand.
I feel like I am breaking it. Everything.
But this is how I feel.
I wish that I had not purchased this book electronically, because then I could take the copy that I do not own wherever I go, pages folded, spine cracking, soft cover bent and loved and worn and used and perfect.
This book was enormous, and yet it came and went... so quietly.
It is a quiet book.
You cry. You laugh.
But the after.
It is a quiet book.
Thank you, John.
655 out of 882 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 11, 2009
I Also Recommend:
If you have not read this book, I recommend immediately you get up and go to your nearest library and get this book. This book will blow your mind, one of the books I almost teared up in. The author greatest achievements in this book is how he builds gut wrenching tension after every chapter with the 100 day till and so on. And when you finally hit the climax you will be in disbelief. Oh and be prepared to fall in love with the most diverse and compelling characters ever written.
142 out of 156 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 22, 2010
I was pleasantly surprised by Looking for Alaska. For me, it started out very young and teenager-ish, which is probably because.well, it's a book about a bunch of teenagers, doing very teenage things. For a while I was thinking that I was just listening to a book that was going to be basically just that, teenagers doing teenage things; drinking, smoking, sex, and tormenting each other (yes, all of the above are included in this book). I figured there was going to be some great disaster and a lesson learned and wam-bam, you've got a book. The thing is, the book received several great reviews that I just couldn't give up on it. People saying how great a book it was - usually "people" do know what they are talking about.well at least some of the time.
It took half the book - and then it happened, the great disaster I was talking about before. The thing is, it's much greater than you wanted or expected. And John Green is a genius, because by this time, you're laughing and enjoying yourself with these characters, so the blow is not just to the characters, but you feel it too.
So, no, this book is not about a bunch of teenagers, doing teenage-y things, no matter how much of it is included in the book. It's a book about life. It's a book about very young people attempting to discover the meaning of life, love, true friendship, having fun, tragedy, depression, and even God. I was so impressed with some of the things that the author included about God, and religion in general, and not just one but several different religions. I am a Christian, and while he was simply skimming the surface of religions and religious beliefs, John Green nailed some things on the head, or at least included things that nailed it on the head. My favorite religious section: the discussion about the lady (I can't remember names right now - and since this is an audiobook, no book to reference) who wanted to destroy Heaven and Hell because she wanted people to love God not because he could get them into Heaven, keep them out of Hell, but because God is God!
Many of the reviews I had read said that due to the mature nature of some of the stuff in the book, it probably isn't for young teenagers. I would have to agree. There are moments when I felt like smoking and drinking and even sex was not glorified exactly, but it seemed normal. And it is, somewhat, but as adults and parents, we should attempt to move and motivate for it not to be normal. On the flip side, the consequences of some of these actions are shown throughout the book.
104 out of 117 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 1, 2010
i loved it. i cried throughout the entire 'after' part. like a baby. the only reason i regret reading this book is that now i don't believe any book will ever measure up to this one. absolutely great. there's nothing more to it!
52 out of 52 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 13, 2009
When reading this book i laughed, became angried, and cried. This book is so gut wrenching that you can't put down the book. Looking for Alaska is a quick read and a good one too. The mysterious Before and After is quite ingenious if you ask me. I felt as though i knew something was going to happen but until that point it never really struck me. The quote "How will I ever get out of this labyrinth?" plays a huge part through out the book. This book is very relatable in the sense that you are a teenager or you once were the average teenager looking for adventure. I reccomend this book to anyone over the age of 13.
44 out of 48 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 16, 2012
I am very surprised so many people love this book. I read it based solely on the positive reviews thinking perhaps the book's summary didn't do it justice. But the book was boring, dull and aside from one or two things, entirely uneventful. It seemed to me like it was a wanna-be Catcher in the Rye although not nearly as good. During the "after" section, I mostly kept hoping the book would end. I am disappointed I wasted time reading this book and that the main female character was unlikable and downright annoying at times.
Pass on this book if you value your time.
26 out of 144 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 19, 2012
This book was a intriguing book with twist and the every day life of some teens . You get to look into a world of a group of teenagers and see lust , drugs use , pranks , sex and everyday teens exploring themselves and the things around them just trying to keep out of trouble . The before will have you in depths of the book just to see if pudge and alaksa end up together . And to get to the after. Were the book changes courses completely . Ive only read this book once until i lent it to a friend and never recieved it back . Im buying it again bexause its worth the read . No mattter what book i purchase little peaces of the colonel , pudge, alaska and the others will stary in your mind , this is a once in a lifetime book made by an inspiring author who really tries to capture hopeless teens in love or lust . Each having their dofferent qwerks an intresting things abot them .
Buy this book , read this book , you will NOT regret it .
24 out of 28 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
i love john green, so i was expecting a lot out of this book. i was not disappointed. this is tied with harry potter as my favorite book of all time. i love the theme, i love the characters, i love all the pranks that are played, i love that miles memorizes last words (just like me!), i love all of it. it's a little inappropriate at times, so definitely a 15+ age range though. but DEFINITELY a must read. can't wait for the fault in our stars! DFTBA!
18 out of 22 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 26, 2012
Posted December 25, 2011
I'd watched the Vlogbrothers for the longest time w/o reading one of John's books. My friend actually had to rave about it before I allowed her to loan it to me.
Don't wait like I did! READ THIS FANTASTIC BOOK NOW!
16 out of 18 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 23, 2013
I am a public high school teacher, and I was excited to read this "highly acclaimed" book. I was shocked and utterly disappointed. What in the world are people thinking in recommending this trash to a 14-17 year old? It is horribly immoral and irresponsible to give this to a child and SAY it is a great book. It is NOT. What school uses this book in the classroom? Sodom and Gomorrah High? It basically teaches the reader how to give a ......oh, I can't use that language on this review....but it is IN THIS BOOK I am reviewing that targets young impressionable teens. Parents and teachers beware....it is incredibly vulgar. What a waste of paper. Sorry, but the author should be ashamed of himself.
I read teen novels ALL OF THE TIME, and have never been so disgusted.
15 out of 47 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 2, 2012
I heard so many good things about this book so I decided to read it. I finished it and was kinda disappointed. I wasn't moved. I didn't like any of the characters. I didn't cry. I wasn't angry. When I got to the climax, I was like seriously this is it? this is what happens? and then I thought maybe the end is really good then. And no. I finished it and didn't find it good at all. Was it entertaining? yes. was it funny? yes. did it have a good plot? no, not really. This book is way too overrated.
12 out of 38 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 23, 2013
Posted April 9, 2013
To be honest, I don't understand why everyone is obsessed with John Green's novels.
Was it bad? No. Was it good? Not really.
It's a typical teenage problem novel. There's smoking and drinking and sex and drugs: general teenage angst.
And there's religion and death and this kid who quotes the last words of the famous and dying. Which apparently makes it some sort of amazing tool that will forever change the way you think about boarding school/your problems/last words/teenagers/G-d/peanut butter/Alaska/pranks/etc.. Quite frankly, I don't get it. I wasn't moved while reading this and after finishing it I don't feel compelled to come here and post some raving review in which I fanatically proclaim how I want to kidnap this book and have its children.
Don't get me wrong and all, this was a nicely written book.
But the hype is exactly what it is- hype.
7 out of 12 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 9, 2012
I absolutely adore this book. Its my favorite by John Green. Looking for Alaska will make you see life like you have never seen it before. This book is shocking, mysterious, soooo funny, and sad. There wasn't one time when I felt like I was getting bored. Every moment had a new way of pulling you into the story. I read this book in one day and one day I decided to read it again and it was as good as it was the first time. This is a captivating story and has an amazing plot. Everybody should read this!
7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 16, 2009
On the first page, Miles Halter, a social outcast at his school, is preparing to leave for Culver Creek, a boarding high school in Alabama. His chief distinction is his extensive knowledge of famous last words, telling his parents that, in the last words of Francois Rabelais: "I go to seek a Great Perhaps."
As the story goes on, he arrives at the school and meets his roommate, Chip Martin (otherwise known as the Colonel, because of his role in planning the traditional Culver Creek pranks). The Colonel knows the name of every country in the world, as well as a lot of other weird information. He's been going to Culver Creek since his freshman year, unlike Miles who is now a junior.
The Colonel introduces Pudge to Alaska, a fusion-reactor hot girl who, unfortunately for the instantly infatuated Miles, already has a boyfriend that there is no competing with. She is the absolute most random, crazy person Pudge has ever seen outside an insane asylum.
Miles becomes known as Pudge because of his skinniness -"It's called irony, Pudge") The Colonel, true to his reputation and his hatred for the Weekday Warriors because of his family's poverty, pulls off a plan wherein the Warriors in question get blue dye in their hair gel and progress reports sent to their families meticulously detailing how they are failing some of their classes.
The four of them (including Takumi, an Asian student who has known the Colonel since his frosh year) like most of the rest of the Culver Creek student body, smoke, drink, and generally start their college experiences a little early under the ever-present threat of expulsion by the Eagle. Through insights by Dr. Hyde in World Religions class, and Alaska's thinking which has taken up permanent residence several miles away from the box, there is no question that he finds his Great Perhaps.
On the very day that he finally hooks up with Alaska, disaster strikes. And I quote the back cover: "Nothing will ever be the same."
My biggest problem with the book was that the characters were too wild for it to be realistic. During Thanksgiving break, Alaska and Pudge take a "self-guided" tour of the dorm rooms and find that every single student has alcohol, drugs, porn, or all of the above and more in their rooms. Seriously. There would be at least one person entering Culver Creek not wanting to risk getting kicked out for his/her own entertainment, if you want to call it that. Peer pressure and high school irresponsibility only go so far.
Many of the characters were fairly one-dimensional, although if the one dimension is spontaneity I suppose you could say Alaska has an infinite number of dimensions. The Colonel is fairly flat before the disaster I mentioned, which the very heading system of the book revolves around: He studies crazy stuff and does crazy stuff. In the post-disaster part, he's a bit more believable as we watch him and Pudge struggle through grief's many permutations. Pudge is more believable-I can sympathize with him myself, entering the world after a long period of isolation. He has dimension. He isn't totally, insanely reckless like Chip and Alaska.
What the point is is debatable, and it's hard to tell exactly what the author had in mind. How to get out of "this labyrinth of suffering" (as Bolivar and then Pudge put it)? Who is really responsible for the central tragedy, and to what degree? Should Alaska have tried to let go of the past that walled off her future? And so on, and so on.
6 out of 28 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 2, 2012
Posted March 12, 2014
This will be in capitals to express my pain
I LOVE THE BOOK BUT WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT TO ME IF YOU ARE CONSIDERING BUYING THE BOOK DO IT DO IT NOW IT IS ONE OF THE BEST THINGS I HAVE EVER READ THE OTHERS BEING ALL THE OTHER JOHN GREEN BOOKS YOU NEED TO READ IT OR YOUR LIFE WILL BR INCOMPLETE
Thank you for your time
4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 15, 2014
John Green has a way of writing deep and dark secrets of my life...
The Fault in Our Stars in my favorite book and I want the world to love it
But at the same time it's my little secret
It's a preview of my life and for someone,
Someone who won't understand me, my life, Hazel's life...
It's a waste for them to read
They can come to love the book but never have close to as many connections as I will have. As they should have. I want his books to be loved, and understood, and never forgotten because they are truly a treasure.
4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 31, 2013
I love this book, as well as John Green's other books. It's brilliantly written, and it makes you feel all the emotions as well as though the characters are some of your closest friends. I would recommend this book to anyone!
3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.