Looking for Alaska by John Green

Format: Paperback
Pages: 272
Published: 31st March 2011 (first published 2005)
Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books
Genre: YA, Realistic Fiction, Contemporary

“In the dark beside me, she smelled of sweat and sunshine and vanilla and on that thin-mooned night I could see little more than her silhouette, but even in the dark, I could see her eyes – fierce emeralds. And not just beautiful, but hot too.”

BEFORE. Miles Halter’s whole life has been one big non-event until he starts at anything-but-boring Culver Creek Boarding School and meets Alaska Young. Gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, screwed up and utterly fascinating she pulls Miles into her world, launches him into a new life, and steals his heart. But when tragedy strikes, and Miles comes face-to-face with death he discovers the value of living and loving unconditionally.

AFTER: Nothing will ever be the same.

I had seen the book for awhile. However, it was only until the UK released a new paperback that I thought I would give it ago. Having read so many raving reviews I thought I was going to really like. Sadly, I just don't think it was for me.

Looking for Alaska is about a boy Miles who is obsessed with peoples Last Word. After being a sociel misfit and having no friends he decides he was to go to boarding school to "Seek a Great Perhaps". On starting his new school he quickly befriends Chip (The Coloniel) - he gives miles the nickname Pudge - and then he quickly becomes friends with Alaska and Takumi. Pudge very quickly becomes attracted to Alaska and she is always flirting him even though she has a boyfriends. However, soon there is a tragic accident and Pudge finds him on an journey as he tries to answer Alaska question "How will I ever get out of this labyrinth of suffering?"

This book is in two parts. First half of the book. Honestly I found very slow and boring. The characters all seem very immature for their age. Pulling pranks and just how they acted in general was more of the behavior of a 13 year old rather then 17 year olds. I did feel for Pudge though. He just wants to fit in and when he starts at his new school he finds and friends and I was happy for him. However, I honestly didn't get what he seen in Alaska or what anyone saw in her. She has no redeeming qualities at all. All she seems to do it smoke and drink. But I did feel really sorry for her when she was telling the gang about her Mum and that was quite sad.

As I said the book is in two parts. First part very boring and slow. I enjoy the second part better. I think it was because of the emotion that was in it. The friendship between Pudge and The Coloniel and then going on a journey that brought a tear to my eye.

What I really like about the book is that the centred around two Last Words.
"I go to seek a Great Perhaps." --Francois Rabelais This I feel is central to the first have to story as its Pudge going to a journey to see whats out there in the world and trying to find something better.

"How will I ever get out of this labyrinth?" - Simón Bolívar. Alaska was the one to first mentions this quote and then she changes it to "How will I ever get out this labyrinth of suffering?" This is the journey that Pudge goes on to try and find out how to get of suffering.

So overall, even though I didn't enjoy the first I stuck through and I am glad I did. Looking for Alaska is a novel that I do recommend. By the end it makes you think about life and how we deal with situations. 

Rate: 3/5

Originally Review: 10 April 2011

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