Looking For Alaska by John Green

Title: Looking For Alaska
Author: John Green
Genre: Young Adult
Length: 221 pages
Published: March 2005
Trying to write out a coherent review for this book is actually rather difficult. I think it's probably because I still don't feel much closure from it - I still think about the events in the book and try and figure them out, and I can honestly say that it's left a lasting effect on me. And what's strange is I hated this book when I first attempted to read it - seriously, I put it down about halfway through. But a few weeks ago I picked it up again and was amazed. I read it in a few hours. And I was left thinking about it long after that. 

Looking For Alaska was John Green's debut novel. This in itself is an awesome thing - this book is at such a high standard, I'd love to be able to publish my first book and for it to be as perfect as my work that followed. John Green's signature writing style and quirky characters were a beautiful thing to read. John Green's writing can make even the most mundane situations seem interesting and exciting and the dialogue is smooth and realistic.
An example of John's quirky characters is the main character, Miles Halter a skinny, friendless sixteen year old boy who packs his bags and moves to Culver Creek Prep School, where he becomes a boarding student. Miles has a fascination with Famous Last Words. Isn't that just the most random yet interesting character trait? Miles is a likeable character, a little superficial at times when it comes to girls but still a cool guy. My only issue with him was his impatience with Alaska. During a scene where Alaska is in his room sobbing, he gets impatient very quickly with her refusal to talk about it and emotionally pushes her away. The Colonel is also an interesting character - he knows the name of every country in the world. His fashion taste is laughable (flamingo tie, anyone?) but he's hilarious. But my heart lies with Alaska. She was such a complex character, so mysterious yet still so vunerable. But she's also a bitch sometimes. And she does things that doesn't really make sense. Her story is slowly revealed the more you read and her fascination with the phrase 'The Labyrinth of suffering' becomes a big theme through-out the book.

There are a lot of 'adult' themes through-out the story, including alcohol, porn and awkward first-times. There are a few more intense scenes (one featuring a blowjob) which might be a put-off for some people, but they're not really graphic or grotesque at all. The pranks featured are what made me dislike the book the first time - I thought it was all so childish - but you kind of expect it from the characters and it works for them.
This book is split into sections, with the titles 'before' and 'after', preceded by a number of days. The 'after' section of this book is the part that hit me hard. The plot twist was so unexpected, and the characters scramble to figure it out so that they can understand and basically create a little closure. I have my own opinions on the plot twist (I asked several family members of their opinion for a few days after reading) but if you've read it and you want to swap theories email me at laurenpiperx@yahoo.co.uk. I'd love to hear what you thought!
Overall this book is a very powerful thing, in my opinion. It's very thought-provoking and leaves you wondering. I rated this book 5/5 stars because of the in-depth characters, the beautiful writing and the amazing plot twist!

If you liked Looking For Alaska, I'd recommend We Were Liars by E. Lockhart.


  1. I really enjoyed this book too. I should probably reread it soon. Although Paper Towns is still my favourite!
    Water Painted Dreams xo

    1. I've just started reading Paper Towns & I'm enjoying it so far! x

  2. Woo, another blog to read posts from haha! I've really enjoyed reading through everything, you write really well :)

    Amazzable xox

    Feel free to check me out:

    1. Awh thank you! & I'd love to check out your blog :) x


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