Title: Looking for Alaska
Author: John Green
# of Pages: 256
Genre: Young Adult Realistic Fiction
I actually finished this book awhile ago, but between all the Christmas parties and traveling, I haven’t had much time for posting. I bought this book when our local Borders was going out of business, and if I’m being honest, I largely bought it because it had that prize-winning sticker on the cover. What can I say? If I know I’m going to get to cross it off one of my recommended reading lists, I’m sold. (It also helped that it was half off.)
Looking for Alaska is the story of Miles “Pudge” Halter, a sixteen-year-old who feels his life has been one great ball of nothing-ness. Concerned by his lack of social life, Miles’s parents send him off to a private boarding school in Alabama, where Miles hopes to experience “The Great Perhaps” spoken of by Rabelais. While at the school, he meets the brilliant and breathtaking Alaska Young, who is destined to change him forever. Unfortunately for Miles, he doesn’t realize just how much she’s going to change everything he ever knew . . . or believed.
While Looking for Alaska could hardly be categorized as a feel-good novel, it did have a poignant message of friendship, adventure, and growing up that was further developed by Miles’s obsession with people’s last words, which added a surprising depth to a novel that was often riddled with more shallow topics. But I will say this–although I rather liked the concept of the story (and thought the themes in it quite beautiful and heart-stirring), I absolutely despised all the crude language I had to muddle through to get to it. I was embarrassed to think that this book was written for teenagers because a lot of the language and the events really bothered me as an adult, even though I’m well past my teenage naivety. Therefore, even though the basic plotline was lovely, I could hardly recommend this in good faith to anyone due to the rest of its content.
Rating: 3 Stars (out of 5)