Book Review – Looking For Alaska

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Title: Looking For Alaska                                                        Author: John Green
Synopsis: “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.”  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.
Rating: 4 1/2 stars
Review: I have previously waxed lyrical about John Green in one of my past reviews – The Fault In Our Stars – and I reiterate here that he is an amazing author. Just like TFIOS, this book kept me rapt the whole way through, and I devoured it within two days.
The first 160-odd pages of the novel slowly build up to the climax, and when the climax hits, it really hits the reader hard. I sat there, shell-shocked for about half an hour after reading that part, because it was so sudden, like a bombshell.
There’s one quote which resonates throughout the entire novel, and that’s the question, “How will I ever get out of this labyrinth?” This question becomes a real issue in the book, a metaphor for the characters finding their way out of the labyrinth of their lives.
Protagonists: The main character Alaska reminded me a lot of Margo from Paper Towns, in that she defied the rules and had this I-Don’t-Care attitude to her (which did get annoying sometimes). The male protagonist, Miles aka ‘Pudge’, just didn’t appeal to me that much though, other than that I liked that we saw Alaska through his eyes.
Antagonists: In a strange way, Alaska was the antagonist as well. It’s hard to explain, but she was the problem as well as the solution to the story. It’s one of those things that can’t be put into adequate words.
Ships: Strangely I did ship Lara and Pudge more than Alaska and Pudge, but I also quite liked the Colonel and Alaska. They had this partners-in-crime air to them that appealed to me.
Verdict: This being my third John Green book read, I’m becoming more and more convinced that he can do no literary wrong. If you read and enjoyed Paper Towns or The Fault In Our Stars, you’ll enjoy this wholly.
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