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Looking For Alaska [Paperback]

John Green
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (643 customer reviews)

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Book Description

3 July 2006

The unmissable first novel from bestselling and award-winning author of THE FAULT IN OUR STARS.

Miles Halter is fascinated by famous last words – and tired of his safe, boring and rather lonely life at home. He leaves for boarding school filled with cautious optimism, to seek what the dying poet Francois Rabelais called the "Great Perhaps." Much awaits Miles at Culver Creek, including Alaska Young. Clever, funny, screwed-up, and dead sexy, Alaska will pull Miles into her labyrinth and catapult him into the Great Perhaps.

Looking for Alaska brilliantly chronicles the indelible impact one life can have on another.

Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollinsChildren'sBooks (3 July 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007209258
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007209255
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (643 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 289,736 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description


“Miles's narration is alive with sweet, self-deprecating humor, and his obvious struggle to tell the story truthfully adds to his believability.” School Library Journal

“What sings and soars in this gorgeously told tale is Green's mastery of language and the sweet, rough edges of Pudge's voice. Girls will cry and boys will find love, lust, loss and longing in Alaska's vanilla-and-cigarettes scent.” Kirkus

“This is an amazing first novel by a writer who is young enough to vividly remember his powerful years of high school and he expertly turns remembrance into story.” Children’s Literature

“The novel's chief appeal lies in Miles's well-articulated lust and his initial excitement about being on his own for the first time.” Publishers Weekly

“Debut novelist and NPR commentator Green perfectly captures the intensity of feeling and despair that defines adolescence in this hip, shocking, and emotionally charged work of fiction.”
Barnes & Noble

About the Author

John Green is an award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of several YA novels including THE FAULT IN OUR STARS. He has received numerous accolades including the Printz Medal, a Printz Honor and the Edgar Award. John is also one half of the Vlogbrothers; co-creator, with his brother, Hank, of the popular video blog Brotherhood 2.0, which has been watched more than 30 million times by Nerdfighter fans all over the globe (youtube.com/vlogbrothers).

Join John's 1.2 million followers on Twitter (@realjohngreen) or visit him online at johngreenbooks.com and fishingboatproceeds.tumblr.com. John lives with his wife and son in Indianapolis, Indiana.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So good 10 Jun 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Very much recommended if you don't mind being the grown man on the train, alone, sobbing quietly in to his kindle.
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86 of 92 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Looking For Alaska 2 Feb 2008
I was casually scanning the books in the Young Adult section at Borders, when a guy who worked there came up to me and reccomended this book. I was a little skeptical - he was about 25 and not really the kind I'd imagine reading books aimed at teens, but the way he talked about this book intrigued me entirely. So, as there wasn't anything else interesting me in the slightest, I though - what the hell? Plus, he said that if I didn't like it I could come back and he'd refund me.

I'm so unbelievably glad that I bought it. Green captures the way a teenagers mind works perfectly - and the way he portrayed Miles being hopelessly in love was perfect. Miles is a young boy who joins Culver Creek boarding school in Alabama and befriends Chip 'Colonel' Martin; a sarcastic, trailor-bred intellectual who teaches Miles the way things work.

Immediately, I was curious with the he set out the chapters; divided into two halves - before and after a defining moment in Mile's life. It wasn't soppy or unrealistic - it's a story about a normal boy falling in love with a girl who - in his eyes - is perfect. The main girl Alaska is an endearing character - the author makes you want to know more about her; she's the epitomy of 'cool', but her underlying story gives her more depth, and you realise that there's a lot more to her and that her smile is a mask for her past. Filled with drinking, pranks and cigarettes - Looking For Alaska gives an insight into what teenage life is all about, and the harrowing reality of how precious life is.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Holds the reader at an arm's length 12 Mar 2013
By Julia Flyte TOP 50 REVIEWER
Miles Halter decides to leave home in Florida and go to his father's former boarding school in Alabama, in search of what the poet Rabelais called "The Great Perhaps". When he gets to Boarding School, he quickly becomes friends with his roommate, "the Colonel" and a small group of other super-smart misfits including the eponymous Alaska Young. As we are repeatedly told, Alaska is moody, unpredictable and charismatic and Miles is quickly under her spell.

The first half of the book counts down to an event (starting "136 days before") and the second half of the book deals with how the characters come to terms with the event, through to a resolution that neatly occurs 136 days after.

I liked this book but I also felt that there wasn't much too it. The characters are all so witty and smart that they hold the reader at an arm's length. They're interesting, but you never really care about any of them. This is John Green's first book and I can see how his writing evolved in the superior The Fault in Our Stars.
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48 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One to read in one sitting-absolutely compelling 2 April 2007
I took this book out of the library on a whim one day and I really don't regret it! This book is about friendship and what makes people who they are. Reading this makes you understand that people have so many hidden layers which have been influenced by their past. This book looks at teenage relationships in a way that is remarkably true to life. Most people should be able to identify with the feelings and issues that it deals with. It is also the darker moments in this book that make it such a refreshing, if touching, read.

Looking for Alaska is one of the most well written books that I have read in a long while. One minute it can make you smile the next it can make you feel like crying. I would definitely recommend this to anyone.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars John... 3 April 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
John Green why must you make me cry? You are an amazing author and I don't understand how you can write so perfectly
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars disappointing 26 Jun 2014
By R
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I don't understand the hype behind JG books, I feel they are written simply and to a young audience, but being a 16 year old female I feel I should connect with and like these books, however I don't. This book has recieved a high praise but personally it is one of the most disappointing, boring books I have read. The plot is basic and not at all gripping, and characters are not relatable. I'll still say give it a go, because you may like it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible 27 July 2014
By Maddy
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book is beautifully and carefully written with every word as captivating as the next. Looking for Alaska is a mysterious, hilarious, saddening story told in an amazing way.
After reading The Fault in Our Stars I believed nothing could get better and this is why I was cautious of reading this book, afraid that it wouldn't meet my expectations of Greens writing but it most certainly did. This book met every standard I set and although it is very different to the The Fault in Out Stars, it still will appeal to those who love that kind of genre. As a teenager myself and given how much I enjoyed this story I would set the target audience at 13 above due to the fact that some of the words and phrases are quite challenging. But even as an adult I would hope you would enjoy Looking for Alaska as much as I did.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Love this story! 24 July 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
Looking For Alaska by John Green was not what I was expecting at all. I had a feeling it wasn’t going to be as good as TFIOS because of other people’s reviews but actually it is as good. I’ll admit even though there is a sad part of the book and I almost cried but held it together, I found it wasn’t written to make you cry as much as TFIOS was.
Anyhoo, I found it to be a really great read and I will be recommending it to everyone. It was very interesting, funny and heart touching and I wished I could read more about Culver Creek and the pranks that go down there.
Pudge (Miles) and Colonel (Chip) were my favourite characters and they had great chemistry as they were so funny together. I loved all the characters personalities as they were all different and they blended nicely together. I do wish there was more scenes with Pudge and Alaska in. I really enjoyed the mystery of what Pudge and the Colonel were trying to find out as I couldn’t figure it out myself.
In this book I found it very interesting how Pudge knew and liked people’s last words before they died. I thought that was pretty cool and unique to have in the story. I also liked how the story was written with how many days before or after what was going to happen.
I’m giving Looking For Alaska 5 golden stars!!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice read!
I enjoyed this book but mainly for the characters, they had deep meanings that got discovered as the book went on. Read more
Published 13 hours ago by Louise
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good
Very good but not as touching as the fault in our stars going to start reading paper towns,now I love john greens,books
Published 1 day ago by Sam
5.0 out of 5 stars Marvellous
I found this a book fantastic, this book connected to me deeply. The fact i,the unknown, share similar thoughts to pudge but yet so differently is incredible, this book has it own... Read more
Published 1 day ago by aminata
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
pretty gritty truthful book thats funny and sad.
Published 1 day ago by Anthony Woods
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read
Excellent 😊
Published 1 day ago by mr g harris
2.0 out of 5 stars ... account and said she thought it was a little dull. Given that she...
My girlfriend bought this on my account and said she thought it was a little dull. Given that she reads plenty of books in this genre she's probably a reliable source
Published 1 day ago by cameron thorp
5.0 out of 5 stars Again more than one expects
Deeper than one expects. Definitely worth reading. I genuinely fell in love with Alaska's personality and the way she tries to be feminist
Published 2 days ago by Hollie Manning
3.0 out of 5 stars I think aimed at a younger teen audience
I thought this book okay – you could see it was counting down to a disaster but I found it a bit too predictable – I am in my early forties so maybe not in the correct age group to... Read more
Published 2 days ago by Shade Thompson
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books I've read in a very long time
One of the best books I've read in a very long time. Green is able to entice the author without making events overwhelming. Absolutely brilliant book
Published 2 days ago by Rachel
3.0 out of 5 stars A bit rushed
Contains lots of memorable passages about life. I just feel the second half of the book was rushed and left a few unanswered questions.
Published 3 days ago by Kelly Joseph
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