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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 7 October 2015
In this American High School story our narrator, Miles Halter, is a shy young man with few friends. He becomes part of a small group including the bouncy Alaska. She has a boyfriend at another college and most of the group of friends fall under her spell. She's dynamic, enigmatic, occasionally moody but often fun. We are often allowed into their secret smoking and drinking as well as their classes. Miles, who loves reading of people's last words, is particularly entranced by the religion class run by The Old Man who wheezes his way through lectures.

This is intended, I believe, as a book for young adults but it grabbed my attention and never let up. After a catastrophe for the group, Miles is forced, not only by his own obsessive need to know, but also by the final paper set for the religion class, to consider the meaning of life, the finality or otherwise of death and the whereabouts of Alaska.
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on 14 April 2014
There will never be a book that touches my heart more or sticks with me longer than Looking for Alaska. It was the first John Green book I ever read, unlike most people who started with TFIOS, and will forever be the most important book I have read to date. It is difficult to summarise a story that runs so much deeper than what Green has written, with subtext being a large part of the emotional theme of the book, so all I will say is that I truly recommend it. One of the (many) things I love about John Green's books is the realness of the characters and not necessarily the relatable nature of their situation but more the fact that it could be possible to relate to them in different circumstances, unlike the characters in other books who are 'normal teenagers' who are also shadow hunters or fighting a dystopian regime or who have a completely improbable and almost impossible love story with the perfect other half. Looking for Alaska embraces the normalcy of teenage life, where the adventure doesn't come from life itself but instead from the people in it; in the case of this particular book, an adventurous and daring girl called Alaska Young.

EDIT, Jan 2017: I recently purchased the 10th Anniversary edition as a gift for myself, and I cannot recommend it enough. The additional notes from John in the back of the book are amazingly insightful, and a wonderful edition for anyone who feels attached to the book.
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VINE VOICEon 8 April 2015
Having just read - and loved - The Fault in our Stars, I made the classic mistake of expecting to enjoy the author's other novels just as much. But what a disappointment.

This short novel, about a group of teenagers at boarding school, is divided into two halves; the first, measured in days before a pivotal event (no details to avoid spoilers), and the second in the days following it. The group are very much into practical jokes, which feature prominently in the plot (and are pretty far-fetched, especially the-near drowning of one character). The story is told in the first person by Miles (aka "Pudge"), who like some of his colleagues is obsessed with the beautiful and enigmatic girl Alaska of the title. What happens to Alaska is central to the plot.

I found this novel slow-moving and unconvincing, and while it is well-written, it didn't hold my attention. The behaviour of the students seemed unlikely, and the plot thin. I believe the book was aimed at teens upwards, but I'm afraid I wouldn't really recommend it to anyone.
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on 19 May 2014
This is the second book of John Green's that I've read, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. This is an author who isn't afraid of the tough stuff. We have teenage sexuality, drinking, pranking and death. I love the layout of the story, which is broken into two parts: Before ... and ... after. It's always nice to come across a good book that I read just-for-fun and enjoy, given that I read so much for review and have to wade through some stinkers. I think Mr Green would have to go a long way off track for me to avoid purchasing more of his books.

I don't want to say too much about the actual story, as I don't wish to commit the spoiler sin. Suffice to say, this is not a love story. But it is definitely a life story. A book that will appeal to teens and adults alike. A book to make you think. The plot, pacing and character development were excellently done. With one exception ... with regards to a certain funeral ... and a certain character not attending ... it's like--why? There would be no good reason for said person not to go. There, hope I've said enough without spoiling. There are some minor typos and such, but not enough to complain about. I give 'Looking for Alaska' a strong 4 out of 5 stars, and will be buying more of John Green's books
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on 6 April 2016
Well, I had mixed feelings about this book if I'm honest.

Miles is portrayed in the first chapter as dorky and friendless. However, after moving to a new school he finds a group of rebellious yet highly intelligent friends, and things go all a bit too well for him in my opinion. I sort of expected a similar story line to "The perks of being a wallflower" which illustrated Charlie's struggles making friends and fitting in, but this book isn't like that. Rather, this is book which examines the question of human suffering and loss through the eyes of a group of teens.

It's not a book with a happy ending or a sad one, but it does make you think. I didn't close the book and feel that 'final revelation' that you get with some books where everything comes together and you find out the purpose of it all and what the meaning of life is. And yes, this annoyed me. The book leaves you with a lot of unanswered questions, but I feel like John Green intended it that way. And as much as this book fustrated me at times, it is well written, funny and relatable. So for those reasons, despite all of what I've just written, I would recommend it.
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on 21 December 2013
I only got this book because it was a goodreads book club reading choice but boy am I glad I did because it was a thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining book. The book is about a young boy named Miles who attends a boarding school & it follows him from his first day at the School "Culver Creek" through his first year at the school. The way John Greene describes Miles' trials and tribulations at the school along with his love for friend & class mate Alaska Young and his developing friendships with fellow class mates Chip "the colonel" Martin (room mate) & Takumi Hikohito is fantastic and makes you want to keep reading the book.
Alaska is the impitimy of the ubah cool but messed up teenage girl who everybody loves but is always getting herself into trouble. While Chip is the chilled intellectual boy who was raised in a Trailor Park by his mum and has got the nickname of the colonel because of his ability to plan pranks with military precision.
I would and will recommend this book to friends and family. I bought the book as an ebook.
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on 19 August 2015
Nice quirky main character who takes big step into the unknown and joins new school. Everyone has their owns cliques but his room mate is hilarious but as time goes on, quite deep and also very kind. Alaska interesting and the girl who 'has it all', once the layers are scraped back, all is not well as time goes on and the reader sees the gradual mental changes she experiences. I loved the way they backed each other up and they formed special unforgettable times together. Pranks were funny, especially the hair gel. Sad, funny, heart warming and worth a read. Story about a lot of first times and would read more from this author
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on 17 June 2016
I read this one first, even nough I got this, the fault, and paper towns all at the same time. In hindsight I think I preferred this one to the othe two. Perhaps because I'd already seen the Paper Towns movie. I just really got absorbed in this and couldn't put it down. Green writes and plots and sets up in a way that I was impressed with. Looking forward to more books from him.
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on 18 August 2014
As a 29 year old, I really love John Green's writing. I know it's aimed at teenagers but I think he doesn't talk down or patronise, and his books do have appeal for adults as well.

This is not my favourite of his but it is a well-written novel, as you might expect from Green if you are familiar with his other writing. His use of language is probably what makes his books so exceptional for me, but his well-fleshed-out characters are also so relateable and I love how original and quirky his stories can be.

I hear this is now being made into a film and am interested in seeing how they do it. If it's as well translated as Fault was, it could be amazing.

BEWARE: May make you cry in public.
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on 18 January 2015
Bought this for a few teen friends of my daughter (aged 13) and for her after scouring book reviews and teen listings. Yes she likes the book very much, BUT word of warning!!! She came to me about some fairly explicit sex scenes in the book, stuff that she recognised that she really didn't need to be reading yet. As a result I am having to try and remember who got the book and warn their parents. She says it is full of four letter words, but she knows we are fairly liberal and would be Ok with that.

I think this is very much for OLDER teens and hope I haven't lost any friends over this. If you are thinking of 'The fault in our stars' think again - this is very different. 16+ I think.
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