Thursday, July 25, 2013

Book Review: Looking For Alaska

Looking For Alaska

"Before. Miles "Pudge" Halter's whole existence has been one big nonevent, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave the "Great Perhaps" (Fran├žois Rabelais, poet) even more. Then he heads off to the sometimes crazy, possibly unstable, and anything-but-boring world of Culver Creek Boarding School, and his life becomes the opposite of safe. Because down the hall is Alaska Young. The gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, self-destructive, screwed-up, and utterly fascinating Alaska Young, who is an event unto herself. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart.

After. Nothing is ever the same."

Warning!This review is filled with major spoilers! 

Author: John Green
Year of Release: 2005
Genre: Realistic Fiction, Contemporary
Sequel(s): None, it's a standalone
What motivated you to read this book?: Loved reading John Green's The Fault In Our Stars! Such an incredible book. I wanted to try out more of his books, and I heard great things about Looking For Alaska, so I decided to try it out.
Book Version: Paperback
Where did you get the book?: Library
Favorite Character: Miles Halter
Thoughts on CoverIt's horrible. I don't understand it. I thought covers were supposed to grab readers' attention?
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Review: I had mixed feelings while reading this book. Apparently after hearing and reading such great things about this book, I'm one of the few people who feels this way. This book just seemed so strange. Plus, it felt as though there wasn't much of a plot: no antagonist, no major problem, nothing (not until the middle of the book anyway.) Just bits and pieces of Miles Halters life at his new boarding school. One scene consisted of Miles and his friends doing a huge prank on the Weekday Warriors, a popular group of rich kids. Normally during intense scenes/chapters, I feel exhilarated and I can't put the book down because I want to know what happens. However, when reading that part, I felt nothing, completely indifferent. The result of the prank was that Kevin and some of the other Weekday Warriors ended up dying their hair blue. Big whoop. Another part of the prank was sending out letters to the Weekday Warrior parents telling them that they're failing their classes. That would have been alright, except for the fact that it is never described in the book what their parents' reactions were! The whole prank scene seemed pretty pointless for that reason. I mean, why have an entire prank that takes days to do when the result is hardly mentioned? In fact, the whole situation between Kevin and all the Weekday Warriors never got settled. Kevin kept wanting a truce, but the truce never occurred.

Although there wasn't an antagonist or any major problems for the first half of the book, the book still captured my attention. I found it somewhat interesting. The characters are very, very weird, but I still found myself interested to see what happens. I really liked Lara. She seemed perfect for Miles. They were both inexperienced and clueless. However, I didn't like how Miles kept saying that he could never find himself able to talk to her. He didn't even know her, and yet he was dating her. With that said though, I found the short fling they had together to be rather amusing and enjoyable. They were trying something new, and it was interesting to read. However, it was a bit odd, that they were together for about a day, and then they decide to do some intimate activities. I mean, they hardly knew each other!

I found Alaska to be quite confusing. I never understood her at all. I guess that's what Green wanted--for her to be a mysterious character. I would have wanted to know what her motives were for making out with Miles even though she kept saying that she was in love with her boyfriend and that she would never cheat. So strange.

The turning point of the story after Alaska is killed was probably the most interesting part of the story for me. I actually enjoyed reading the "After" part of the novel a lot more than the "Before" part. It kept my attention a lot more, and I grew to like the characters more. However, I felt bad for Lara since Miles ignored her for several weeks. I knew we would never find out the real reasons behind Alaska's death, but I found the investigation Miles and his friends did in order to find out to be quite attention-getting.

All in All, I can definitely say that I am quite disappointed in this book. I heard such great things about it from my friends and other sources. I also expected it to be just as amazing as The Fault In Our Stars, but was proven wrong. I plan on reading at least one more of John Green's books eventually, but it will probably be a long time from now after reading this book.


2 comments:

  1. I had such a tough time getting into this book. I thought the second half was definitely paced better than the first half, but overall, this just wasn't my kind of read. To me, contemporary fiction is so character driven, and none of the characters in the book really stood out for me, which I think was my biggest problem with it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! I agree with you completely!!

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