Looking for Alaska by John Green

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" (François 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.

So, a while back I read The Fault in Our Stars and thoroughly enjoyed it as I read it, but found it a bit lacking once I got some time to think about it. I then recently saw this vlog wherein a very brave woman (fangirls be mad) explain why she didn't like The Fault in Our Stars. And I realised I agreed on almost all accounts. She also mentions similarities to other John Green books and though she's hardly talking positively about them I decided to give one a try and ordered Looking for Alaska from the library.

Initially I sort of liked it. But the characters annoyed me greatly. He falls in love after just one glance. She's too cool for school. Both speak like no teenager has ever spoken (quotes, philosophers, great literature references etc). It's all very hipster. I'm not a fan.

There's a build-up to *dramatic event* but I never really felt it. Shit happens and all are sad. And I didn't feel it. Then more stuff happened and I kept on not feeling it. I was almost relieved when I turned the last page and could put the book down and claim it read.

I have no doubt "kids" (gods now I sound old) will love this book - after tFiOS becoming a hit, the Danish library users have certainly started noticing Green's other books. But while tFiOS is at least cute, I'm not sure what lessons there are to learn from LfA. Drink excessively? Smoke? Be a fuck up but have fun doing it? Somehow doing all the before mentioned but still do very very well in school because you're a shallowly built up character with bullet point personality traits? I think pretentious is a word I might also use to describe this book.

It's funny how opinions can form. I think it's best if you read this and decide for yourself. It can go either way. I didn't like it much, but maybe you will.

Looking for Alaska
by John Green
ISBN13: 9780007424832
263 pages / published in 2005

Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2014


  1. Sorry you didn't like this one! I liked it but it's not a favorite.


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