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Looking for Alaska [Paperback]

John Green
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Jan. 2 2007
The award-winning, genre-defining debut from #1 bestselling author of The Fault in Our Stars

Winner of the Michael L. Printz Award
Los Angeles Times Book Prize Finalist
New York Times bestseller

Before. Miles “Pudge” Halter is done with his safe life at home. His whole life has been one big non-event, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave “the Great Perhaps” even more (Francois Rabelais, poet). He heads off to the sometimes crazy 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. She is an event unto herself. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart. Then. . . .

After. Nothing is ever the same.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Product Description

From School Library Journal

Grade 9 Up - Sixteen-year-old Miles Halter's adolescence has been one long nonevent - no challenge, no girls, no mischief, and no real friends. Seeking what Rabelais called the "Great Perhaps," he leaves Florida for a boarding school in Birmingham, AL. His roommate, Chip, is a dirt-poor genius scholarship student with a Napoleon complex who lives to one-up the school's rich preppies. Chip's best friend is Alaska Young, with whom Miles and every other male in her orbit falls instantly in love. She is literate, articulate, and beautiful, and she exhibits a reckless combination of adventurous and self-destructive behavior. She and Chip teach Miles to drink, smoke, and plot elaborate pranks. Alaska's story unfolds in all-night bull sessions, and the depth of her unhappiness becomes obvious. Green's dialogue is crisp, especially between Miles and Chip. His descriptions and Miles's inner monologues can be philosophically dense, but are well within the comprehension of sensitive teen readers. The chapters of the novel are headed by a number of days "before" and "after" what readers surmise is Alaska's suicide. These placeholders sustain the mood of possibility and foreboding, and the story moves methodically to its ambiguous climax. The language and sexual situations are aptly and realistically drawn, but sophisticated in nature. Miles's narration is alive with sweet, self-deprecating humor, and his obvious struggle to tell the story truthfully adds to his believability. Like Phineas in John Knowles's A Separate Peace(S & S, 1960), Green draws Alaska so lovingly, in self-loathing darkness as well as energetic light, that readers mourn her loss along with her friends. - Johanna Lewis, New York Public Library
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

An ALA Best Book for Young Adults Top 10
An ALA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Readers
A 2005 Booklist Editors’ Choice
A Kirkus Best Book of 2005
A 2005 SLJ Best Book of the Year
A New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age

"What sets this novel apart is the brilliant, insightful, suffering but enduring voice of Miles Halter." --Chicago Tribune

"Funny, sad, inspiring, and always compelling." --Bookpage

"Stunning conclusion . . . one worthy of a book this good." --Philadelphia Enquirer

"The spirit of Holden Caulfield lives on." --Kliatt

"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, starred review

"Miles’s narration is alive with sweet, self-deprecating humor, and his obvious struggle to tell the story truthfully adds to his believability. Like Phineas in John Knowles’s A Separate Peace, Green draws Alaska so lovingly, in self-loathing darkness as well as energetic light, that readers mourn her loss along with her friends." --SLJ, starred review

"...Miles is a witty narrator who manages to be credible as the overlooked kid, but he's also an articulate spokesperson for the legions of teen searching for life meaning (his taste for famous last words is a believable and entertaining quirk), and the Colonel's smarts, clannish loyalties, and relentlessly methodological approach to problems make him a true original....There's a certain recursive fitness here, since this is exactly the kind of book that makes kids like Miles certain that boarding school will bring them their destiny, but perceptive readers may also realize that their own lives await the discovery of meaning even as they vicariously experience Miles' quest." --Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, starred review

"Readers will only hope that this is not the last word from this promising new author." --Publishers Weekly

“John Green has written a powerful novel—one that plunges headlong into the labyrinth of life, love, and the mysteries of being human. This is a book that will touch your life, so don’t read it sitting down. Stand up, and take a step into the Great Perhaps.”
—K.L. Going, author of Fat Kid Rules the World, a Michael L. Printz Award Honor Book

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Teens Read Too Aug. 24 2007
Format:Paperback
Miles Halter is the type of high-schooler who always faded into the background at his public school in Florida. He had few friends, by choice as much as by fate, and wanted only to study his passion--memorizing the last words of people who had died. After reading the dying words of poet Francois Rabelais, "I go to seek a Great Perhaps", Miles is convinced that there's more to life than what he's so far experienced.

So Miles sets off to spend his junior and senior years at Culver Creek, a private boarding school in Alabama. There he gains his first nickname "Pudge" (a misnomer, by far, since Miles is quite skinny); meets his first love, Alaska Young; has his first sexual encounter with a Romanian girl named Lara; and gains two great male friends, Chip "The Colonel" Martin and Takumi Hikohito. He also experiences the joys and sickness of getting drunk, the strangeness of smoking cigarettes, and the unadulterated pleasure of playing pranks.

Pudge's new group of friends have their own quirks--The Colonel memorizes countries, capitals, and populations; Alaska collects books for her Life's Library that she hasn't yet read; Takumi relishes being The Fox. They all work together to irritate their teachers, avoid confrontation with The Eagle, the school's dean, and pull off pranks against the rich Weekday Warriors that are the popular clique at Culver Creek.

But LOOKING FOR ALASKA is mostly the story of growing up, of falling in love, of dealing with loss, and getting through life as best that you can. With wonderful dialogue, fascinating prose, and characters that are so real you'll think you know them personally, this is a book well worth reading.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An award winning read for teens and adults. July 14 2006
Format:Hardcover
I purchased "Looking for Alaska" on the recommendation of the staff of my local bookstore, after an exhausting search for a quality book for my teen son. My son enjoyed it immensely, barely putting it down. My daughter devoured it next and I was stealing it from her when she was doing other things. Yes! The book is that good!

John Green has written a stunningly insightful novel whose characters are real, and situations are familiar to many teens, as is evidenced by the fan mail to his website.

I could rave on and on about what a good book this is, but I won't. The book won the Michael L. Printz Award, and has been nominated for other awards.

Just order it. For a guy or a girl, or yourself order it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars John Green's only good book that I've read Aug. 6 2014
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
Well I bought this book a long time ago and thought I might as well right a review. It has become one of my favourite books. If you liked Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher you will like this one. Gripping and full of laughs and tears. Way better than the Fault in our Stars. Don't buy that one. This one is really good!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Tracey
Format:Paperback
This is an easy read. A well-written teen fiction book. Decided to read this book as I loved another book he had written. Loved it! Just like i expected. John Green is talented, and even though i don't like this book as much as i love his "The Fault in Our Stars", it was still wonderful book. I like his writing style and he allows us to feel like we are getting to know the characters; good character development in his stories.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If you already like John Green you'll like this May 16 2014
By Cinda
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Similar style of writing to his other novels. Teen angst and woes mixed with an intelligence people often forget teenagers do possess. Would recommend if you already like his style of writing. Probably my second favourite after TFIOS.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Novel. Finished it in a few hours July 15 2014
Format:Paperback
Fantastic Novel. Finished it in a few hours. Honestly, worth every penny spent. Couldn't take my eyes off the pages.

Shipping was insanely quick, and in great condition
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book June 1 2014
By Jay
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I've read several of John Green's books and I was not let down, this is one of my favorite reads by him. I would also recommend Paper Town by John Green if you are interested in reading more by him.
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5.0 out of 5 stars perfect Feb. 11 2014
By Liz
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
when i received this it was in perfect shape! i couldnt even tell if someone had read it or not!
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