Making the world better one review at a time.
This is the story of Miles, a young man who moves into a boarding school in Alabama where he meets beautiful, brilliant, but deeply troubled Alaska Young. It is the story of Miles' friendship with Alaska from beginning to end.
Looking for Alaska is a coming of age story with decidedly adult content - drinking, smoking, sex, love, friendship and death. John Green creates an interesting cast of young characters and catapults them into very adult situations. He is not afraid to make his young characters face death in all of its complexity.
Parts of the book are humorous, parts are heartbreaking. At times the book seems to move a little slowly, and you can tune out then tune back in to find you really haven't missed much. The narrator does an excellent job with the male characters, but his rendition of Alaska leaves a bit to be desired. Frankly, he makes her sound at times like an empty-headed redneck.
Overall this book carries a message of hope. It reminds us of people who have impacted our lives profoundly, leaving deep imprints upon our hearts. It also foreshadows a certain peace in death, suggesting that where we are going may be more beautiful than where we are.
I had a little trouble getting into this book at first (hence the four stars), but once I did I was swept away by it. I even won a "weekend warrior" badge for spending all day Saturday listening to it!
How does this book make the world a better place? It will remind you of how precious life is. Hazel and Augustus, the teenage protagonists who are battling terminal cancer, live more life in their short months together than many people live in years. Their diagnoses urge them on instead of holding them back. They appreciate the fragilitiy of life in a way that we all should, but only those touched by illness often do. Together they experience friendship, love, adventure, loss and ultimately death. Listen to this book and think of the people who are precious to you, then call them and tell them you love them. It's the kind of book that inspires you to do that.
ADDED BONUS!! At the end of the audiobook you get to listen to an interview with author John Green. Green talks about the book, the characters and even his thoughts about what happens to characters after a book ends. He also reveals that there is a version of this audiobook where he is the reader, for those of you who love to listen to authors narrate their own work.
To conclude, whether you are a young adult or an adult who is young at heart, you will enjoy listening to this book. It will remind you of how beautiful life can be, even - or especially - in the face of death.
During a panic attack she has at the mall, teenager Kaylee claws her throat raw in an effort to stop screaming. This extreme reaction lands her in the local psychiatric ward, where she is under careful observation by doctors and family alike. The reader is given the sense that there is more to Kaylee's panic attacks - and subsequent screaming - than there appears.
This piece is a prequel to Rachel Vincent's Soul Screamers series, but it is strong enough to stand on its own. An ideal reader will buy the rest of the series to find out just what is behind these panic attacks that haunt Kaylee. I may just buy the series myself. This piece of writing moved me. When the eerie music began to play at the end of the story, it gave me a creepy Twilight Zone feeling that made the hair on the back of my neck stand up. To evoke that kind of reaction means the writer did her job well.
One small complaint....Kaylee kept talking about her "jaws." She mentioned her "jaws" at least twice if not three times. I didn't realize humans had more than one jaw. Perhaps I will google this and find that I am wrong, but as of this writing I believe I am right, so the "jaws" thing really bugged me.
Overall a worthwhile read, whether you plan to finish the series or not. Since this story is available for FREE, you have no excuse not to download it and enjoy the listen.