John Green has the ability to write characters you can't help but fall in love with. Main characters or those outside of our focus are rendered full with nuances of realism that bring the listener in to their fold. This, along with the amazing talents of Jeff Woodman to make each character distinct without having to constantly introduce, makes it easy to feel a part of the story and care greatly about what happens to everyone. Good book, good listen, at times heart breaking and hilarious.
I am an avid reader, mother of two, fangirl, nerdfighter, Chicago Cubs enthusiast and NASA supporter.
I have had this book on my list for a very long time, but somehow it was always pushed aside. Well, I was an idiot. Looking For Alaska was just as good as everyone said it was. The description of life in the somewhat eccentric world of Culver Creek Boarding School was so well written that I felt like I might be there, myself. There was not one character in this story that I did not like, and that includes the unlikable ones. Alaska Young was more than just your typical MPDG, although I know that many people believe that about her. She certainly has some of those characteristics, but she was much more three dimensional that just a vehicle for someone else's realizations. She was also more than just the focus of Miles Halter's lust, but since the book is told from Miles's point of view, what we know of Alaska has to be discovered by Miles, and he does discover it very painfully. While calling a character a MPDG is the 21st century equivalent of being a Mary Sue, I propose that it isn't all bad to have a character that inspires change in a protagonist. To say more would be to spoil the story and I could go on all day about this and how I think that calling a female character a MPDG is a type of sexism in literary criticism, but I'll save that for another time.
This book was narrated by Jeff Woodman, who has an impressive number of books under his belt, including An Abundance of Katherines. His use of voice was amazing. I loved the way he voiced everyone, but especially The Colonel, whose personality really shone through in the voicing. It's always tricky to have a male narrator when a female character plays such an important role in a story, but this narrator did a fantastic job of reading Alaska Young without sounding silly. Since this book is set in Alabama, accent was also very important. Mr. Woodman did a great job with that, as well. Although this book would be great whether you listened to it or read it, I think that this particular narration really added to the story. If this is a book that has been on your list forever, as it was on mine, please consider listening to it. You won't be disappointed!
Great narrator and great for all ages.
A combo of both humor and sadness made the book great
This is the second John Green book I've listened to, and I really enjoyed both. His were the first books I purchased just based on reading descriptions and reviews. I don't want to give any of the story away, so I won't go into too much detail. I find his characters to be so entertaining.
Given that this book is considered to be part of the Young Adult genre, I began listening to it with the expectation that it would be a simple, uncomplicated read. I was pleased to find that it had great emotional depth.
This book slowly stirred my thoughts and memories to provide a profound and cathartic experience. That could just be a matter of personality, but I would definitely recommend it!
Touching, wry, succinct
This is like Catcher in the Rye. It has a profound undercurrent that builds subtly until its final pages. I think most adults will find it funny and moving. Any teenager would be engrossed by it; however, I think most teenagers' parents would not want them reading it due to its brief sexual portions and its prevalent drinking. There are consequences of these however, one of them leading to asking for forgiveness, and another contributing to a death and asking for forgiveness on a more profound level.
This is an amazing masterpiece of a story. A book written in the overwrought world of boarding schools somehow manages to push past the tired and trite to find not only a new story, but a new, heart-wrenching look at life and love. This book leaves you guessing, from the "will he, won't she" tension of a good teenage romance to the astounding twist that managed to catch someone who has read hundreds of teen fiction books by surprise to the "how is this going to work out" ending. John Green managed to take the ordinary, turn it into something extraordinary, then bring it around to something that anyone who has ever loved can connect with. The depth of the characters is at once amazingly deep and tantalizingly not quite enough in that perfect blend that makes you sad the book is over but somehow unable to think of anything it was lacking. If you like the non-fantasy teen genre, do yourself a favor and get this book. You won't regret it.
A very well done audiobook and a great read from author John Green. He has a way of writing that is intellectual yet completely relatable, and I would not hesitate to recommend this book. The characters are interesting and it is easy to get pulled into the world of Culver Creek. Also fascinating are the overarching questions about life, death and love. Excellent read, excellent listen, and I hope to read many more from him.
I loved this book and I am far from a young adult. I enjoyed the characters and I will miss them. The narrator was great. And the book provided plenty of food for thought. Out of the Labyrinth and into the Great Perhaps.