Yes. John Green delivers again! Such a great story!
Jeff Woodman is an incredibly talented narrator, bringing personality and distinction to each character, and because of that, the characters come to life. He has instantly become one of my favorite narrators.
John Green is clearly an academic and this book benefits from his well versed and thoughtful notions of philosophy, psychology and the mind of the young academic. The characters are each a bit heightened versions of potential real world counterparts, but it works as a shorthand to give each character a bit of weight to their thoughts and actions. It is easy to see and recognize the mind of someone who is truly passionate about something. This book gets that mindset immediately, that passion seeks and respects passion without prejudice to subject. These kids would find each other and become friends. A lot of discussion is made of the turning point in this book and I appreciate that the resolution remains complicated and unsatisfactory. I like that it damages everyone a little bit, but teaches each about life and themselves. There is a great deal of honesty and thoughtful reaction in the telling of this story. I was tempted to only give 4 stars because there is some inherent eye-rolling when viewing life as a teenage and I am old enough now to get exasperated by some of the teenager-i-ness. But this is a good book which opens up new avenues of thought. A solid recommend.
This book had me thinking about it for a long time after. I really enjoyed both the story and the performance.
The Mad Reader
I just loved, loved, loved this book! While some people choose to categorize this book as Romance, I think that even though there is some falling in love, there is no actual romance, but rather a story of friendship, loyalty and the pursuit of meaning.
This book explores some of the deepest questions of humankind and even wanders a bit into how some of the main religions in the world answer them. But mainly it is about a group of friends discovering and questioning the meaning of life and existence, and how they choose to live it.
The plot is absolutely engaging and it sucks you in from moment one. It is unexpected and refreshing. I wouldn’t have guessed the major twist of the story, but if even if it made me sad, it was necessary in the end to get through the message.
John Green has the spectacular ability to merge profound subjects into a fun story about friendship, high school and taking chances, in a way you won’t even notice all the layers the story has until the end, because it is so easy to glide through it.
Pudge was an exceptional character. He was the perfect impersonation of a boy trying to fit in and finding his way in life. Like your regular misfit, who finally found his place in Culver Creek. He was fun and loyal and pretty much I would’ve really enjoyed being part of his gang. The irregular group of friends he found there was a unique set of people; each brought something different to the table and the result was a bundle of weird awesomeness. I loved the Colonel and his audacity and loyalty; Takumi and his wits; Lara and her innocence; and, of course, Alaska, and her creativity. I just loved them all individually and as a group, but most of all, the way they fit together.
In the end the message was loud and clear and this book took root in my heart. For me, the pursuit of the Great Perhaps was the way to survive the labyrinth. Because we are all in the labyrinth but what makes us different is how we choose to live in it.
Jeff Woodman did and amazing job with the guy’s voices. He definitely picked up their personalities and he was a master with their different accents. He got Takumi’s and Lara’s accents perfectly and he nailed Dr Hyde’s old voice, just from hearing him breathing with difficulty you could tell the old man had his days counted. However, I detested what he did with Alaska. From her physical description and the way she behaved you would guess she was a feminine smart girl. But that wasn’t the vibe I got from her voice. She sounded more like a drag queen really. She was bold, fearless and she liked to swear, yes, but she was a teenage girl, and she wasn’t supposed to sound like that. I’m sorry to say so, but it weakened my enjoyment of the book. Other than that the narration was fabulous. I would totally forget where I was when listening to this book, and I found myself several times laughing out loud.
No. The author had interesting and enjoyable characters with an uninteresting story line. He excuses binge drinking, smoking, meaningless sex. Teens subconsciously know their spirits are immortal so they do the things they do. It is baloney.
Have the teens regret allowing Alaska to pursue binge drinking, chain smoking and acting out. He makes all these things cool. He even uses being drunk as an excuse. He has tremendous talent in that he make likable and interesting characters but then makes them cool for being litterbugs, drunks, smokers, promiscuous , and more. Then he spends pages of just preaching at the reader and giving his life view which was boring.
No other than try to weed out books like this before I read them.
Jeff Woodman is talented and if he would just tell a good story without all of the philosophy , i would enjoy his books.
audio book junkie
The first John Green book I read was, "The Fault in Our Stars", a YA book that transcended the categorization and could be enjoyed by anyone of any age. This is a tough review to write because after finishing TFiOS I bought 'Looking for Alaska' and at first listen it was clear that 'Looking for Alaska' was a YA book in a more traditional sense. It felt like it was written for kids which was a drag for me as I'm not one.
It's not fair of me to get down on John Green, a YA writer, for writing a book that is for young adults so I won't. I will say that he has a great, clear writing voice. His dialogue is smart and funny and really brings you into the story. I like how he has a running countdown throughout the book, to what? you'll have to read it to find out. It's a sweet simple tale that I would have adored as a teenager. As an adult unfortunately, I felt I was reading below my abilities.
Although set at a boarding high school this reminded me of my first year of college so very much. From sneaking out late to drink to having to come to terms with personal tragedy. I suppose that just shows what a talent Mr. Green has for understanding youths and their experiences. Here is a novel that is at once entertaining, funny, sad, moving, and just about everything short of the kitchen sink (and maybe even that too).
Jeff Woodman did a topnotch job with the narration, and had just the right kind of voice for the book. I loved all of the characters; Miles the everyman, Alaska the Geniki Girl (what? I'm an anime fan!), the Colonial the...well, the Colonial. Even the Eagle reminded me of my own prefect of discipline from my own high school. And of course, gotta love the Romanian girl and Japanese fox hat guy.
The novel treated it's audience as intelligent and Mr. Green included plenty of smart references for those who can identify them. If I had to find one issue it would have to be that towards the end of the novel Green's, um, spiritual (though not religious) views did get tossed around like a flying anvil. However, this was his first novel and I'm willing to cut him some slack. And what a novel it is.
All in all a great book that I can't do nearly enough justice with this review. Listen today, you'll be glad you did!
This book is a very cute look at life inside boarding school for a young boy. It explores first love, first sex - many firsts. Although they are all true to life what teenagers go through this is not a book I would allow a young teen to read. It is really written for the 15/16 and up crowd I think. Kids are exposed to so much at such a young age I think we could slow it down in some venues. Having said that this is a great look at life and the choices we make and the sometimes unintended consequences of those choices that we have to live with. As always with John Green the messaging is good, the quirkyness is great and as always, there is a sweetness to the book that lingers.
changing, love, angst
I loved how you could see the character grow throughout his many different experiences.
My favorite part had to definitely be when he almost told Alaska he loved her and she knew he was about to say it but stopped him and told him not to ruin it.
I did both laughing and crying during this book. It was not a love story more then it was a story about love. that in itself is a little sad.
warning though, for kids under the age of 14 this book may not be very appropriate. if it was a movie it would most likely be rated R.
I absolutely LOVED Alaska. She was the crazy mess you couldn't help but watch. I love pranking and being a free spirit, so I appreciated Alaska's mischievousness and how the author made you feel connected to her (and other characters) so quickly.