Looking for Alaska brilliantly chronicles the indelible impact one life can have on another. A stunning debut, it marks John Green's arrival as an important new voice in contemporary fiction.
(P)2006 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
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.
Short, Simple, No Spoilers
In the YA realm, this is one of my top 7 favorites.
John Greene's sense of humor is delightfully sarcastic. The characters were well written and I felt like I was at the school, in the barn, at the basketball games, etc. with them.
Yes. I enjoy Jeff's performances. I didn't "love" his Alaska voice, but it didn't detract from the story.
I didn't cry, but found it humorous and marginally sad at the end. Alaska was a little too self-absorbed and I didn't care as much about her charcacter's sudden ending.
I wouldn't want my younger daughter to read this due to the continuous drinking, smoking, and mischief. However, I enjoyed it as an adult.
The first Green book I listened to was "The Fault In Our Stars" and I was skeptic that any other of his books could come close to its brilliance.
Fortunately, I was wrong.
Looking for Alaska is billed as Young Adult fiction, but like so many YA novels, it easily transcends other genres. The book follows the life of Miles (aka "Pudge") as he seeks "The Great Perhaps" in a southern boarding school. There he meets Alaska Young and he falls for her quickly. The books follows the trials and tribulations of Life for teenagers, but it goes deeper and examines The Big Questions.
The narrator does a fantastic job with all of the voices -- Pudge, the deep voiced Colonel, Romanian Lara, and throaty Alaska.
This book does not disappoint! My only gripe is the length -- I wish it was longer !
This book is wonderfully written. I think i enjoyed it so much because i have lived each of these relationships and though i went home to my own bed each night instead of bunking in some boarding school the experiences still apply. The characters are all strong and the way the book is written you see how each event affects another. The narrator is great and keeps your attention. Give this book a chance and i promise you will not be disappointed. My favorite quote?:
"If people were rain, i was drizzle and she was hurricane." <3 it.
Even though this is a YA book, once again, I feel like this is more of an adult book. I know that the characters are in High School, but their expericences are mature. So, I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone younger than 16.
That said, this is an excellent story. John Green makes his characters become so real. You feel a deep connection to them. Narrator, Jeff Woodman, once again, makes a great story even better, making him by far my favorite.
You will love this story!
After really enjoying "The Fault in our Stars," I was really looking forward to "Looking for Alaska." This novel is about a high school junior who is starting at a boarding school. I teach at a prep school, and I enjoy good novels about high school life. Pudge (the nickname of the protagonist) spends the first half of the book making connections with a small circle of friends at his new school. Sex, alcohol, cigarettes, and pranks are at the center of these kids' existences. This novel captured the teen banter very well. The author has a great ear for teen dialogue. But this story does not come close to capturing the full school experience. Only one teacher is mentioned, plus "the Eagle," the notorious dean of students, in charge of discipline. Only one class is mentioned, and absent is the unhealthy preoccupation with grades which permeates prep school life these days. This novel captured the three main characters so well - Pudge, his roommate (the Colonel), and Alaska, the charismatic but complicated girl who steals Pudge's heart. The dynamic between these three kids is great, and was enough for me to like this novel but not love it. Over halfway through the story, there is one dramatic event (which I won't spoil). Very little happens after that beside an extended reaction to that event. The narrator was excellent and almost enough for me to push this to 4 stars.
It was a good day when I realized I could combine my two hobbies- reading AND knitting. Audible has seen me through many projects!
I want to be careful that I don't spoil anything- but I enjoyed this book immensely. The reader is terrific and I revelled in every minute I listened to this book. It absolutely covers the span of what it's like to be a teenager and the emotions and conflicts that are apart of being that. I am newly converted John Green fan, but man, everything I get my hands on, I love.
This is an amazing book and the audio version is very well done. It is more than just a young adult's novel. I would recommend it to people of most any age.
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.
People say I resemble my dog (and vice-versa). He can hear sounds I can't hear, but I'm the one who listens to audiobooks.
I had problems with Jon Green's Fault in our Stars that I distilled, in my review, to his concept of cancer perks. But I said I was willing to give him another try, and so I did, listening to Looking For Alaska. And now I have an even bigger problem with perks -- specifically, The Perks of Being a Wallflower.
Just type in Looking For Alaska vs. Perks in your Google and before you can even finish your search criteria, you will get a stream of autofilled results about how similar Alaska is to Perks. For the record, Perks came first by about 5-6 years. Why didn't any of the people Green thanks in his afterword stop him and say, "John, uh -- you know, Stephen Chbosky has not only written this book already, he even directed the film. Maybe you should change things up a little."
This is not a problem of similarly themed stories. This is an exact copy. Shy boys with no friends goes to a new school and is instantly taken in affectionately by the cool kids for no reason that makes sense, instantly curing his shyness. He instantly falls in love with the wild child girl who has a boyfriend in college and who sets him up with another girl. They both have teachers who touch something special within them. And it all comes crashing down at the end with a virtually identical climactic event.
Like all John Green characters, these kids always have the perfect bon mot ready on the tip of their tongues, without fail. But compared to the Perks characters, they are that shallow, with little in their past to explain their current behavior, with one exception (there isn't even an attempt to explain why the main character ever had socialization problems, which based on what happens in this book is not something he actually has).
Perks has sexual identity crises of various sorts, traumatic events that are believable rather than contrived, consequences that are far more common in real life than the contrived ones cooked up by Green. John Green is all over the YA best seller lists with his books. I don't get why. Read Perks of Being a Wallflower instead, if you haven't already.
"A great read however not my favourite JG book."
The chapters are very distinct and each set a particular mood. The way the book is written allows the reader to enter a very similar mindset to the protagonist; creating a wave of emotions that chop and change throughout the novel.
The thoughts and reflections that "Pudge" has 136 days after.
The accents of the Southern characters seemed very similar and at times the speech felt slightly rushed.
She loved mysteries so much she became one.
This is a fantastic read but I didn't feel the connection to the characters that I have felt reading other John Green books. In a lot of instances everyone apart from Alaska Young felt somewhat under-developed.
"deep and beautiful"
John green's books are much deeper than they appear. this is another young and beautiful book with so much more to say than teenage problems.
"Very good story. John Green continues to impress!"
Very good story. The characters are real flawed humans which makes the story much more relatable. Love the use of chapter titles!
Would highly recommend this book to anyone fancying a good listen.
"Wonderful book amazing twist"
I really enjoyed this book and it's now one of my favourites. Thanks John Green! 😘
"Classic John Green"
This is the second book I have read from John Green. just brilliant!!!! The story is unique but everyone can relate to elements of it in their school years. The characters are very human and believable. I could not stop listening to the book once I started.
"Great book with lots of emotions"
I would recommend this, because it is a great book to get back to high school, that offers great thoughts and story line.
When all the friends sit together in the barn drinking wine and have a great night.
Reading the book was great but the way Jeff Woodman read it brought the story alive and actually brought thoughts and emotions closer.
It did! It made me cry for about three hours but it also made me laugh and smile at other moments.
liked it alot. could have listend to it over and over again without being repetitive.
"Some characters more believable than others"
I loved the narrator's take on the Colonel, but the voice of Alaska was really annoying for me and actually detracted from the story. I'm not sure if it was because of the male voice imitating a female with an accent, but it made everything Alaska said sound sarcastic and idiotic. Actually, I've found this can be the case with other audiobooks that have male narrators. The male characters tend to sound more serious and realistic whereas the girls come across as a little too affected.
"I found I had many parallels with Pudge"
I hope I find another book that impacts me like this one has. Thanks John Green and don't forget to be awesome.
This story honestly has a place in my heart it moved me and I have never felt something so uncommon with a Charactor from a book but Alaska young not only pulled Miles into her reckless world but also engrossed me in it too. This story honestly felt like I was there living what Miles was talking about! This is such an amazing book and highly recommend it if you are looking for a good read
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