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.
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 !
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.
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.
This book was real, hilarious, gritty, soulful and touching in so many ways. I agree with the other people here. A great read for young adults -- and great for the rest of us, who have known these characters in one form or another, both in school and throughout life. Don't miss this one!
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 part-time buffoon and ersatz scholar specializing in BS, pedantry, schmaltz and cultural coprophagia.
A good first novel, just not a world-class bildungsroman that I'm going to push to have my daughter read immediately. Don't get me wrong, Green writes good characters and builds tight little novels (I can use the plural 'cause I've now read two). Sometimes, however, I feel a bit like I'm reading a Jennifer Egan MFA project: something clever, funny, tight but although it desperately reaches to matter ... it never quite grabs the matter. The Universe is a finicky bit@h.
This upsets me, because I really like the YouTube persona that IS John Green. It would be like falling for Mark Twain's personality and finding out he wrote only mediocre novels. My take is John Green is a C writer but an A+ promoter (not a bad thing if you want to make a living selling what you write).
As a friend of mine (Jacob) on another site said, "It's like emotional cotton candy. Simple and uncomplicated. They can make you cry without making you think, force you to laugh without having to reflect, and it's all so...upsetting to me."
I love books.
I might. I enjoyed it quite a bit.
I would compare it to Paper Towns by the same author. I liked this one better, but love everything John Green writes.
I thought his voice suited the story and characters. His voice and performance never took me out of the story, and that is one of my criteria of a good narrator.
John Green always writes characters that I would want to be friends with. That definitely applies to this book. I loved pending time with them and was sad when the story ended.
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.
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