Friday, January 24, 2014
Looking for Alaska by John Green
Looking for Alaska by John Green
Miles Halter, later known as Pudge, life has been one big nonevent and he goes to Culver Creek Boarding School in search of his Great Perhaps. Miles is obsessed with famous last words and Francois Rabelais has inspired him to go out and seek one. His life turns upside when he meets Alaska Young. She’s clever, funny, and everything Miles could ask for in a girl, but she’s also self-destructive and screwed up. But one night and one mistake leads Miles into the “After” and his life will never be the same. I loved TFIOS and I was so excited to jump into another Green book especially this one since it was his debut and I’ve been recommended this book countless times since fifth grade. I don’t really know how I feel about Looking for Alaska. In some parts it’s a wonderful book and in others it’s a dull fest of who-the-hell-cares. Green’s humorous writing does make LfA a lot more enjoyable, but sometimes I found myself even getting bored with that. I have several problems with LFA and I wish they weren’t there because this had lots of potential to be amazing, but I just wasn’t blown away.
The main male character is Miles. I liked Miles. He was a pretty cool guy, but sometimes his mindset became just… obnoxious repetitive and the more I think about for the longest time Culver Creek was a pretty lame school where nothing freaking happened. Maybe Miles’s Great Perhaps wasn’t all that great. My favorite thing about Miles though is his obsession with famous last words. I loved reading about different famous peoples’ dying words and how funny or meaningful they could be. It was completely fascinating. I do have one HUGE complaint about Miles though. That whole last stint of pages at the end of the book seems completely unrealistic and his thoughts just don’t really fit into his personality. If Alaska was musing I would’ve found it more believable, but the ending was just so Green and not enough Miles. It was thought provoking, but I was also really put off by it. Because I did love how Green decided to end LFA, but I didn’t love how it seemed so uncharacteristic.
Swoon Worthy Scale: 7
The main female character is Alaska. Here’s my thing about Alaska. I really dug her sometimes and then other times I just wanted to dig up her stash of liquor and hit her with the bottle she kept hidden.
She was just so overwhelming. She was a good character, don’t get me wrong. I loved her story and I understood why she was so messed up and completely self-destructive, but I didn’t really like Alaska. It bothered me quite a bit when I was reading how I disliked her a lot sometimes. My biggest problem with Alaska was how she treated Miles. I personally don’t think she ever cared about him at all. Not even as a friend. She was far too self-destructive and selfish to.
Kick-Butt Heroine Scale: 6
The Villain- Oh, Alaska. You know what they say you are your greatest enemy and you destroyed everyone around you.
Villain Scale: 8 (I guess)
I did love Miles’s friends though. The Colonel, Takumi, and even Lara were my favorite part of the novel. They were all funny and the Colonel will forever be my favorite character in this book because he was brilliantly hilarious and the prank that he and Miles masterminded in the end in honor of Alaska was one of my favorite scenes and I’ve never laughed as hard as I did when reading a prank before.
Character Scale: 8
My dilemmas with LFA seem very small in comparison to the good things this book does have to offer, but they also handicapped the book for me. I wasn’t particularly blown away until the last 100 pages and then I was just absolutely in love with the book. It became suspenseful and thoughtful and funny. I do recommend LFA, but I would recommend reading it before TFIOS because this book would be much more enjoyable if read before the amazing-ness TFIOS brings.
Cover Thoughts: I love the cover. It’s so simple and the subtle smoke is just very eye-catching. I really like it!