John Green | Looking For Alaska

looking for alaska john green

The Book: 

Looking for Alaska by John Green, 2006

The Characters: 

Miles “Pudge” Halter
His boarding school friends Chip “The Colonel”, Alaska, Takumi, and Lara

The Plot (from Goodreads):

Before. Miles “Pudge” Halter is done with his safe life at home. His whole life has been one big non-event, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave “the Great Perhaps” even more (Francois Rabelais, poet). He heads off to the sometimes crazy and anything-but-boring world of Culver Creek Boarding School, and his life becomes the opposite of safe. Because down the hall is Alaska Young. The gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, self-destructive, screwed up, and utterly fascinating Alaska Young. She is an event unto herself. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart.

After. Nothing is ever the same.

Click here for book spoilers for Looking For Alaska
Book spoilers ahead–if you haven’t yet read Looking For Alaska, I suggest you turn back now.

Alaska dies in a car crash midway through the book and Miles’ heart is broken. 

Miles and Chip were with Alaska the night she died. They were all drinking together, and fell asleep in her dorm room. In the middle of the night, Alaska got a call and then ran out of the room crying. They never saw her again. 

Miles and Chip launch themselves into searching for answers as to why she died as they grieve her. 

The Ending:

The call Alaska got was from her boyfriend, as he always calls her at 3:02 am on the exact time of their anniversary. While talking to him, Alaska realized that she had forgotten the anniversary of her mother’s death. She tore out of the dorm with flowers apparently heading for her mother’s grave. Alaska blamed herself for her mother’s death and believed she had messed up again by forgetting it. She likely crashed the car on purpose to kill herself.

The Review: 

This was one of teenage Caroline’s favorite books. I read it in 7th grade on a class trip to Washington DC and loved it. It’s always interesting to re-read favorite childhood books as an adult. I don’t think I liked it any less–still a great story with lovable characters, a heartbreaking twist, and an uplifting ending. My disclaimer is that I haven’t read many John Green books, which I’ve heard quickly get repetitive!

Despite my love for this book, I think I would most likely hate Alaska in person. She seems like one of those girls that everyone loves for no reason, when in reality she’s kind of a crappy person. She’s a teenager with a drinking problem, she rats out her friend to save herself from punishment, she judges the “Weekday Warriors” just for not living on campus, and she often seems to be a bad influence on Miles. She also flirts mercilessly despite having a boyfriend. I don’t think she had many redeeming qualities, besides apparently being hot.  

What book did you read as a teen and re-read as an adult only to find that your perspective had totally shifted?

looking for alaska john green

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