Monday, April 30, 2012
Book Review: Looking For Alaska by John Green
Title: Looking For Alaska
Author: John Green
Genres: Realistic Fiction
Age Level: YA
Page Count: 221 (Paperback)
Summary from Goodreads: Miles Halter is fascinated by famous last words and tired of his safe life at home. He leaves for boarding school to seek what the dying poet Francois Rabelais called the "Great Perhaps." Much awaits Miles at Culver Creek, including Alaska Young. Clever, funny, screwed-up, and dead sexy, Alaska will pull Miles into her labyrinth and catapult him into the Great Perhaps.
Review: I feel like I almost shouldn't post a review to this, because I'm going to feel bad once I do, but... Here's the thing: The first John Green book I read was The Fault in Our Stars, which was his latest book, the fifth one he's written. And it was so utterly amazing I couldn't believe my eyes. It was that awesome. And then I go and read this, which was the first book he ever wrote (or at least got published).
You could tell the difference.
Ugh, now I feel really mean. But let me explain myself.
One of the things I loved in The Fault in Our Stars was how... interesting the conversations the main characters had. They were teenagers, yes, but their conversations were so funny/deep (alternately, not at the same time) and just so interesting. But then, in this book, they were... just so... kinda stupid and shallow and... not all together interesting. They were concerned about what typical high school students were concerned with - sex and drugs and alcohol. And... I guess I just expected more from this author.
The plot in itself wasn't horrible. Alaska was very interesting, and I enjoyed reading her character. I found Pudge's memorization of last words cool as well. The pranks they pulled had me laughing and clucking my tongue at them. I also thought it was cool how the chapters - and the parts of the book - were split between Before and After. I found Pudge's and the Colonel's investigations in After interesting as well.
I'm kinda split down the middle in terms of the ending. I thought it was fitting, because there really WAS no clear answer, but at the same time, I hated how there wasn't a solid ending, a solid The End that said that this was what happened and that was that.
Overall, my thoughts on this book are kind of divided right down the middle. You'll have to try it for yourself to see whether you like it or not. Only personal preference will be able to tell.