Looking for Alaska

Looking for Alaska

Book - 2012
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"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. Then. . . . After. Nothing is ever the same."--Online description.
Publisher: New York : Dutton Children's Books, 2012, c2005.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780142402511
Call Number: Teen Fiction
Characteristics: 221, 13 p. ; 21 cm.
Subjects: Interpersonal relations -- Fiction.
Boarding schools -- Fiction.
Schools -- Fiction.
Death -- Fiction.
Young adult fiction.


From the critics

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pacl_teens Sep 11, 2020

Looking for Alaska by John Green is a young adult realistic fiction novel. Miles Halter had always been obsessed with last words, especially the last words of his favorite poet where he talks about “The Great Perhaps”. On his journey to find “The Great Perhaps” Miles decides to go to boarding school because he is bored with his life at home. When Miles arrives at his new boarding school he meets the beautiful and smart Alaska Young, who leads him on the biggest journey he could ever imagine.

Before reading this book I always heard many good things about it so I decided to try it out. It did not meet my expectations. Overall, the book was okay but I personally did not like it that much. I feel like the characters had very stereotypical traits and the storyline was a little bland. There were also some inappropriate parts of the book that would not be very appropriate for a younger audience. On the other hand I liked the way that Green separated his chapters. It was interesting to see a book separated into a nontraditional chapter and kept me reading this book. I also loved the ending of the book. I felt that it really tied everything together and did not leave any loose strings.

In short, Looking for Alaska is a good book for anyone who is a fan of John Green. If you liked any of his other books I am sure you will like this one as well! -Eunchae, Grade 10

Aug 18, 2020

Looking for Alaska, by John Green, is a book about Miles Halter, a boy who decides to go to Culver Creek Boarding School. In this school, he meets Alaska Young, the Colonel, and Takumi. The Colonel gives Miles the nickname of Pudge, together they pull pranks and cause mischief throughout the school. The book is split into two main parts, and the first part ends with a tragic event involving Alaska Young.
I liked this book because of the sudden change in the direction of where the book was going. At first, the book seemed relatively normal, but once the second part comes, I find that the experience of the book changes drastically. I would recommend this story to eighth graders and older, as there are some explicit scenes and references in the book that are not appropriate for younger readers.

Aug 08, 2020

I love the book it was extremely good in its entirety, but I would not recommend for people who dislike hard core romance.

Aug 05, 2020

There are many YA novels that detail the struggles of teens throughout the years, ranging from the most minuscule of happenings to the most horrific of events. Looking for Alaska by John Green does an excellent job of combining both into a comical, yet heart-wrenching, novel about a sixteen-year-old boy named Miles’ first year of school at Alabama’s Culver Creek Preparatory School. Used to being on the outside of things, he is suddenly thrown into small, yet troublemaking, friend group. He befriends the loud Chip, the rapper Takumi, and the beautiful, broken Alaska Young. Alaska is an enigma all in herself, and Miles quickly becomes drawn to her. After a shocking, horrible event leaves the students at Culver Creek Preparatory School reeling, Miles is determined to find the answers, thus beginning his journey to solve a mystery that continues to haunt him.

Out of all the John Green novels, I have to say that this one is definitely my favorite. I enjoyed the fact that this story was told by Miles, as the readers get to see his warped view of Alaska, a person who he makes out to be much more perfect in his mind than in reality. The writing is both clear and humorous, as there is always the much-needed comic relief in the perfect places. The journey that Miles goes on throughout the novel to come to a series of realizations is extremely well-written, for we see his character change right before our eyes. From a shy teenager with no friends, to an amazed and infatuated sixteen-year-old boy, to a grieving friend, his character development is both hindered and encouraged by a variety of events. However, I would like to have seen more of his character when it wasn’t revolving around Alaska, as we never truly see much of him before her besides his obsession with last words. I absolutely love this novel and cannot recommend it enough if you enjoy YA novels; however, because it is a YA novel, it will have many of the same elements in the story that some people might not like. As a result, this book is definitely in a specific genre and may not be for everyone.

Age rating: 14+
Star rating: 4 stars

Jul 30, 2020

John Green has been one of my go-to authors for a while, I’ve read multiple books by him and I’m always left in awe of how he creates his characters, each one different from others and have unique charms to them. This one didn’t disappoint me either, the protagonist Pudge had a knack for knowing last words, and Alaska is portrayed as a character who loves recklessness and chaos but is beauty amidst it. Of course, these are not the only things that set them apart but these are some unlikely attributes about them that stuck with me. In the storyline, Pudge leaves his high school for boarding school while quoting the phrase “I go to seek a great perhaps”. He had been looking for a change and arriving at Culver Creek gave him the change he was looking for; he found friends, quite possibly love and adventures that he would never forget. I love the fact that there are two sections the before and the after, it really shows how everything changes once you meet people in life and sometimes it's astonishing to see how much they impact one's life. John Green does not shy away from expressing his thoughts on heavy topics, he depicts it through his writing which adds on to this book. Many quotes struck a chord in me, so many phrases and sentences had deeper underlying meanings which made this even more intriguing. Overall I loved reading this book, the storyline kept me hooked and I would read it over and over again!

Jun 17, 2020

who here also found alaska

May 25, 2020


Apr 03, 2020

Looking for Alaska is the best book I've ever read. I feel as though it's so amazing because there's not anything too grand about it if that makes sense. What I mean is that most books that are considered good or the best usually have a big plot and a lot going on. Looking for Alaska has great, normal characters and a good plot with nothing too complicated. Which is one of the reasons it's so great. And everything they talk about with the labyrinth and how to get out of it is just so exceptional in many indescribable ways. If you ever read a book it should most definitely be Looking for Alaska. I'm not going to really describe the book because you should read it yourself and really see what it's about. I'm not going to say my opinion on what happens so that way you can make up your own mind on what you read. What you think it means and what you think really occurs in the book. The show on Hulu also is so sensational and just absolutely the best thing ever. You really get to see the book come to life. I loved seeing Alaska being portrayed and I was finally able to see how she really was and not just how she was in my head. Probably one of the best quotes from the book is, "How will I ever get out of this labyrinth of suffering?"

Jan 26, 2020

I found this book to be a compelling read! I wanted to know what would happen next, how would the characters develop, and would the develop? I have had no experience or frame of reference for a co-ed boarding school - so that was intriguing. John Green has crafted a cast of characters, a setting and an array of challenges and life events that will likely make you want to turn the pages. It is a good read.

Jan 23, 2020

i found alaska lol its on the map lol

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Add Age Suitability
Oct 02, 2019

blue_gorilla_895 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Apr 13, 2019

Ravindersidhu thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

Nov 19, 2018

pucko thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Mar 12, 2017

pinkbumblebee thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Feb 17, 2017

MBennett2002 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Jan 27, 2016

Bookcat18 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Dec 25, 2015

serineg thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Oct 16, 2015

maroon_dog_273 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 13 and 25

Oct 07, 2015

VV12 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Sep 21, 2015

ALEXKNIGHT3 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

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Add a Quote
Oct 14, 2019

I finally decided that people believed in an afterlife because they couldn’t bear not to.

Aug 08, 2016

"'Y'all smoke to enjoy it. I smoke to die."'

Aug 08, 2016

'"Francois Rabelais. He was a poet. And his last words were, 'I go to seek a Great Perhaps.' That's why I'm going. So I don't have to wait until I die to start seeking a Great Perhaps."'

Jul 11, 2016

"So I walked back to my room and collapsed on the bottom bunk, thinking that if people were rain, I was drizzle and she was a hurricane."

Laura_X Feb 05, 2016

We need never be without hope because we can never be irreparably broken.

Sep 21, 2015

"I go to seek a great perhaps." -Pudge (Miles)

Sep 21, 2015

"If people were rain, I was a drizzle and she was a hurricane." - Pudge (Miles)

Sep 14, 2015

"For the love of God, shave your back!" - The Colonal

Jul 20, 2015

So I walked back to my room and collapsed on the bottom bunk, thinking that if people were rain, I was drizzle and she was a hurricane.

Jul 10, 2015


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Add Notices
Feb 13, 2019

Coarse Language: Uses a lot of swears

Sep 21, 2015

Other: There is some smoking and substance abuse throughout.

Sep 21, 2015

Sexual Content: There are a couple scenes throughout the story that would be catorgized as innapropirate and sexual. There is one scene in particular that is not sutiable for people under the age of 14 at least. I read this when i was about 12 and it wasn't appropriate and I didn't quite understand what was happening.

Sep 21, 2015

Frightening or Intense Scenes: The point of the story could be intense or frightening for some people.

Sep 21, 2015

Coarse Language: There is quite a bit of cussing throughout as well.

Aug 12, 2014

Other: Repeated smoking and drinking of characters

Oct 22, 2013

Sexual Content: a little bit of kissing and one very detailed sex scene

EuSei Jul 09, 2013

Sexual Content: "Consensual" sex between minor children!

Jun 12, 2013

Coarse Language: Lots of coarse words

Jun 12, 2013

Sexual Content: This title contains sexual content

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Add a Summary
Jul 10, 2015

Miles has just moved to a new boarding school where he meets Chip "The colonel", Takumi the hip hop enthusiast and the gorgeous Alaska. As Miles starts to fall for Alaska and pull pranks with her, something tragic happens that shakes Miles world.

Jul 02, 2015


A beautiful novel that is truly indescribable. It's filled with laughter, sadness but also hope. It opens your eyes to see more than what's on the outside. To not just look, but to really see.

Jun 29, 2013

Miles "Pudge" Halter goes to Culver Creek boarding school. He meets new friends and discovers life's meaning through his friend, Alaska Young.

_infuse_ Jun 05, 2012

Looking for Alaska is really about the great adventure of Miles in a prep school in Albama. Miles is your average kid, with grades, some friends, basically normal in most ways that a 16 year old can be! The thing is Miles, is known for memorizing the last words of famous people, and this search eventually leads him to search for his Great Perhaps, (his real adventure/meaning in life. After moving to the prep school, Miles meets Colonel, Takumi, and the unique Alaska Young! Miles' whole life is turned upside down through his many adventures with this crew.Between life of a pressured 16 year old, and just trying to discover how to "escape from this labyrinth of sufferring" Miles' has his hands full!

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