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Book Review - Looking for Alaska

 Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Egads a Book review!! I know some folk may have fell out their chairs since I'm notoriously bad at posting reviews (it's because I really suck at writing them) but since I spent aaaages doing my quasi-reviews for my LibraryThing thread I thought I'd go nuts and post one of them up on here!

Title: Looking for Alaska
Author: John Green
Date Read: 2/5/2010 (5/2/2010 for the US folk)
Description (Goodreads): Sixteen-year-old Miles Halter's adolescence has been one long nonevent - no challenge, no girls, no mischief, and no real friends. Seeking what Rabelais called the "Great Perhaps," he leaves Florida for a boarding school in Birmingham, AL. His roommate, Chip, is a dirt-poor genius scholarship student with a Napoleon complex who lives to one-up the school's rich preppies. Chip's best friend is Alaska Young, with whom Miles and every other male in her orbit falls instantly in love. She is literate, articulate, and beautiful, and she exhibits a reckless combination of adventurous and self-destructive behavior. She and Chip teach Miles to drink, smoke, and plot elaborate pranks. Alaska's story unfolds in all-night bull sessions, and the depth of her unhappiness becomes obvious.

My Review: Although I had heard of John Green before I wasn't all that fussed about having a look at his books that is until I discovered the Youtube channel that he and his brother Hank have called The Vlogbrothers which is not only rather informative but crazy funny and nerdy (seriously check it out).
So after wasting a large chunk of time watching loads of their videos I was suddenly struck with the urge to get hold of one of John's books and have a read - luckily while I was in Oxford at the end of April I found a copy in the Oxfam bookshop *all hail the awesome*. I read it all on the train back to Aber and I was like WOW!
It's basically a coming-of-age story which is jam-packed with humour, quirkiness and all the obsessive energy that accompanies first love. Miles has transferred to the boarding school his father went to for his high school years. He's never really had proper friends, preferring to find comfort in the last words of famous people so when he arrives at Culver Creek he's very much surprised to find people who befriend him and completely change his perspective on life. The most vibrant impact on his life is Alaska Young, the zany outrageous girl who quickly steals Miles' heart even though she already has a boyfriend.
There's also a raw shock of emotion in the middle of the story which is ominously hinted at in the chapter headers but still completely unexpected and the rest of the story is spent recovering from what happens and working out *why* it happened.
Considering that the book is only 260 pages long it packs quite a punch and can really make you think about what affects people's choices and why we do certain things. Miles, the Colonel and Alaska are all wonderfully vivid characters and totally original and you can really feel for all of them as they go through their individual struggles.
This book was a joy to read and I'll definitely be buying copies of his other books in the near future.

My Rating: 4.5 Stars out of 5!

So there you have it folks, if you think my reviews are as suckish as I think they are then do tell me and I shall try my darnedest to write them better.
If you want to read a really *awesome* review of Looking for Alaska then I direct you to Adele of Persnickety Snark who said it better than I could ever hope to *wistful sigh*

Anyhow I need to get me some sleep as I have exams and an essay to finish tomorrow *le gasp* so Toodles!


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