Looking for Alaska by John Green

Title: Looking for Alaska
Author: John Green
Narrator: Jeff Woodman
Series: N/A
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Release Date: 2006
Length: 7 hours, 11 minutes
Format: Unabridged Audio CDs
Genres: Fiction, Contemporary, Young Adult
Challenges: N/A
Source: Library
Purchase: Audio CD | Digital Audiobook
Rating: ★★★★☆

Miles Halter is fascinated by famous words–and tired of his safe life at home. He leaves for boarding school to seek what they 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.

After reading Paper Towns, I felt like a fan of John Green. This book confirmed that. I enjoyedLooking for Alaska just as much. I’m so glad I decided to browse around at the library. Otherwise, I would not have found this.

Again, Green does a splendid job of writing some of the best characters I’ve read. They’re all so funny, clever, and real. They have that wit that I love in any character, but they also have problems. They have the same sorts of problems anyone could have. Miles reminds me a lot of Quentin from Paper Towns, but I don’t mind too much since I loved Quentin so much. The Colonel is definitely one of the best characters in the book. He provides some of the funniest material. I really love how funny Green can be. Alaska is just as much a mystery to me as she was to everyone else. I thought I knew her in the beginning, but by the end of the book I realized how much people hide. I feel like this is a common theme in both this and Paper Towns. It’s an interesting idea though, so I don’t mind.

This book ended up being surprisingly sad. Parts of it broke my heart. I just wasn’t ready for some of the events. I’m glad Green can keep it light when it needs to be. It kept me from crying or something. In fact, I laughed a lot. It’s always good when you can find something to laugh about even when the events in the book are sad.

Green’s writing is that perfect combination of sarcasm and philosophical thought needed for a book like this. It’s that writing that stays out of the way of the story and gives Miles a realistic voice. I also really enjoyed the setting. Since it’s set in Birmingham, I knew every place he was talking about. It was pretty cool to read about a city I’m so familiar with.

Jeff Woodman is one of the best narrators I’ve ever heard. I can understand why he’s won so many awards for the audiobooks he’s done. I know he’s read for a ton of them. I might have to check it out and see if there’s one I might want to listen to.

I’ve been thinking a little about books that are written from a male perspective lately. Because males and females think differently, it’s really interesting to me to read books from a male perspective. I enjoy getting inside a guy’s head. I’ve been thinking about spending one month reading books written from a guy’s perspective, as a sort of book challenge. I’m not sure if anyone else would be interested.

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  1. This was my first John Green, so it maintains a special place. Now you need to read his new book: A Fault in Our Stars. It’s great!


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