Book Reviews

Looking For Alaska – Book Review

  • Author: John Green
  • Genre: Young Adult
  • Paperback: 271 pages
  • Publisher: Harpercollins; Latest edition (1 February 2013)
  • Language: English

Synopsis as on Goodreads

“I go to seek a Great Perhaps. ” These last words of poet Francois Rabelais brings a turn in Miles’s life and he decides to leave his public school at Florida and attends Culver Creek, a private breading school in Alabama. The path chosen for greater good and opportunities leads Miles to Alaska Young, a beautiful and emotionally troubled woman. Alaska has everything that fascinates Miles and with whom he eventually falls in love. Miles life was getting interesting. He had a prankster room-mate, a woman, who fits her imaginations and two great male friends. All who contributed to making Miles more like him were unique in nature and had their own quirks.

But the circle of life is not all about happiness and Miles learns this pretty soon. After taking a deep plunge in the deep sea of happiness, again he stands amongst all the worldly troubles. Wonderful characters, dialogues and fascinating prose makes this story a must read. Learn how Miles found his way out the labyrinth of loss finding his Great, with Looking for Alaska.

My Review

You spend your whole life stuck in the labyrinth, thinking about how you’ll escape it one day, and how awesome it will be, and imagining that future keeps you going, but you never do it. You just use the future to escape the present.

Hush!! Such profound words have wrapped a story of a few teens whose lives are intertwined and connected forever in the Culvert Creek, Alabama. It is the labyrinth that unites them.

Looking For Alaska is an emotionally gripping tale, primarily focussed on the character of Alaska but takes turns to give ample space to its every character. It starts off smoothly, goes ahead with the stream, brings out so many intricacies of human nature to the fore, and then slip away. In that flow, you get carried away but a point comes when you more or less want to be out of it. The maze is vexing you, it is clearly getting on your nerves and you pray to be out of it soon. To all the ardent fans of John Green here, I felt this in the second half of the book.

The book is divided into two halves – before & after. The two timelines are separated by a fateful incident which changes the distinct time frames drastically. It is this one event which gives us so much of pain that our heart pains and wants to reach out to the Alaska Young and hug her tightly. The grief of losing a loved one is irreparable. And not being able to recall his/her last words more pathetic. Sighs!

The narrative is impressionably mesmerizing. It hooks, lingers, and sticks with us till the end. It swallows you and gets you a different being by the end. The book points out the impulsivity of teenagers and I could totally relate to it. This is what probably every teenager goes through and eventually, takes a decision in haste. Thoughts rebound in their hearts, guilt and love grip them pretty quickly, their heart is heavy and fragile, and in this fragility, they break. Painful description.

Everything in the book was fine to a point but in the second part, I felt it dragged. I found it impractical and unnecessary. But then emotions overpower rationale and you are bound to believe that unimaginable things could actually happen and that everything could be figured out. Well, sometimes things should be left as they happened. Dwelling and holding onto them causes more remorse and grief.


  • John Green pens down fantastic quotes. Simple and profound.
  • The writing style is reader-friendly with no typical jargon and verbosity.
  • The plotline is something you could feel attached to.
  • To read amazing connections his characters share.
  • Moreover, the narration is engaging and creates an everlasting imprint on our minds.

In a nutshell, it is beautiful but not enough to delight a seasoned reader. 

MY READER: 3.5/ 5


18 thoughts on “Looking For Alaska – Book Review

  1. I have a weird relationship with John Green. On the one hand, I do think he writes pretty well and I never walk away from his books hating them, but on the other, his character dialogue is so overly wordy and flowery that it takes me right out of the story. While I think that most dialogue in books isn’t overly realistic, John Green’s characters speak in a way that just bugs me endlessly.

    With that said, I actually really liked Turtles All The Way Down a lot and his dialogue was either better there, or I just got better at ignoring it.

    Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve never read any John green books but this is the one that always interested me more than the others. Not sure if I think it’s worth it though.xx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is my second favorite Green book. My all time fave is An Abundance of Katherines. Hated Fault/Stars; however, the movie of it was good. I loved the romantic date in Amsterdam that the movie put in…so sweet.

    Liked by 1 person

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