With all the hype surrounding John Green’s novels, especially with The Fault in our Stars movie being released in theaters, I was somewhat unwilling to jump on the John Green bandwagon, afraid that his novels wouldn’t live up to their popularity. However, I finished Looking for Alaska in less than two days. An extremely captivating story about Miles “Pudge” Halter’s first year in boarding school in Alabama, Looking for Alaska was a novel that I literally could not put down. Green cleverly heightened suspense by writing the novel in two sections, a “Before” and an “After” section, with the mystery of the event in the middle keeping me engaged. Green’s gift for symbolism and repeating motifs tied the whole novel together beautifully; there is no questioning that this is an extremely well-written novel.
That being said, I did have some criticisms of the book: many of the characters did not feel very realistic, and it took a while for the book to find an actual plot line. However, most of the characters were still likable, if not completely believable; and once a plot line did surface, it only served to captivate my interest more. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys young adult novels, though as a friendly warning, it wouldn’t be a John Green novel if there wasn’t an element of tragedy incorporated into this coming of age story.
Availability: USMAI and COSMOS
Review Submitted by: Brianna Glase