Book Review: Looking For Alaska by John Green

Alena A., Staff Writer

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Looking For Alaska is best-selling author John Green’s first book. It’s a story about a boy named Miles Halter who decides to move away from his dreary, uneventful life in Florida and travel to Alabama to spend his junior year of high school at Culver Creek Prep. There he meets his new roommate Chip, who is primarily called by his nickname, The Colonel. The Colonel nicknames Miles “Pudge” before introducing him to his friends, Takumi Hikohito and Alaska Young. Pudge is immediately welcomed into their group and they quickly grow close.

Pudge ends up being thrown into a war between The Colonel and his friends and school’s popular clique, the Weekday Warriors. On his first night Pudge is kidnapped by them and thrown into the lake on campus. To get back at them they plan a series of pranks, including dying all of their hair products blue. Soon after their night of pranks, a night declared by Pudge to be one of the best nights of his life, a tragedy strikes that the friends must try to deal with all while tirelessly searching for answers about what truly happened.

Looking for Alaska is a book that has caused a lot of controversy due to some themes that parents deem inappropriate. It has been protested when taught in schools and some parents have even tried to get it banned, but I think it’s an important book for everyone to read. While there are some instances of drinking and smoking, there are also very important themes such as dealing with loss.

I enjoyed every second of this book. It really draws you in and is very hard to put down. From its complex characters to the first half’s chapters mysteriously titled “days before,” every aspect of the story is extremely well thought out and ties together perfectly with a satisfying ending that will undoubtedly leave you thinking.

Looking for Alaska is a somewhat sad but ultimately uplifting book about overcoming loss and the power of friendship. John Green truly makes you root for every one of the deeply flawed and broken characters. This is without a doubt my favorite John Green book, maybe even my favorite book ever, and I believe everyone should read this book, regardless of age. 

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