Looking For Alaska: Book Review

Looking For Alaska book coverBook: Looking for Alaska by John Green

Publisher/Year: Dutton Juvenille/2005

Genre: YA

Pages: 256

Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ – Very good

Is it going to be a movie? Yes! But it’s in very early stages. All we know is that Sarah Polley will be directing.

What’s it about?
Miles “Pudge” Halter leads a very boring with life with no friends until he attends Culver Creek Boarding School searching for a “Great Perhaps.” There he meets Alaska Young, Chip “The Colonel” Martin and Takumi Hikohito who changes his life for the better (and the worse). Pudge falls for Alaska upon meting her; she’s smart, funny, beautiful, screwed-up and draws him in completely. He goes from reading biographies and memorizing people’s last words to smoking, drinking, pulling pranks and having the time of his life. But then something happens that completely changes his world again.

What did you think?
Looking For Alaska reminded me a lot of The Perks of Being A Wallflower. There’s the socially awkward yet lovable boy (Pudge/Charlie) that gets pulled into a new circle of friends consisting of a beautiful, charming and self-destructive girl (Alaska/Sam) and the girl’s best friend who is more stable but just as fun (The Colonel/Patrick).  But I loved Perks so I didn’t entirely mind all the similarities. Even though I probably prefer Perks, I still really enjoyed Looking for Alaska. I am becoming a huge fan of John Green (I know I’m a little late to the party) as I mentioned in my Fault in Our Stars review. He has an infinite amount of great quotes and his style is perfection. Basically all hail John Green forever and always.

One thing I really like about Alaska is that it’s split into two sections: Before and After. Every chapter starts with a countdown (X Days Until…) to After. It’s a simple but effective way to keep me even further enthralled in the book. The story and characters were enough to keep me reading but the countdown made me feel like I had to know what was going to happen.

Should I read it?
Yes! Especially if you are a girl in the preteen-young adult age range. Even if you’re not, it’s a great book. You can get a copy at Thriftbooks or Amazon.

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The Fault In Our Stars: Book Review

The Fault In Our Stars book

Book: The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

Publisher/Year: Dutton Books/2012

Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ½

Who’s going to be in the movie?
Shailene Woodley (The Secret Life of the American TeenagerThe Descendants)
Ansel Elgort (Carrie)
Willem Dafoe (The Boondock Saints, Green Goblin from the first Spider-Man)
Laura Dern (Jurassic Park)

When can I watch it?
It hits theaters June 6. TOO LONG TO WAIT.

What’s it about?
Life and love and the unfairness of it all. Hazel (Woodley) is terminally ill with cancer and needs an oxygen tank to breathe, but she doesn’t let it get her down. She’s accepted her fate and is determined to live however much life she has left on her own terms. She’s settled into an antisocial, stay-at-home kind of life until she meets dreamboat Augustus “Gus” Waters (Elgort) at her Cancer Kids Support Group. Hazel is determined to not get close with Gus and instead continue living the life of a hermit in her little remaining time, but Gus has different plans.

What did you think?
So many feels. Just so many feels. It was like John Green reached inside my soul and molded my heart into anything he wanted like it was play-doh. He just has a way with words that hit home and his writing really makes you think. He’s written a lot of other popular books (Looking for AlaskaAn Abundance of KatherinesPaper Towns) and I’ve already added them to my reading list. John Green is so much fun (and heart-wrenching) to read, he also has a great video blog series on YouTube.

Anyway, back to the book.

I love Hazel’s blunt and sarcastic attitude. While she can be cynical, she’s mostly just a realist; she knows what life has dealt her and she’s not going to sugar coat it. Hazel doesn’t believe in placing hope in a hopeless situation and she accepts everything for what it is. Next to her wit, this is my favorite part about Hazel. Some people may see her attitude toward life and label her a Debbie Downer, but I think she’s wise to not put a happy spin on tragic scenarios. Hazel’s also funny, smart, brave, guarded and charming — she’s pretty much just the coolest girl ever.

The witty banter between Hazel and Gus alone is worth reading this book. They reject almost anything that’s standard or traditional and march to the beat of their own drum. They’re two truly unique individuals who make a perfect pair. Their love of the unorthodox is both refreshing and endearing. While their relationship is unconventional and flawed, it’s equally beautiful and perfect for them. Is it clear that I’m absolutely obsessed with them? Good.

Here’s the trailer and I’m a puddle of emotions. (Although if you haven’t read the book I would recommend not watching the trailer just yet, I always think trailers give away too much.)

Should I read it?
Yes! It’s pretty short and an easy read, you can finish it in no time. But keep in mind it’s YA and not the most dense or complex book out there, so if you can’t get off your high horse then trot away from this one. But if you’re a cool person, you can get a copy here or here.