Rating: ☕️ ☕️ ☕️
I just want to start this review by saying – please don’t hate me. I know that lovers of John Green and nerdfighters can get very defensive if anyone bashes him or his books, so luckily I’m not really about to do that. But I did only give Looking for Alaska 3 teacups. So I say again, please don’t hate me.
I’m actually a huge fan of John Green. I love watching vlogbrothers videos, and overall I just love what he does. He’s great at making nerds like me feel proud of nerd life. Now that that’s been said, on to the review!
A quick overview for anyone who doesn’t know what this novel is about: A teenager named Miles (or “Pudge” as his friends call him) attends a new boarding school where he meets the intelligent and screwed-up Alaska. He is fascinated by her, and Alaska, Pudge and a small group of friends become really close. Then an event occurs that separates the novel into Before and After, and this changes their lives forever. What oh what could it be? You’ll have to read to find out! Or just read a spoiler filled summary or something…
Overall I would have to say this book was good and I wrote down some amazing quotes, because let’s face it, John Green knows how to write. The story was beautiful and tragic, and I can see why so many people like it. I on the other hand didn’t feel a lot of the hype that this book has generated. There are a couple of reasons why I think this is. First, although Alaska is an interesting character, I didn’t particularly like her. Most of the time she kind of annoyed me. I think she suffers from a condition of many John Green characters; that is the pretentious and, at times, whiny teenager. I think another aspect of the book that led to a lower rating was the “insta-love” that occurred once Pudge saw Alaska. I’m not overly opposed to insta-love. Quite the contrary, I actually enjoy a good corny love story as much as the next gal, but sometimes it just gets tiring. Especially when you are expecting so much more than that.
I found that the first part of the novel, or the Before part, was somewhat slow and this book didn’t really hook me in right away. However, I think the After part was where it really shone. While I was reading the second half I could see why everyone loved it so much. If you’ve already read this book and you know what happened, you may think I’m strange to like the sadder part of the book better than the happier part, but what can I say? It was just better. This second half was where I got a lot of nice quotes and it is this part that earned the 3 teacups.
I think with Looking for Alaska the big issue for me was that I was expecting more. I love John Green and I think he is hilarious and extremely smart. Along with the fondness I have for the author, the hype and raving reviews that this book has received made me expect so much more than it actually was. I hate to say it but I did not love this book. But I did kind of like it. I would still recommend it to anyone looking for a good YA fiction novel because most of the population seems to really love this book. You probably will too!
To learn more about John Green and his novels visit his website here –> http://johngreenbooks.com/
To find Looking for Alaska on Goodreads click here –> https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/99561.Looking_for_Alaska
I recommend Buzzfeed’s 56 Life Lessons You Learned from John Green if you’re looking for a laugh!