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Looking for Alaska by John Green

February 11, 2019

Miles Halter memorizes last words. The Colonel just memorizes. So when they end up as Junior year roommates at Culver Creek High School were Miles, or Pudge is new and The Colonel is a three year vet. With The Colonel and soon Pudge’s best friend Alaska Young, is introduced Miles, the year is on course for greatness. Alaska, The Colonel, and Pudge are all ‘Boarders’ and are sworn enemies of the ‘Weekday Warriors’.

I sat down next to him, and he looked over at me and suddenly said, “Listen. I’m not going to be your entrée to Culver Creek social life.”

“Uh, okay,” I said, but I could hear the words catch in my throat. I’d just carried this guy’s couch beneath a white-hot sun and now he didn’t like me?

“Basically you’ve got two groups here,” he explained, speaking with increasing urgency. “You’ve got regular boarders, like me, then you’ve got the weekday Warriors; they board here, but they’re all rich kids who live in Birmingham and go home to their parents’ air-conditioned mansions every weekend. Those are the cool kids. I don’t like them, and they don’t like me.

As this passage illustrates, John Green’s writing style and his understanding of teen social interactions is unsurpassed. The theme of this novel is how nothing lasts forever, save suffering due to that being the theme of a book mentioned throughout the novel that had some remarkable parallels with Alaska.

John Green’s debut is told in first person in the past tense with every chapter title counting down the days until an event happens. This choice makes this very fast paced, due to the intrigue of what the event is. This novel has won the Michael L. Printz Award and has been adapted into a show, and a movie is in the works.

I rated this contemporary realistic fiction a ten out of ten, but it is for seventh grade and up due to reference to drugs, some profanity and suggestive content.

Looking for Alaska is an example of the perfect contemporary realistic fiction with all its full characters like The Eagle, dean and doom of students who can smell a cigarette from a mile away, and rich dialogue as shown above.


Dutton Juvenile, 221 pages.

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