Looking for Alaska By John Green

Title: Looking for Alaska

Author: John Green

Publisher: Speak

First Published: 3rd March 2005

Blurb:

Before. Miles “Pudge” Halter’s whole existence has been one big nonevent, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave the “Great Perhaps” (Fran├žois Rabelais, poet) even more. Then he heads off to the sometimes crazy, possibly unstable, and anything-but-boring world of Culver Creek Boarding School, and his life becomes the opposite of safe. Because down the hall is Alaska Young. The gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, self-destructive, screwed-up, and utterly fascinating Alaska Young, who is an event unto herself. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart.

After. Nothing is ever the same. (From Goodreads, 1st December 2013)

Review:

‘Looking for Alaska’ is a coming of age novel following Miles Halter aka Pudge when he moves to Culver Creek Boarding School. Pudge’s roommate befriends him and introduces him to Alaska Young, a young girl with an explosive personality. We follow these characters through the school year, we follow the highs and lows, the pranks, the pay back pranks.

I enjoyed ‘Looking for Alaska’, but it did not live up to the hype. After reading ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ multiple people recommended ‘Looking for Alaska’ so I was really looking forward to jumping into it. I loved the premise, I loved the characters, and I did generally enjoy the book, but it didn’t blow me away by any means. It is a well written book, and one I would suggest to many young adults and teenagers to read.

‘Looking for Alaska’ is a good novel with multiple layers, but lacked the ‘wow factor’ that I some how expected. However, although this sounds like I didn’t enjoy ‘Looking for Alaska’, that is not true, I did enjoy it. I enjoy John Greens writing style and I enjoyed this book. It is a book about a young boys relationships, and his journey towards adulthood, along with the good and bad that comes with this journey. But as an adult reader this book didn’t connect to me as it may once have.

A skilled author, that deals with difficult subjects, and an author for teens and young adults to try if they have not already. But for me, I would say I read this book too late.

4 out of 5

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The Fault in Our Stars By John Green

Title: The Fault in Our Stars

Author: John Green

Publisher: Penguin

First Published: 2012

Blurb:

Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 13, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumours in her lungs… for now.

Two years post-miracle, sixteen-year-old Hazel is post-everything else, too; post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. And even though she could live for a long time (whatever that means), Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tank, the tumours tenuously kept at bay with a constant chemical assault.

Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer kid support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and shockingly to her, interested in Hazel. Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind. (From Goodreads.com, 20th May 2013)

Review:

This is a book that I have heard so many good things about and eventually bought it and read it as soon as my exams were over. This was also my first John Green book to read and wanted to know what the fuss was about. I was scared that the hype, the numerous awards and all the gushing over his books would put my expectations up too high. Luckily I was not disappointed. In fact I was very impressed!

John Green has taken the topic of childhood/teenage cancer and made it a book that is witty, surprising, funny and heart-wrenching.

Hazel is a intelligent young adult with wisdom far beyond her years, partially because she is terminally ill, partially because she is a young collage student. She still shows her immaturity throughout this book which makes this more real, makes the character more true.

Coerced into attending a support group by her mother Hazel meets Augustus Waters, a cheeky guy whom takes life as it comes. Soon the two enter an adventure of life, an adventure of death, an adventure to understanding endings.

There is not much I can say about this novel without giving anything away. But of any fictional books I have read about cancer, this is the best. This takes an issues and brings the real problem of the wanting of ‘normalcy’ to the forefront. When you meet someone who helps you get that, who sees you and not your illness you are yourself again. This is expressed wonderfully through the ‘witty banter’ of Augustus and Hazel.

A book you must add to your collection if you have not done so already. Listen to the masses of positive reviews. Take the time to read about Hazel and Augustus and join them on their journey.

5 out of 5!