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” (François 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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Wonder By R. J. Palacio

Title: Wonder

Author: R. J. Palacio

First Published: 10th January 2012

Publisher: Knopf

Blurb:

I won’t describe what I look like. Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably worse.

August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school—until now. He’s about to start 5th grade at Beecher Prep, and if you’ve ever been the new kid then you know how hard that can be. The thing is Auggie’s just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he’s just like them, despite appearances? (From Goodreads, 1st December 2013)

Review:

I was unsure about Wonder when I first heard about it. I was unsure for two reasons. Firstly, this is classed a children’s books, in America it would be aimed at ‘middle grade’ as far as I understand. I was skeptical because I thought that it would maybe be too childish for me. Secondly, despite a lot of people talking about this book on book tube and the book blogging world, and the numerous awards this novel has been given, I worried it was over-hyped. Hyped up books often end up being a let down for me. So I am often wary of such books.

However, Wonder was a wonder. It was simply fantastic. Well written, well planned, touching, breathtaking. Simply wonderful.

August is a boy with with a extreme facial deformity, and he is about to start School for the first time in his life, after being home schooled for the the first 4 grades. Starting school is tough. Starting school is hard when you are the new kid. But being the new kid who looks like August does, starting school is tougher. Will his classmates see past his face and accept him? Will they show kindness? Will they show fear? Anger? Friendship?

Wonder is a story about a journey, but written from multiple characters perspectives we begin to understand the journey much better. Wonder is a beautiful book, that would be fantastic in classrooms. There is so many topics that you could discuss with this novel, and it can teach all of us lessons no matter what age we are.

Wonder is a novel for everyone. It deals with a subject that I have never come across in the fiction world. The multiple narration throughout the novel keeps it fresh and allows us to understand different perspectives.

A book everyone should have on their shelves.

A book that is wonderful for discussion.

A book you must read.

5 out of 5

Somebody Else’s Kids By Torey Hayden

Title: Somebody Else’s Kids

Author: Torey Hayden

Publisher: Harper Element

UK Publication Date: First Published 1981

Blurb:

“Were all just somebody else’s kids…”

A small seven-year-old boy who couldn’t speak except to repeat weather forecasts and other people’s words…A beautiful little girl of seven who had been brain damaged by terrible parental beatings and was so ashamed because she couldn’t learn to read…A violently angry ten-year-old who had seen his stepmother murder his father and had been sent from one foster home to another …A shy twelve-year-old from a Catholic school which put her out when she became pregnant…

“What do we matter?”
“Why do you care?”

They were four problem children-put in Torey Hayden’s class because no one else knew what to do with them. Together, with the help of a remarkable teacher who cared too much to ever give up, they became almost a family, able to give each other the love and understanding they had found nowhere else. (From Goodreads, 17th February 2013)

Review:

I have read several Torey Hayden books and have enjoyed them all! In this story we meet several children all with their unique problems. You learn to love them and frantically go through the pages to see what happens next. One of the things though is you don’t always know what happens. Torey was a real teacher, the children real. And after the year is over life goes on and her class moves on too. These novels are filled with heart and understanding. You will be touched by them and once you have read one of Torey’s novels you will be hungry for more.

An author I highly recommend. And this book is yet another fantastic novel. Invest in Torey Hayden!

4 out of 5!