Looking For Alaska by John Green, Reviewed by Jocelyn Cabauatan


 Looking For Alaska by John Green

From: goodreads.com 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.

                                   Who wouldn’t feel terrible about one of their friends passing away? Miles “Pudge” , Chip “The Colonel” , and Takumi were all very good friends with a girl named Alaska until one night something happened. Pudge , Takumi, and the Colonel will forever feel terrible about it happening enough though it was none of their faults .That very thing happened in John Green’s realistic fiction novel Looking For Alaska. My favorite parts about this novel were the captivating vocabulary, the unique characters, and the different scenes that this novel had to offer.

The captivating vocabulary of this novel kept me wanting to read it. It described each and everything from different stand points. For example, at the beginning of the story when Miles first went to “Culver Creek” his parents were pretty up tight about him going to that boarding school and then, through out the book they seemed to realize he liked going to school there and that he had more friends as well. Another good example of the captivating vocabulary usage was when the author was describing the dorm rooms everyone stayed in he described them as a box with cinder-block walls coated thick with white paint. One last example of the captivating vocabulary was when the author was describing the way some of the characters spoke like the police man who had a southern accent and Lara who had a broken English accent.

The unique characters of this novel were probably my favorite to read about. One example, of a unique character was Alaska Young who was one of the main characters of this story Alaska was kind of, a trouble maker who pulled pranks, and did lots of illegal stuff but, she also loved to read which sometimes kept her out of trouble. Another one of my favorite unique characters was Miles “Pudge” because he was a little dorky and had a huge crush on Alaska and also hung out with her a lot along with a few others in his group of friends. Pudge, also remembered last words of people who have passed away which made him unique in my opinion. Chip “The Colonel” stood out to me a lot because he knew almost everything about everyone and he hung out with Alaska and Miles as well and even gave Miles his nickname Pudge at the beginning when he found out they were roommates. Takumi was also a unique character in my opinion, because he was a foreign exchange student from Japan, he has a unique name that sounds different than most, and he liked to have fun with Alaska, Pudge, and The Colonel.

The scenes of this novel were very different from anything I’ve ever read. Some of my favorite scenes to read were when Alaska, Takumi, Pudge, and the Colonel were pranking The Eagle who enforced the school rules a lot , and the Weekday Warriors who were basically another group of kids who pranked. Another one of my favorite scenes to read about was when Alaska talked Pudge into staying at school with her during Thanksgiving break because it took him awhile to commit to doing that but they had a pretty good time together as friends. Lastly, my favorite scene to read about was when Alaska committed suicide because it took her group of friend awhile to figure out why she did so. Reading that scene kept me on the edge of my seat and kept me very suspenseful of why Alaska did that.

Overall I really enjoyed reading this novel because of the unique storyline it gave. I recommend this novel for any teenager or young adult who likes stories that keep them on the edge of their seat. I think that almost anybody would fall in love with this exhilarating novel. Through the use of captivating vocabulary, unique characters, and different scenes I think that John Green has written an amazing novel called Looking For Alaska. I hope more people enjoy reading this novel as much as I did.



4 responses

  1. Hi, Jocelyn

    When I saw that you had read this novel, I got really excited. I love this book!! I’m glad to hear that you enjoyed it, as well. I agree that Alaska is a very unique character in the book. It’s kind of strange how you want to love her, but yet there is something about her that makes you dislike her at the same time. I thought you did a nice job with your paragraph explaining the unique characters. Why do you think Alaska ultimately took her life? Wondering this kept me at the edge of my seat, also.

    A few suggestions….

    You use the word “captivating” a lot. I like that word, too, but maybe try using a synonym of the word to avoid sounding redundant. The following are some words you might consider instead: appealing, fascinating, entrancing, etc. Since you are speaking directly about the vocabulary that is used in the novel during your 1st paragraph, you could really strengthen it up by including direct quotes from the book. This would make your point much more convincing. Also, watch some of your comma usage. This could be fixed quickly with some proofreading. For example, the second line of your 2nd body paragraph has a comma after “example,” which is out of place. Commas can be tricky little things, but if I am ever unsure as to where a comma should go, I read the sentence out loud and place a comma wherever I notice a slight pause in my voice. This does not always work, but nine times out of ten it works for me. Give it a try! 🙂

    Keep reading and keep up the good work!


    1. jocelyncabauatan | Reply

      Thank you very much for the great advice. I agree with what you said about Alaska through out the book I couldn’t decide if I loved or hated her. I’m so glad you liked this novel as much as I did. I think Alaska took her life because she felt guilty about forgetting to place flowers on her mothers grave the night she passed away.

      I’ll be sure to proofread more on my essays. I’ve been trying to proofread more in everything I write. I’ll also be sure to watch my comma usage in my essays more often. Lastly, I’ll be sure to use other words. I’ll try to use your comma trick where I speak my sentences out loud and then where ever the pause in my voice is where a comma should go. Thank you again for the great advice on my essay. I agree with you on how amazing this book was.

      Jocelyn Cabauatan

  2. Jocelyn,

    I must tell you that I have not read this book like Hannah has, however you both have peaked my interest and I am putting it on my “must read” list! I really like the points that you made about the captivating vocabulary. My feeling was in agreement with Hannah in the repeated usage of the word “captivating”. It is a great word that I use quite a bit as well but it can distract your reader if over used. You did this with a few other words also. You might want to watch that in the future. The thesaurus feature in my word processor program is a wonderful asset to prevent this from happening.

    I also noticed your misuse or omission of commas. Hannah’s idea is a great one. I do
    this with all my papers and it also helps with other issues, such as the excessive word uses.

    My only other suggestion with your writing would be to watch how long your sentences are. Run-on sentences can be used effectively, however you can also lose your reader. One such sentence that lost me was in your second paragraph. You could break it up by creating two sentences like this: “Another good example of the captivating vocabulary usage was when the author was describing the dorm rooms everyone stayed in. He described them as a box with cinder-block walls coated thick with white paint.”

    Good job over all! I’m taking your advice and am going to read this one soon!


    1. jocelyncabauatan | Reply

      Hello Heather,
      I hope you read this novel because it’s very enjoyable. I will be sure to watch using the same word to many times like you suggested. I’ll also be sure to watch my comma usage. I’ll be sure to watch my run on sentences as well.
      Thank you for the great advice. I’ll be sure to take every bit of advice into consideration when writing my next essay. I’m very glad you enjoyed my review and I hope you enjoy reading the actual novel as well.
      Jocelyn Cabauatan

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