Melody
ISBN: 9780007209255
Publisher: HarperCollins
Published: 2005
272 pgs



Looking for Alaksa is my first book by John Green and I have to say I am in awe of his work after reading this. It is no wonder this book has won the Michael L. Printz Award; I loved the messages and its meanings behind this wonderful story and most importantly, this book made me think.

Sixteen-year-old Miles Halter is just an ordinary teenager living in Florida, but what makes him stand out is, he has the ability of saying out the last words of famous people, thanks to his passion for it and not to mention his good memory. He left home to attend a boarding school in Alabama, but then he also has a motive and that is to seek what a dying poet Rabelais called the "Great Perhaps". To avoid spoilers, I will skip explaining the "Great Perhaps".

Anyway, Miles settled quickly in his new school, thanks to a few friends he befriended: Chip, his roommate (who called himself the Colonel), a Japanese boy named Takumi and a beautiful, mysterious girl who called herself Alaska Young. Knowing them has transformed the geeky Miles into a new person (he is commonly known as Pudge to them), and Miles welcome the change. One reason Miles could connect to them because they too, are outcasts but in fact they are bright and intelligent people just like the other Weekday Warriors, a term they used in referring to those rich kids who think they have it all.

Miles felt his life has never been better, until a tragic event shattered his once happy life and led him into thinking about his outlook of life and a new meaning of "Great Perhaps".

What can I say about Looking for Alaska? Honestly, I have so many things I want to say about this book, but yet every time when I try to explain more, my mind drew a blank. It is so hard to say anything without spoiling the story, but I have to say this book made me laugh, cry and help me think things which I have not thought of initially. And I need to mention I was most intrigued with Alaska's obsession of The General in his Labyrinth by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, which is a favourite book of hers as this is one of the most important factors surrounding this story, but of course I will not indulge too much of it and you have to read it to fully understand the meaning behind this poignant coming-of-age story. Another thing that intrigued me to this story is that it is split into two sections: the countdown of the days before and after the tragic event, so at times I felt like I was reading a mystery as I want to know what had happened and what is going to happen next.

And oh, another thing I liked about this book is the characterization and how John Green has captured the characters' feelings into the story and made you feel connected to them. And of course, I want to mention again that I loved the realistic and the philosophy thrown into this story and I hope anyone who read this book will enjoy and appreciate the meaning behind it.

Other reviews:
Bart's Bookshelf
Becky’s Book Reviews
Book Addiction
Book Gazing
Books.Lists.Life
Books & Other Thoughts
Care's Online Bookclub
Em's Bookshelf
Eva at Curledup.com
Flight Into Fantasy
In Spring it is the Dawn
Out of the Blue
Not Enough Bookshelves
Nothing of Importance
Sassymonkey Reads
Stella Matutina
Stuff as Dreams are Made On
The Bluestocking Society
The Hidden Side of a Leaf
Things Mean A Lot
Tiny Little Reading Room
Valentina's Room
Where troubles melt like lemon drops
(Let me know if I missed yours.)
30 Responses
  1. Sandy Nawrot Says:

    I remember reading this review and being so impressed with the plot that I wrote it down. Yet again another resounding thumbs up! Is this appropriate for tween age kids?


  2. Beth F Says:

    I have this on my MP3 -- must get to it soon!


  3. Rhinoa Says:

    I have this on my listto read after Nymeth first recommended it to me. It will be my first by him too and I hope I love it as you have.


  4. Lady Lazarus Says:

    I love John and Hank Green's YouTube vids and am looking forward to reading his books (which aren't released here in the UK :-( ) so I'm glad to hear you enjoyed this book. :-D


  5. I haven't read anything by this author, but I've noticed he's quite popular among book bloggers. I am glad you enjoyed this one so much, Melody. It sounds like a good one.


  6. It's weird, but I didn't actually like "Looking for Alaska" all that much. I didn't dislike it, but I didn't fall out of my seat. "An Abundance of Katherines" I thought was brilliant, but something about "Alaska" felt a little too rough-edged. I feel like I might appreciate it better now (a few years later) but at the time, it didn't blow me away even as I recognized its worth. It's very interesting to read other opinions on it.


  7. Andreea Says:

    Sounds interesting:) Thanks for visiting my blog. You have a nice blog and I will definitely come back. You're on my blogroll now:)


  8. Nymeth Says:

    Yes! Awe was my reaction too :D And thank you for reminding me that I need to read The General in his Labyrinth. I've been meaning to since I read this!


  9. Lenore Says:

    Yeah, I still need to read this (I did get as far as buying it at least). Paper Towns was a lot of fun - I loved the road trip especially.


  10. Wow, this looks like a very popular book! I never knew of it before, so I'm glad you brought it to my attention. I love it when characters come to life for us.


  11. Melody Says:

    Sandy - Oh yes! The plot is just awesome!! I highly recommend this book! Personally, I feel this book is fit for kids who are 12+ above, because there're some subjects that a younger child might not be able to understand/appreciate.

    Beth - I hope you'll get to this book soon!

    Rhinoa - That's great! I can't wait to hear your thoughts on it when you get to it.

    Lady Lazarus - I hope you'll be able to find his books very soon in the near future!

    Wendy - I look forward to reading the rest of his books! I'm glad to say I've them all in my pile. ;P

    Anonymous Child - Oh, I've An Abundance of Katherines in my pile! I heard this book is another great read too!

    Andreea - Thanks, Andreea!! :D

    Nymeth - I'm intrigued with The General in his Labyrinth so I need to read that book! ;)

    Lenore - I can't wait to read Paper Towns! I've heard nothing but raves about this book!

    Dolce Bellezza - It sure is a popular book! :) I hope you'll enjoy reading this book when you get to it!


  12. Veens Says:

    Few months ago, I was about to order this book from my bookstore, and at the last moment backed out and bought another one. I need to kick myself for that! :D

    i will surely get this one!


  13. naida Says:

    this does sound like a great read, I need to add it to my TBR.
    great review :)

    http://thebookworm07.blogspot.com/


  14. Violet Says:

    I want to read this book or any John Green book for that matter :)
    Good to kknow you liked it too. Nice covers both.


  15. S. Krishna Says:

    I've heard amazing things about this book and really want to review it. Thanks for the review!


  16. Melody Says:

    Veens - You need to get this book! I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I do!

    Naida - Thanks! I'm glad you're adding this book onto your wishlist! Yay! :D

    Violet - I've the rest of John Green's books in my pile and I can't wait to indulge them!

    Swapna - I hope you'll read this book soon!! :)


  17. Amy Says:

    I would really like to read something by John Green. I just need to find the time! I'm so glad you enjoyed it, though Melody...awe is something I love to feel after finishing a book!


  18. Melody Says:

    Amy - I hope you'd read his books soon! I can't wait to read Paper Towns which I heard is awesome too!


  19. mariel Says:

    I felt exactly the same way about the story and characters, and I was also intrigued by the General…I hope to read that at some point. I recently read An Abundance of Katherines by John Green, which was very good, but did not invoke the same feelings I had for Alaska. I have high hopes for Paper Towns though! Great review.


  20. Melody Says:

    Mariel - Thanks! I'm looking forward to reading An Abundance of Katherines and Paper Towns! I heard both of them are good, especially the latter. :)


  21. softdrink Says:

    I've gotta recommend Paper Towns, too. Like Lenore, I loved the road trip. I go back and forth between it and Alaska as my favorite of the three Green books.


  22. Alice Teh Says:

    SIGH~~~ That's another book that I MUST go get. LOL! Thanks for the great review, Melody!


  23. Melody Says:

    Jill - OK, I'll read Paper Towns over An Abundance of Katherines for my next John Green fix! :P

    Alice - Thanks! I'm glad you're adding this book onto your wishlist. I think you might like it! :)


  24. Rebecca :) Says:

    Oh I got this book in the mail this week from Jenners! I am looking forward to reading it!


  25. Melody Says:

    Rebecca - That's great! I hope you'll enjoy it! :)


  26. Debi Says:

    I'm so glad you got to read this, Melody! It was perfection, wasn't it? I still haven't read any of his other books. I KNOW that I'll love them, but I somehow can't imagine that they could ever be as good as this one.


  27. Melody Says:

    Debi - I loved this book! I need to read Paper Towns and An Abundance of Katherines soon!!


  28. Just finished this tonight. Great review and summary without giving away any spoilers! This was my first John Green book, too. Won't be my last.

    I will link to your review (whenever I get mine written and posted ... :)


  29. Melody Says:

    Melissa - Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed this book too! And thanks so much for linking! :)


  30. I LOVED this book! I'm glad you did too. Thanks for the link.