Rating: 5/5 Stars
Release Date: 3/3/2005
About the Book: Friendless Miles is sent to a boarding school in Alabama. There he meets up with Alaska, a mysterious girl who Miles is immediatly drawn to. When tragedy strikes, Miles and friends learn about love and loss and what makes life worth living.
GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: Warning! This review contains spoilers if you have not read Looking for Alaska!!
I felt like such a bad teen librarian for not having read this one, so when it appeared on my children's lit reading list, I knew I had to read it. I'm so glad I did! The story pulled me in and I couldn't stop reading (or listening, since I listened to this one on CD).
I already knew that Alaska died at some point in the book and once it started I knew that's what the "before" and "after" sections referred to. Even though I knew this, Alaska's death still shook me-I was still stunned when that happened, and felt like I was with Miles, losing a friend. To me that's some powerful writing!
I loved John Green's insights on life, loss, and love. I want to get a hard copy of the book so I can read it again and underline passages I enjoyed. (And I don't find books I want to mark up very often!) I can see many teens doing the same thing and clutching this book dear and going through many re-reads. John Green has a pitch perfect teen voice. He doesn't talk down to his audience or take the easy way out. He knows life is hard and he's not afraid to share that with his readers. But he also adds in a great mix of humor so you find yourself smiling and even laughing while you're crying.
This was a book that stayed with me after I read it and I think it will continue to have an impression on me. It does deal with some tough topics and there are some mature themes, but I think this would be a wonderful read for 9th grade and up.
Full Disclosure: I got the audiobook at the library.