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Looking For Alaska by John Green

Rating: 5/5 Stars

Genre: Contemporary

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.


  1. Sigh. This book is on my bookshelf right now. I'll get to is some day.

  2. Great review! I love this book. This is going to be a favourite for a long, long time.

  3. Nice review. I loved this book too. It was something I always saw on the library shelf but never picked up until I saw a review on a blog and thought why not give it a try.

  4. I am not probably the last person on earth who hasn't read this -- Oh I see Jill is with me!

    I own it but haven't read it yet.

  5. This was one of my favourite books of last year!

  6. One of my favs this year definately.

  7. I also put this one off...didn't read it until earlier this year, but it was just fabulous. I love it so very much.

  8. Hi, I really enjoyed reading your blog, and especially this post. I love this book as well! John Green's writing is so powerful and the story is so strong. Before reading, I had heard that this was a sad book, but I did not know that Alaska was going to die. Her death shocked me and left me sad and confused, much like the characters in the story. John Green had done such a great job developing Alaska as a character and I was so sad that she was gone. I almost did not want to finish the book, but I am so glad that I did. The way Green wrote about the characters' experiences after losing a friend was very powerful and has stuck with me long after reading the book. I highly recommend buying a hard-copy of this book, as you mentioned, and underlining key quotes. I do this each time I read the book and I find something new every time.


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Hello! My name is Sarah and I am a Youth Services Manager who works with kids, tweens and teens. I love being asked about great books to read! I started my blog in 2008 as a way to keep track of what I've been reading and to use a reference tool for reader's advisory and it's grown into much more than I could have ever anticipated. In addition to book reviews, I also enjoy posting audiobook reviews, booklists and my adventures in being a librarian. 2017 Library Journal Mover and Shaker Committees: 2021 Newbery Committee 2018 Odyssey Committee 2016 Caldecott Award 2013 Michael L. Printz Committee- Fabulous Films Committee I have also served on the Cybils, Missouri State Library Association Readers Selection Lists, and as an Audies judge. Presentations :  I have offered various presentations at local, state and national libraries and conferences. Topics have included:  What's New in Children's & Teen Literature Engaging Teens in Reader's Advisory Gee