Looking for Alaska

Miles Halter is fascinated by famous last words–and tired of his safe life at home. He leaves for boarding school to seek what the dying poet Francois Rabelais called the “Great Perhaps.” Much awaits Miles at Culver Creek, including Alaska Young. Clever, funny, screwed-up, and dead sexy, Alaska will pull Miles into her labyrinth and catapult him into the Great Perhaps.

Green was awarded the 2006 Michael L. Printz Award for Looking for Alaska. It is taught in many high school and college curricula and has been published in more than fifteen languages.

You can buy Looking for Alaska from your favorite retailer via the Penguin portal:

If you’ve read the book and are completely prepared for spoilers, visit the Looking for Alaska Questions page for much, much more information on the book.

Awards

Winner, 2006 Michael L. Printz Award
Finalist, 2005 Los Angeles Times Book Prize
2006 Top 10 Best Book for Young Adults
2006 Teens’ Top 10 Award
2006 Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers
A New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age
A Booklist Editor’s Choice Pick
Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Selection
Borders Original Voices Selection

Reviews (SPOILER ALERT!)

“Green…has a writer’s voice, so self-assured and honest that one is startled to learn that this novel is his first. The anticipated favorable comparisons to Holden Caufield are richly deserved in this highly recommended addition to young adult literature.”
-VOYA

“Like Phineas in John Knowles’ “A Separate Peace,” Green draws Alaska so lovingly, in self-loathing darkness as well as energetic light, that readers mourn her loss along with her friends.”
-School Library Journal, Starred Review

“The spirit of Holden Caulfield lives on.”
-KLIATT

{ 2575 comments… read them below or add one }

Jennifer Perkins January 13, 2016 at 12:15 pm

Dear Mr. Green,
First I’d like to start by thanking you, thanking you for the treasure that is Alaska, for the destruction of her, and the life she brought Miles.

You get this a lot I figure so it will be kept short and sweet, it was this book that made my spirits elevate and my head remember to be held high…it was this book that turned my depression. You see, I felt that I could be alone, with my simply whimsical and turnabout ways, with the various mood swings, the way one minute I could be a golden ray and then next a tornado of my own destruction. But, it was Alaska too. And I was no longer alone. And then leading towards my complete turnaround, I realized that I had found my Miles Halter, my person that turned everything into the way happiness should be.
Like I said, I am keeping it short and sweet, so as an end thought I’d just like to say, that while Alaska may have came to her end and her pain may be over, mine is gone as well…but in a much less destructive way. And thank you. For giving me the realization that if I am an Alaska, I needed my Miles.

“We need never be hopeless, because we can never be irreparably broken.” Words to live by, and now an unforgettable motto that is tattooed as a reminder on my thigh.

Thank you, Mr Green. I needed this Alaska.

Your reader,
Jennifer Perkins

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Mareo January 13, 2016 at 7:56 pm

Hi John Green, I just finished Looking for Alaska and it’s absolutely amazing in every way. It’s a perfect story of love, tragedy, beauty and life lessons. I suffer from Depression and Anxiety, after reading Looking for Alaska it gave me a new perspective on life. But it also crushed my heart when she died and im gonna be honest here I cried for a good 30 minutes and was sad for a day or two.

But I was in the same situation as Miles “Pudge” was in. I fell in love with a girl much like Alaska and sad to say she ended her life as well. It took me a long time to forgive her but I finally did and I understand Miles in how feels about her before and after the incident.

Your Reader,
Mareo
P.s. I was wondering if you were going to write a sequel about Miles when he’s older.

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Liz January 15, 2016 at 4:29 pm

May I just say, this would be a beautiful idea. Once everyone leaves Culver Creek, and get into the real world, they could somewhat reconnect and once again try to see what Alaska’s death really was; Suicide or Accident. In a way, you could intertwine ideas from Papertowns, such as the notes that Margo left.

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Charleigh Jacobe January 14, 2016 at 2:41 am

I love all of your books especially Paper Towns and Looking for Alaska! Everything was well-written and I had to read carefully -word by word- whenever I read your books. They inspire me so much and I can’t wait for the next books that you’re going to publish.

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Angela Rose Blando January 14, 2016 at 8:53 am

Hi John Green! I really love your books so much! You’re such a great author.

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Jorgie Michaela Roco January 14, 2016 at 5:51 pm

Hi Mr. Green!
A massive Thank you for you, for being such a funny, lovely, full of courage, and inspirer! Also I really want to thank you for sharing your great stories running on your mind.
I really love all your books!

Im your reader, cheerer, follower, liker and fan
Jorge

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you January 14, 2016 at 5:54 pm

Hahahahhaa Angela wanna say epic fail!

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Maysa Salles January 14, 2016 at 1:34 pm

Oi John … Acredito que não lerá este simples comentário de uma fã qualquer. Mas só queria dizer que você é um gênio, e você deve saber disso.
Estou lendo “Quem É Você, Alasca?” ,e sabe, estou me divertindo,rindo e vivendo mais dentro desse livro do que fora dele. Obrigado por me proporcionar isto. Grande abraço.
Maysa Salles.
PS: Tentei um English (kkk)
Hi John … I think not read this simple comment from a fan whatsoever. But just wanted to say that you are a genius, and you must know that.
I’m reading ” Who Is You , Alaska? ” and you know , I’m having fun , laughing and living more in this book than out of it. Thanks for providing me this. Big hug.
Maysa Salles.

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Jorgie Michaela Roco January 14, 2016 at 5:53 pm

Hi Mr. Green!
A massive Thank you for you, for being such a funny, lovely, full of courage, and inspirer! Also I really want to thank you for sharing your great stories running on your mind.
I really love all your books!

Im your reader, cheerer, follower, liker and fan
Jorg

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Ana Licina January 16, 2016 at 1:36 pm

Hello John Green, I have previously read your book “Looking for Alaska” and I have a few questions on it and a few questions for you. My first question for you is what attracted you to Simón Bolívar’s last words “How will I ever get out of this labyrinth” I really like these last words because they are a metaphor of life, life is a labyrinth of suffering and if you just imagine the future and it’s greatness, how will you ever get out of the labyrinth of suffering, it’s a very complicated explanation that includes words I would never be able to spell and only you would be able to put into words, but what attracted you to these last words so much to make them really the base of Alaska and the base of the story? I was also wondering if you are making a movie to this book, I have heard rumors that you are and that it’s being filmed in Detroit MI (I live in Michigan and I was hoping this was true because nothing interesting ever happens in MI) I loved the movies The Fault In Our Stars and Powe Towns and I think they are like the books in ways that most movies aren’t. This question is for you as the author about your writing in general. What drew you to the art of literature, and what gives you the ideas of these stories. Do you just wake up some morning suddenly and realize you have an amazing story plot to create, or is it a long process of thinking and thinking until your mind blows up with frustration until you finally find he story plot. My last question is are you currently writing a book right now, if so, how close are you to finishing it? Well I hope you can answer these questions, I understand that this is a very long paragraph and that you might not have time to answer these questions or let alone read this at all. If you do however, it would mean a great deal to me if you replied. ~Ana Licina (age 13)

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Aeriel Frey January 18, 2016 at 3:53 pm

Ana,
I couldn’t help but read your review. I will say it was written well, but I have one question, if you talked about the dying words of Simón Bolívar. Obviously if everyone knew, no one would be wondering where we go after we die and why. I guess that must be why he loves these words so much. Christians believe in heaven and hell, so does that mean that only christians go to heaven? I mean if that were the case, would two thirds of the world go to hell even if they didn’t do anything wrong? Just because you don’t believe in the “right” religion doesn’t mean that we are all bad. But on the other hand, maybe everybody’s religion is correct and we all have our “own” afterlife. I also don’t know how this would help you, but I guess this also means a great deal to me. This is the fourth time I have read this book, and I love reading people’s reviews on it. I guess yours just spoke to me. Thanks for sharing what you thought because I completely understand your confusion, so please, share anything else.
-Aeriel Frey (age 15)

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Tahmara January 16, 2016 at 6:57 pm

John green I really love your books. They are so inspiring and detailed and have great messages. Your my favourite author.

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Naeun January 17, 2016 at 1:32 am

**you’re

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valentina January 19, 2016 at 12:48 pm

Me han inspirado mucho sus libros, sobre todo el ultimo que me acabo de leer BUSCANDO A ALASKA. Me identifico mucho con ella, sobre todo en como ama la literatura, la forma en como la interpreta y tambien la manera de ver las cosas. En esta novela me ha llamado mucho la atencion como compara su vida con el laberinto de Gabriel Garcia Marquez, con la pregunta que utiliza en su trabajo: “¿COMO SALIR DE ESTE LABERINTO DE SUFRIMIENTO? y el hecho de no encontrar todavia respuesta es frustante, pero cada uno tiene que encontrar la suya. Creo que toda la gente deberia hacerse esa pregunta en la vida, porque si te paras a pensarlo, tiene que ver mucho con nuestro dia a dia, ¿no les parece?

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Emmy Moore January 21, 2016 at 9:54 am

Dear Mr. John Green,
My name is Emmy, I’m newly 16 years old, and have read “Looking for Alaska” 7 times. I realize that’s a bit much… However, your fictional characters that you create in your books, especially Alaska, mean a lot to me. It feels as though they are not pieces of fiction, but real people who lived real lives, and did adventurous things to show others how to overcome suffering. I’m honestly so excited to see what amazing works you have to come. God knows, I’ll probably buy more than one copy. Before I get too far, however, I wanted to give you a bit of insight as to why I love Alaska especially so. I have not had the ideal childhood, my mom is a bit too overbearing than most moms, my real father is, well let’s just be honest, a druggie, and the man my mother married after him has been verbally and physically abusive in past times. Your books and music were my outlet. I became lost in your words and didn’t have to worry about what was happening in the living room, or when I got home, or what harsh words I would have to scream that night for him to understand what he was doing was not, in any way, okay. I became emotionally attached, it seemed, to Alaska. She understood how I felt. She understood that the labyrinth was almost inescapable. She knew the pain, and the yearn for attention and love, but most of all, she knew how it felt to want to disappear completely. Looking for Alaska has the best ending of a book I have ever come across, and since my Lit teacher is pretty chill, I’m currently writing an essay on this book involving the labyrinth of suffering. You need to know that your books are not just entertainment. They do not just make people laugh, smile, or cry. You pull on strings (Paper towns ahhh lol sorry) with every word you write, and with that, change hearts and lives. Currently, I’m living a much better life at home, and, now at school. I’m a junior, (already a year ahead, supposed to be a sophomore whoops), taking a college English course, and quite honestly, I owe much of that to you. Just wanted to leave a little inspirational something here for you. I hope you read this, and it inspires you to keep following your dreams and writing awesomeness.
Thanks lotssss!
Emmy
Charleston, South Carolina

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Emmy Moore January 21, 2016 at 9:58 am

ps. will grayson, will grayson is TOO FUNNY TO HANDLE OMG STAHP

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Guadalupe coccia January 23, 2016 at 7:15 pm

hello Mr. Green loves the book looking for alaska but the question I’ve been having since died Alaska is why the book is called looking for Alaska. I figured it was because Miles tried to meet Alaska after his death but wanted you to say and who wrote the book. Thank you very much, Guadalupe from Argentina.
Ps: sorry for the mistakes i had to translate

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Laurel Schreiner January 23, 2016 at 8:49 pm

Thank you, John Green for writing such an absolutely beautiful book. I have read it 2 times and enjoyed every second of it. The characters are so pure and the way the book is written is just amazing. It feels like I have fallen into the book when I read it. I can imagine every scenario, and to me that shows truly amazing writing. :)

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Marissa January 26, 2016 at 9:53 am

Dear John Green,

I am extremely despondent about your book, at first I thought it was very inspirational and adventurous. For example; One minute they’re kissing and having intercourse and then the next SHE GETS SMOKED BY A TRANSFER TRUCK! WHAT PERSON IN THERE RIGHT MIND WOULD KILL SUCH A GREAT CHARACTER HOW COULD YOU, ITS LIKE BUYING A CAT WHEN YOURE SAD JUST TO MAKE YOU HAPPY AND THEN WHEN YOURE HAPPY TAKE THE CAT IN THE WOODS AND HIT IT WITH YOUR CAR, MAN FRIGG YOU AND YOUR HAPPINESS, I BET YOU SMELL LIKE EGGROLLS, NO WONDER YOU AINT SWIMMIN IN THE BOOTY LADIES ARE SCARED YOULL HIT THEM WITH A TRUCK OR GIVE THEM CANCER, GOSH DAMIT. I WOULD GREATLY APPRECIATE IT IF YOU RE-WRITE THIS BOOK AND WRITE IT LIKE A MAN.

A very heartbroken girl
Marissa.

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Marissa January 26, 2016 at 10:01 am

Dear John Green,

I am extremely despondent about your book, at first I thought it was very inspirational and adventurous. For example; One minute they’re kissing and having intercourse and then the next SHE GETS SMOKED BY A TRANSFER TRUCK! WHAT PERSON IN THERE RIGHT MIND WOULD KILL SUCH A GREAT CHARACTER HOW COULD YOU, ITS LIKE BUYING A CAT WHEN YOURE SAD JUST TO MAKE YOU HAPPY AND THEN WHEN YOURE HAPPY TAKE THE CAT IN THE WOODS AND HIT IT WITH YOUR CAR, MAN FRIGG YOU AND YOUR HAPPINESS, I BET YOU SMELL LIKE EGGROLLS, NO WONDER YOU AINT SWIMMIN IN THE BOOTY LADIES ARE SCARED YOULL HIT THEM WITH A TRUCK OR GIVE THEM CANCER, GOSH DAMIT. I WOULD GREATLY APPRECIATE IT IF YOU RE-WRITE THIS BOOK AND WRITE IT LIKE A MAN.

A very heartbroken girl
Marissa.

REPLY

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Jessie January 29, 2016 at 9:21 am

Omg hilarious “NO WONDER YOU AINT SWIMMIN IN THE BOOTY LADIES ARE SCARED YOULL HIT THEM WITH A TRUCK OR GIVE THEM CANCER, GOSH DAMIT.” HAHAHHA

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Miriam January 31, 2016 at 8:25 am

Dear John Green,

I heard you are making a movie of Looking for Alaska which makes me so thrilled, because the book really made a great impact on me when I first read it. It means a lot to me, not only because it’s a well written book, but because it help me sort out my feelings for one of my close friends suicide attempt.
Therefore it would make me so happy if you would consider the actor Bill Skarsgård for the role as Miles Halter. He has done many of the leading roles in award-winning films in Sweden and is starring in the next coming up movie of the divergent series. Please check him out, I think he would fit perfectly for the role and it would truly make me glad.

Best regards,
Your swede fan Miriam

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Anastasia Demchenko February 1, 2016 at 12:47 pm

Dear John Green,
My name is Nastya. I’m 17 years old. I’m from Russia.Thank you, John Green for writing such absolutely beautiful books. I’ve read Paper Towns, The Foult in Our star, AN ABUNDANCE OF KATHERINES, Looking for Alaska. And the last one is my favorite. You makes your characters ponder over things, deep and mature, but it doesn’t seem far fetched or refined. Every main characters has his own anguish, a profound problem not giving him any chances to be “normal”. So I diceded to reveal the way how your works affect adolescent audience. I’ve written the project for the scientific-practical conference about it. (IF I win, it will help me to go to university, which I want). Judging by everything mentioned above, I have come to a conclusion that the works by you have positive influence upon adolescent audience. Your books are really for teenagers who have just begun looking for their place in this world. So what about me, your books helped me to answer a lot of my questions. Your books penetrates into my souls so much that after reading the book I begine reconsidering our existence in this world.
Best regards,
Your fan Nastya

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Victoria February 1, 2016 at 5:40 pm

I am obsessed with all John Green’s books, even though I have only read Paper Towns which is amazing. I am just about to start looking for alaska and I’ve heard it’s really good. I’m so excited to read it and more. John Green is by far is my favorite author.

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Andrea February 1, 2016 at 6:12 pm

Ya me he leído varios libros de este grandísimo escritor ya que yo también escribo y siempre trato en tema del dolor, muchos otros escritores no me gustan pero en este caso me encanta la forma de escribir y la visión que da en cada uno de sus libros, siempre acabo llorando y reflexionando.
Tengo casi todos sus libros y están todos llenos de anotaciones, leer sus obras es desconectar del caos de mi vida para disfrutar de cosas nuevas que necesito. John Green es el mejor escritor y sin duda es mi referente.

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Andrew February 1, 2016 at 7:23 pm

I enjoy, result in I discovered just what I used to be having a look for.

You’ve ended my 4 day lengthy hunt! God Bless you man. Have a great day.
Bye

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Melina February 4, 2016 at 2:09 pm

Dear Mr. Green,
Thank you for existing and thank you for Alaska Young.

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Karime February 5, 2016 at 12:44 am

Hi, Mr. Green:
I just want to say thank you for create this book. I think is my favorite. I’ve enjoyed this book so much.

With so much love.
Thanks.

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andrea v February 5, 2016 at 6:24 pm

hi Mr. Green i read this book 1 year ago i’m from venezuela the country of simon bolivar the heroe that u put in the book. when i read this book i was in a difficult emotional moment, i was so upset with the end of the book but now i understand everything one year after, the problem with miles and that happened to me, he waited for the last moment to make the first step and when he decided to do it, i was too late i have never feel so identified with a book and someone at the same time, i didn’t know what happened to you in the past but i want to know,you are like a deep ocean full of hopeless and romanticis, i feel like whe have the same brain if we can’t talk please contact me i want to know more about you john, keep writting, love all your booksss kisses and hugss from venezuela the country of labyrinth se te quiere panita

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Savanah Moniz February 6, 2016 at 11:47 am

Hello Mr. Green,
I am writing to you because I have just finished the great novel Looking For Alaska. It was such a beautiful book, filled with so many unanswered questions. You’ve given me a new perception on how I look at the world, so thank you. But I would like to know whether Alaska was truly aiming to end her life or whether it was just pure tragedy. I was so angry when I read that she had passed on that I almost didn’t finish the book, but I can also add that I am so glad that I did. It would be incredible if you could answer my question for me, for I know that I’ll be thinking on that one for awhile. But, in the meantime I will go to seek a Great Perhaps.

Sincerely,
Savanah Moniz

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Jenna Whalen February 8, 2016 at 11:35 pm

Dear John,

My name is Jenna Lynn and I have just recently finished looking for alaska and was thoroughly impressed and plan on reading it again. You are the second author I have written to– the first sent a few emails back and forth with encouragement about a book I am trying to write and then our conversation was lost in the abyss called life.

Anyhow, What is funny about the book is I related to both Miles and Alaska.

Miles was intelligent, shy and composed and exhilarating, thoughtless and endearing all at the same time. He truly put himself out of his comfort zone and pushed through his lack of experience in the world and found equal amounts of immense joy and terrible anguish. His character shows how making a decision can be good and bad— with the 50% chance of it being both.

Alaska is a character I personally related to the most. She loves reading and she was no where near afraid to be different from other people. She is wild and mysterious and struggles inwardly with the occasional outburst. Holding so many emotions inside all circling the thought that you are never good enough and you always let people down can truly eat you alive and has been a struggle for me, for years.

I do not expect I need to tell you what your characters are like.

I do not expect you to read this or respond.

I can only hope that you find these words one day– when you’re sad or frustrated, or empty and confused. I hope you understand you have a God-given talent.

I just want to compliment you in your ability to see the world through so many aspects and then be able to write about it for the rest of us to ponder through…

(And I secretly want to be Alaska– In the movie, of course, because I love being me.)

Sincerely– A reader in the abyss.

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leer mas February 9, 2016 at 8:02 am

Me ha encantado vuestro post y me ha sabido a poco pero ya sabeis lo que dice el dicho “si lo bueno es breve es dos veces bueno”. Me gustara volver a leeros de nuevo.
Saludos

leer mas http://www.palaciodevillabona.com

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Niko February 11, 2016 at 12:53 pm

This is the last book I have willingly finished, and it has honestly ruined my opinion on book. Mr Green, you have ruined my life. I have come to the conclusion that no book will ever be better than Looking for Alaska. I have recommended it to all of my friends, and named my cat Alaska. The day I finished it I cried because the book was over and wore daisies to school the next day. As well as I had a pressed daisy as a bookmark. I am currently reading An Abundance of Katherines in an attempt to move on as well as rereading The Program by Suzanne Young.

All in all, read this book because WOW IT’S BEAUTIFUL OKAY.

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