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.

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

{ 1657 comments… read them below or add one }

Skylean Rodriguez July 21, 2014 at 3:02 pm

Dear Mr. Green,
After I saw The Fault In Our Stars, I fell in love with the story. Once I got home I started doing some research on you. I found online that you wrote other books as well. Then I saw Looking for Alaska, I started to read the back of the book to see what it was about. After that I was curious and I wanted to find out how one girl Alaska can make a boy’s life different. Today is the day I finished reading Looking for Alaska. Honestly I think it was great! It taught me something very important in life. Alaska is like every teenager now a days. I’m kinda like her in a way. I blame myself from what I did in the past. I show people in the outside that I’m a cheerful happy girl, even though in the inside I’m depressed and miserable. I think Alaska blamed herself because of her mother’s death. She didn’t want her friends to know exactly how she felt about herself. She kept it bottled inside until she had to explode. I can relate to her…. I learn from you Mr. Green, that as a young kid we should live our life to the fullest. We all have to look forward to the present and future. No matter of the consequences, we still forgive each other.

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elif onur July 21, 2014 at 4:50 pm

Actually,I don’t know anything.Actually,I just want to know.Actually,I’am afraid to know.BUT the worst of all,you don’t know.I miss ALASKA and ı want you to be.I know,my dreams will never happen but imagine that I didn’t have a lot of real.I love you and I hope,you know one day.I love you and I respect you.Happy facts..

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Hope Q July 21, 2014 at 11:45 pm

Hello Mr. Green!

I hope you did not think that I forgot about posting everyday, but I do have a reason that I think is valid. I was at theatre camp! I attended this camp last summer and it was an incredible, incredible experience and I made so many new friends. BTW: currently I am listening to Beach Baby by Bon Iver and it is brilliant. You should check it out if you get a chance, though I know you are a very busy man. Back to theatre camp, it is one of the most inviting atmospheres where it is okay to be quirky and make a fool of yourself, because no one cares. I am dreading going back to High School to be with all the same types of people. I think being surrounded by people who bring you down have both negatives and positives(like all things). A positive is it keeps me going because it makes me never want to blend in and fit the mold of everyone else I am surrounded by. A negative is feeling so out of place it makes me doubt myself and my goals, dreams and aspirations in life, but this year I plan to stay true to myself and not feel like I need to change to be accepted. I recently auditioned for a community theatre production of The Importance of Being Earnest and I did not get cast, but that is okay because it is all part of being an actor. I am very, very serious about acting and plan to make a profession out of it. Funny story, in one of my workshops at camp we had to go around and say what our type cast would be and our instructor (she was recently on Orange is the New Black) said I have the type cast of Shailene Woodley and she could see me in The Fault in Our Stars and then I said my dream role would be to play Alaska in Looking for Alaska and a lot of people said they could see it. I am going to be persistent the same way Shailene was about getting the role of Hazel Grace. John Boone said he did not see her being cast, but when she came in to audition it was clear she was the one. I am not saying I am the clear choice, but at least just give me a chance to show you.

Currently reading: Invisible Monsters by Chuck Palahniuk
Currently listening to: Bon Iver and The Rolling Stones
Currently watching: American Beauty
Currently eating: cheddar and carmel corn popcorn
Currently hoping for: a chance to audition for Looking for Alaska

Thank you for your time and possible consideration!

Hope Q

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Poshu July 24, 2014 at 1:59 pm

Hello Hope Q,

Just wanted to let you know, John Green sold the movie rights for LFA to Paramount. If and when they make that movie, casting choices are theirs, not John Green’s, he has no decision making power in that. Last I heard they shelved the movie anyway, no idea if they will ever make it. But your camp experience sounds lovely. Keep having great experiences.

Best Wishes

Poshu

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R July 22, 2014 at 12:17 am

I read Looking for Alaska in grade 10. At the time I was just starting a relationship which lasted until about 4 months ago. Me being 19 now, I still think about the words of Miles, Alaska, and the gang. Reading this book helped me learn to love in a way. Sadly I am still searching for a Great Perhaps, wherever and whatever that may be. I would just like to say thanks, for making High-school that much better for a guy who was looking for… well Alaska.

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James July 28, 2014 at 3:13 pm

You may be looking for a Great Perhaps right now, but face it – you will soon realize that anything and everything you do will not lead to your Great Perhaps, but it is your earnest desire for the Great Perhaps that will lead you out of this cruel labyrinth in which we are all ensnared in. Hopefully, you have realized this by now, but I do hope you haven’t given up on your Alaska Young.

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Hailey McClain July 22, 2014 at 2:03 am

Dear John Green,
I would like to take a minute out of my day and tell you what a great writer you are. I have read many stories but no other author can touch me the way you do. I cant really put it into to words,but the way your books reach out and change my perspective on many subjects is truly amazing. The way you can describe something and for it to just click. Thank you for well “holding your end of the bargain.”

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Jacqueline July 23, 2014 at 1:00 am

Hi Mr.Green,

I am reading Looking for Alaska now and I just got to the part when Alaska Young dies. You know you’re a brilliant writer because it was so unexpected well for me at least. I love this book but I have to tell you it made me cry. I have read The Fault in our stars and I absolutely loved the book as well as the movie. Mr.Green I just want to ask you, why do you like having a plot twist in every single book? That’s an obvious question I know because you want to have the readers be shocked and because you don’t want the story to be predictable and I give you 5 stars for that because you sure did surprise me. I like your books Mr.Green and I really hope you continue to make more because I would love to read them. If you don’t find it as much of a bother could you please write me and tell me why you love having an enormous plot change in your book?

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Riyaqa July 23, 2014 at 6:50 pm

Hello john , looking for Alaska is my favourite book people might prefer TFIOS but I didn’t enjoy reading TFIOS as much as I enjoyed reading Looking for Alaska , I don’t know how to put it in words but its really an amazing book I kind of have a thing for last words now I don’t think I can really memorize them like Pudge did but I just read them , you’re a really great writer and im looking forward to read your other books

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Sarah July 24, 2014 at 3:37 pm

Just a question regarding “the incident” in Looking for Alaska.On the anniversary of “the incident” January 10th,it says in the book 114 days after and if it’s meant to be a full year later would it not be more around 365 days later? I know out of all of the great questions i could have asked why did i choose this one? Well, i was just curious and slightly confused as i read the book. I tried not to include any spoilers, sorry if i did! I’m a big fan of your work and of your youtube channel, thanks , Sarah.

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Sarah July 24, 2014 at 3:50 pm

Sorry i misread what it said in the book, Oops .It said it was May and not a full year later.My mistake! gosh i feel kinda stupid now!!!Sorry for wasting your time!

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Alejandra Melo July 24, 2014 at 10:45 pm

¿Cuáles fueron sus últimas palabras…?

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Alejandra Melo July 24, 2014 at 10:46 pm

Her last words…?

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Sohini July 25, 2014 at 12:20 am

Hi Mr.Green! Okay, I really, really, really loved this book. It was a very touching book and very inspirational. The fact that one person, Alaska could change Miles’(a.k.a. pudge’s) whole life is amazing. I want to be someone’s Alaska one day too. Only thing is, I still have a question? What were Alaska’s last words? Was it the conversation with Takumi, just before she got in the car? Who was the last guy she really loved? Pudge? Jake?

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kate July 30, 2014 at 2:30 pm

he ended it making us wonder. hazel tried finding out what happened but Peter never really thought of anything to tell her. sadly i dont think John ever thought of Alaskas last words. In my opioion i think that her last words were “Straight and Fast”. i think she couldve whispered it to herself right before it happened.

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izzie July 26, 2014 at 11:59 am

looking For Alaska Is the Best One.

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Nour Nassif July 26, 2014 at 3:46 pm

Is Looking For Alaska gonna be a motion picture soon?

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Mary Beth Stup July 27, 2014 at 12:10 am

Dear Mr. Green,

I learned about from your crash course videos on YouTube. I remember most of my Social Studies class was excited just because they got to watch you. I honestly had no idea who you were. One of my friends explained to me who you were and told me about The Fault in Our Stars and how it was amazing. She told me that i had to read it. I started doing some research on you and found out that you had written other book besides TFIOS. I was on my kindle about to buy TFIOS when I saw there was a book collection including Looking for Alaska, An Abundance of Katherines, Paper Towns, and The Fault in Our Stars…. I bought it. The first book in the collection was Looking for Alaska. I still haven’t finished it, but I’m pretty far through and I am completely and utterly hooked. I feel that I am very similar to Alaska in some ways. I keep my true emotions for things bottled up most of the time like her. About 10 months ago I lost my dad in a car accident, and unlike her I don’t blame my self for his death i just wonder if there was anything i could do to help him prevent the accident. my dad was on the way home from a Redskins game that I was supposed to go with him to, but at last minute my dad decided that since it was a school night I shouldn’t go because i would be up extremely late. We aren’t exactly sure how and what caused the accident. Kind of like how Miles and Chip can’t figure out how the accident occured. My brother is upset constantly. I’m the opposite though. I tend to keep myself occupied and try not to think about my dad, but there are times where I break down like Alaska did. My dad was very well known by the people around me. My dad was the type of person who could completely change you if you were friends. Alaska seemed to have the same affect on people. I never got to know my dad’s last words because he died instantly, like Alaska. So, in many ways I can relate to this book. Thank you so much for writing such and amazing book like Looking for Alaska… even though I haven’t finished yet (I’ll probably be done within the next couple hours though). I really hope you make a great movie out of this book. OH! I also wanted to say that the writting style and order you made this book is so unique and amazing. I love it so much. You are such an amazing writer and YouTuber. I am soooo sorry for making this so long and drawn out, but anyways thank you so much for just being yourself and writing and doing amazing things that have changed me.

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Kate Reader July 27, 2014 at 4:08 pm

I wish I’d found this book sooner. Six years ago I suddenly lost a friend who I had grown up with and dated, and I only recently found permission to forgive myself out of my labyrinth.

What an important book. Thank you for writing it. It felt like reading a piece of myself.

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Jennifer Jaen July 27, 2014 at 4:11 pm

Hello John green I’m fan #1 of your book I want to have ta five book the you write how I can get it ? Please answer me
bless
panama City

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Soumia July 27, 2014 at 6:47 pm

Hey John, hope you will see this comment. Looking for Alaska is like my favorite book. I read all your books a few times and i love them. It’s very personal for me. before you, I didnt like books and reading but you gave me this taste and i’m so grateful. I know I’m just a fan and you might not read this but if you do, you should know you are a great writer and I love the way I feel while reading your books. I used to be suicidial and all thoses things but i learnt a lot from your books, I learnt how to escape from this world without dying (hey Paper Towns). Well thank you so much, I love you and I love Alaska Young for ever.

P.S: If you answer me I would be so grateful but I know it is kind of impossible

Soumia, an inspired french reader

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Isabella Wright July 27, 2014 at 11:34 pm

I love your books so much………….. I love your writing so much………. my birthday is in a few days and my wish will be to meet you someday and tell me about books. It’s always been my dream. Thank you, John Green. You changed my life.

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Eilish Sue July 28, 2014 at 7:28 am

Dear sir John Green.

Looking for Alaska was the first book I had of you, and I fell in love with the way you use your grammer and feelings. Even though, I hardly ever cry, I cried when (SPOILER) Alaska died, I cried when Augustus Waters died, and you are the first person who could do that.

It’s a truly perfect book and I think i’ll read it now for the 19th time.

:)

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J. V July 28, 2014 at 2:15 pm

Dear Mr. Green

I want to thank you, for the opportunity you gave the world for your book Looking for Alaska. Since months ago, I wanted to read the book, but the opportunity of reading it was this Friday. I bought the book, and suddenly I was trapped in the story, in the emotions of Miles, the adventures of the crew. But when it was about Miles and Alaska… At fist I thought Miles was being egocentric because, as the book said, Miles doesn’t had the monopoly of her. And well, you’re right, people obviously don’t have monopoly in other people. And I think this is a great example to be learn by egocentric people.
Also, I want to mention the way you touched the people (or well, at least me) In the part when Miles is writing his final essay for the religion teacher. How does he figure it out the power of the forgive. And how we all be ending one day. Too philosophic and a I liked that way.
To conclude Mr. Green I want to really thank you for your work and for this novel, it changed me, well too obvious for a teenager of fifteen years old.
Thank you, for the opportunity.
Congrats!

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Abril July 28, 2014 at 2:32 pm

Dear John Green:

1) This book is really amazing.
2) I loved the history but I was paralized when Alaska dies.
3) Teenager mind perfection.

You are a professional fictional characters killer.

Regards,

Abril.

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Annika July 28, 2014 at 8:00 pm

I just really wanted to ask what Alaska’s last words were. I loved the book and it hit me so hard I was crying. I read it in about 10 hours and it was the best book ever. I have no passed it down to my brother and he is reading it and he says he loves it so far. I really do hope you answer me. I really want to know what her last words were.

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Erick alfonso July 29, 2014 at 12:25 am

Dear John if it’s okay I call you by your first name, If not dear mr green I have read looking for Alaska and upon completing it I have to say this book entirely changed my perception on life I loved every Second of it. If I were able to forget reading it I would do so in a heartbeat, just so I could read it for the first time over and over again. I am man enough to say that I shed a few tears on the completion of this book and I want to thank you for giving me and your readers such a wonderful gift. Although there are many questions I would loved to get answered such as what happens between Lara and miles? What becomes of the colonel and his mom? Why didn’t Alaska try to stop? And if Alaska lived would miles and Alaska end up together? If I can’t get an answer on any of these it’s completely fine because your book showed me that in life we barely get any of the answers and I’m just happy to ask the questions. If you do write another book please make it a sequal or a book like this one. Thank you john or mr green and because of your book I am trying to find my own great, perhaps.

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Emily Brown July 29, 2014 at 2:18 am

Dear John Green,
I recently read “Looking For Alaska” and one thing I have established from this story is that life isn’t long and we honestly should make the most of it. Because if you have to choose between the past, present or future choose the one thats happening now! Also I think this story is very relative to people trying to figure out who they really are and where they stand and thats brilliant. this story will never need a sequel or even an epilogue because he story finishes it’s self. Thank you for your time and giving me an amazing opportunity to read deep into this story and discover and letting me find my own great, perhaps.
Sincerely Your devoted fan
Emily

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Lyla Harvey July 29, 2014 at 8:35 pm

Dear Mr. Green,
I recently read “The fault in our stars” and this book was a great experience. It made me laugh, cry, and think. I thought about how Hazel reacts to things. I decided that Hazel is a very independent person. This story touched me and many other people. Thank you for letting tell you how I feel about your writing because it is marvelous!
Sincerely,
Lyla

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Lyla Harvey July 29, 2014 at 8:36 pm

I thought this was the fault in our stars page whoops!

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Eleanor Purves July 30, 2014 at 5:13 pm

Looking for Alaska is my favorite book. It had fun, reality and sadness throughout the whole novel. And to conclude, I LOVE PUDGE!

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