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

{ 1285 comments… read them below or add one }

Sydney April 20, 2014 at 9:36 am

First off, I’d like to say that this book changed my life. It taught me how to forgive and how to live. It also showed me that bad things happen, and that sometimes no matter how hard we may try to stop them, we just can’t. In the story, Alaska never learned how to forgive herself for her own mistakes with her mom. It wasn’t Miles’ fault that she died, it would have happened anyway. We can’t always stop people from making those fatal mistakes, and when we can’t, we have to learn to forgive ourselves. I am now a firm believer that forgiveness can get you out of any labyrinth. Like I said, this book changed my life. And you don’t know how thankful I am for that.

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Abbie April 20, 2014 at 10:49 am

I am 14 years old. I read this book and it is almost the nicest thing to know that whatever you are feeling down you have a escape route from life. Your books do this for me more than any other book. They are always so beautiful and sensitive and are like no other book I have read. To me they are very intelligent books and I can relate to them in a way that I thought I was the only person out there who thought like me.

I get bullied, I have been for 3 years. For some reason when other people I know who get bullied see theirselves as victims and they fall and literally can’t get back up again. And rightfully so. I just can’t live that way. It just seems to make me stronger. That’s why when I fall I fall hard (always getting back up) and your books just help me scape like I said before.

I am not going to say I don’t know what I would do without your books and your vlogs but I definitely know life wouldn’t be so good. They have helped me understand so much about myself and the people around me.

So thank you so so much John Green. You are truly my idol.

Abbie Fisher Year 9

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Alana April 20, 2014 at 8:06 pm

Looking for Alaska is a great book, it made me realize that we have to learn how to forgive others when they hurt us, or leave us with an insolved story.
You have to realize that others need to do what they feel is right, and just let them go.

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hannah April 20, 2014 at 9:12 pm

I really loved all of your books they opened my eyes to new things in the world and different ways to look at life. Especially since I’m a teenager and it just brought me through a lot and I really appreciate it! I really wanna be a writer and I wanna make a change word by word paragraph by paragraph and you are one of many authors that inspired me.!

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julia April 21, 2014 at 5:39 pm

I’m Julia and I’m from Germany so sorry if my English isn’t so perfect. I read the book in one day because I couldn’t stop. I was so fascinated about Alaska and her story and I just wanted to know what happend to her in the past and why she is so sad sometimes. I think Alaska is a amazing inspiration and she seems so flawless even with her imperfection. I know she is just a character in a book but sometimes characters in book are better than people in real life if you know what I mean and I think Alaska is a inspiration for everybody because she lives every minute like it could be her last and this is a thing that I really admire. I like this book so much, everybody should read it.

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NATALI ARAÚJO April 21, 2014 at 8:06 pm

E Alasca nada mais é que uma garota, que morre no final das contas.. ;/ John Green é um grande estraga prazeres bem do jeito genial de ser.

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Anna Marie April 22, 2014 at 12:09 am

I have just finished reading this book. May i just say Mr.John Green, you are brilliant!! Thanks for the amazing read.

Coming to you from Wyoming

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Meg April 22, 2014 at 4:06 am

I don’t know how to word this properly, but I read TFiOS before Looking For Alaska. I was devastated when Augustus died, and then had my heart ripped out again when Alaska died. You have the rare gift of being able to tie in a main characters death but still have the story continue on, and in the same enticing way that you’ve written all your books.

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Emma April 22, 2014 at 7:18 am

this is probably the only book i have ever read that simaeltaneously makes you cry your eyes out and laugh your head off. u really did perfectly with miles’ final exam-”it is not that teenagers emotions are false, but that we r feeling them for the first time.” “we act invincible because we are.” you nailed it, mr green. thank you for writing a novel that portrays teens truthfully, as opposed to somewhat idyllic or cliched depictions. u really do remember being young, and that is a fairly rare gift.

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Em April 22, 2014 at 8:42 am

this book is so amazing, like when all the events happened i just kind-of froze and was like ‘what just happened?!’
I really felt like i was in the book, the characters all felt so real.
great job john (:

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Kaitlyn April 22, 2014 at 4:20 pm

i have only read two books of yours but out of the two this is defiantly my favorite. With the Fault in Our Stars, i couldn’t really relate because i have never been through that kind of love and pain/ cancer, but with Looking For Alaska i was taken in the book on a crazy journey that let me understand what they were going through, because i am a teen and i am going through many of the feelings that Miles, Chip, Alaska (mostly), and many other characters. i think that you hit the whole troubled teen wanting to know, and feel more right on the head. I thank you for that because this book has changed me (for the better) and made me think in a more mature and realistic way. So good job John and thank you for not being on of those writers who think they know what is going on in a teenagers mind but totally miss the point. Hope you keep writing amazing books in the future.

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Sophie April 22, 2014 at 5:32 pm

i had to read this book for school and at first thought i wasn’t going to like it…. AT ALL. But my thoughts were complete changed after i read this. I loved how one minute you can crack up and the next you could start crying. The characters felt so relate-able and i found myself comparing the characters to me and people i know in my own life.

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Joy April 22, 2014 at 7:07 pm

I am currently reading Looking for Alaska and it is really good. I have already read An Abundance of Katherines and The Fault In Our Stars, both of which are really great. My favorite out of the two is The Fault In Our Stars. I am not just saying that because every teenager girl thinks Augustus Waters is a dream guy and Hazel Lancaster is Shailene Woodley in the movie and who doesn’t like her? Tell me who and I will gladly fight them, honestly. Anyway, keep writing. Please. Beg of you, Mr. Green.

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Raigan April 23, 2014 at 1:03 pm

I’m 14 years old and can honestly say, John Green is the best author I have ever come across. The way he manages to word his books in such a way that even the writing seems beautiful never ceases to amaze me. I have read all books of his that I know of (The fault in our stars, Looking for Alaska, Paper Towns, Will Grayson, Will Grayson and Am abundance of Katherines) and I can safely say each and every one of those books are perfect in their own way. I read a lot and these books are all somehow my favourites. I would have sent a letter but American addresses confuse me so here I am typing like the outdoor deprived youth I am.

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Deni Barker April 23, 2014 at 9:51 pm

All of your books are so truthful and profound. The experiences of love and life and what ifs, all the journeys taken and the risks made, the metaphors and analogies, everything in it is life and it is lives that we have the privilege of living through words on the page, but for me, these lives at so much more than just a character, than paper people in the I paper world. They are me. I see my reluctantness to stay where I am, my drive to push on, and my determination to do bigger and better things than stay in a town as paper as I am, always tryin to please others and keeping my own heart and my true self guarded from those unwilling to see and those who I am unwilling to let see. I see the hurt and pain of my past, the loss and death that always haunts me and the regret and guilt I have toward it. My elusove nature, partially for the fun of being a mystery to those who thunk they know me, and partially because I am afraid to let someone get too close for fear I will hurt them. My questions of death, my wondering on hoe to escape, all of it is pieced together through the eyes of Alaska, Margo, amd Hazel (forgive me, I am in the process of finding and buying an Abundance of Katherines). Most people have fallen in love with The Fault in Our stars, but my love resides with Looking for Alaska and is a quick second to Paper Towns (given that I am a senior). The characters reflect my multiple personalities. Alaska is my mischievous side and the part of me trying to overcome a rough past, Margo is the part of me that acts like the Mirror of Erised (pardon the reference) reflecting what he who looks into the mirror sees. Purge is my longing for change, Q is my determination to protect and help the ones I love (I reach out to people who believe they are worth nothing and have helped people turn from their suicidal tendencies), Augustus is my hope for everything to be better, my drive to live in the now and motivation not to worry and not to waste time, and Hazel is the part of me that will always be hurting, always be breaking and yet with that has to keep living, no matter how much I would like to disappear. Your books do more than entertain, they make me feel understood and give me company. I believe that some point in everyone’s life, we’re all paper people, all running through the routine and living the lives were told to live, but I’m going to be the person who peels themself off the page and write a story worth telling, much like you have.

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Natasha April 23, 2014 at 10:21 pm

I read Looking For Alaska – and then I re-read it, because I did not want to believe that Alaska was gone. And I have to honestly say that I felt Miles’ and the Colonel’s and Takumi’s pain because she was gone. John Green, you are a master with words. No other book I have read can capture the loss of a loved one like you did. Thank you for your talent.

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dancewiththestars April 24, 2014 at 5:51 am

Dear John (see what I did there? ;) anyway,)

As quoted from you, the only way out of the labyrinth of suffering is to forgive. And i am suffering from the loss of Alaska and the pain Miles and the Colonel and Takumi felt and feels and will always feel. I am suffering from Gus’ disappearing ghost of a boy and the others hurt in his battle against himself. But they will and have forgive and forgiven, and so I shall too.
I forgive you, for pulling me into the stories and capturing my heart and killing me slowly. I forgive you for letting them go. I forgive you for the pain everyone feels. I forgive you for making Gus and Alaska feel so real and then pulling them back from us. I forgive you for the sadness and loss. I forgive you. And I know everyone else does too. And they will.

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