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

{ 2225 comments… read them below or add one }

Miranda May 8, 2015 at 2:41 pm

Hey John, I love your books. however, I’ve only read two of them. Looking For Alaska and FIOS..They are AMAZING books! I love your writing style, your humor and wit, and sense of life. You are one of my most favorite authors, let me tell you that right now….aaand Adios :’)

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July May 8, 2015 at 4:24 pm

Hey John,

I’m July, a 14 year old austrian girl and I adore your books sooo much. I’ve read The fault in our stars, Paper Towns, Looking for Alaska, Let it Snow and An Abundance of Katherines.

I finished your book ‘Looking for Alaska’ a few months ago and I’m still so excited for it. I love the idea of remaining last words and all the characters, who just seem so real. Til the end of the book I thought it was just a bad joke by Alaska and she didn’t actually pass away and afterwards I was kind of sad. I love the last page. It’s my favourite book of all the books I’ve read from you yet.

Besides I’m so happy, that the Paper Towns Movie comes out soon. I really like Nat Wolff, except he didn’t have blonde hair in The fault in our stars. I actually knew him befor The fault in our stars. I knew he was a singer and I really like his songs. I also like Cara Delevigne and they’re just perfect for Margo and Q.

Thank you for writing such wonderful, teacherous books and please write along : ))

Love,
July

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ANDRE May 9, 2015 at 11:38 am

Hi John. i really adore your books!!!!! you’re the bomb really, i’ve never been more attached to a book when i finally read paper towns!! so cool i haven’t finished it yet. BUT LOOKING FOR ALASKA, the story is so great but im not satisfied with the ending but still, SUPER GOOD. An abundance of katherines is the only book from you i haven’t read, i’ll read it after paper towns ! :) godbless you john. please write more novels oh and btw i never loved reading books until i heard of looking for alaska and i get the book as a gift for christmas because i wished for it AND NOW IM SO ADDICTED. thanks to you ! :-)

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Anna May 9, 2015 at 4:03 pm

Hello, John ! I’m writing because I think that you are a fantastic writer. I’ve read the paper towns, loking for Alaska and an abundance of Katherines. All of them are fantastic ! Yesterday I finished read looking for Alaska and that book changed my mind . Till I read the last page I was SURE that it’s a joke and Alaska is Alive . I didn’t want to finish reading this book because I knew that she is death . But how you said ” The world is not a wish granting factory” . All of your books says that all of us will be forgotten, but your books will live in my heart always!

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SAMARA DIAS May 10, 2015 at 1:10 pm

Olá John, eu Samara sou sua fã assim como varias pessoas ao redor do mundo. Eu fascinada por QUEM É VOCÊ ALASKA, ja li varias vezes! Assim como Miles eu sinto falta da Alaska e queria poder entender um pouco do seu universo, desejaria (por mais que não pode acontecer) saber o ponto de vista dela com relação a sua vida seus ultimos momentos. Não quero resposta exatas, tenho a mesma agonia de Miles de não poder entende-la por completo. Amo Alaska, não tenho motivos certos, mas me identifico com ela, e o mais importante entendo ela por se sentir sozinha mas não deixar isso afetar seu futuro. Sei que não tenho chance de saber o que quero, mas eu nunca vo parar de buscar o meu grante TALVEZ! OBG por ter criado a Alaska, você como escritor deve se sentir realizado pois me fez rir, chorar e amar suas obras!

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Vidal May 12, 2015 at 3:47 pm

Sin duda alguna, el estar “en busca de un gran quizá” te demuestra, que no debes de estar en busca de alguno…

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Aquila Pereira Machado May 12, 2015 at 3:55 pm

I don’t understand Alaska, but I like her.

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Katherin May 12, 2015 at 4:01 pm

Hello dear John I only make this because I want that you know how wonderfull writer you’re REALLY also i want that you know that LOOKING FOR ALASKA es the best book that I ever readed you don’t have idea how I love this book for me Alaka young is perfect really and also i tink that KAYA SCODELARIO is the PERFECT ALASKA YOUNG!!!! we want to kaya as alaska that’s all really i love this book and all your books too but looking for alaska is so perfect

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d. ertman May 13, 2015 at 8:51 am

Nicely written for grandchild

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shakira May 13, 2015 at 11:48 am

All of the books

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Isobel May 13, 2015 at 12:36 pm

Hi,
I loved your book Looking for Alaska, it is now in my top ten books and trust me I have a lot of favourites. I found the book truthful, what life of a teenager is really about, it shows things from our perspectives.

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Margarita May 13, 2015 at 4:16 pm

Hello from Barcelona! My name is Margarita and I am actually Russian.I read all of your books(in different languages) and I cant wait for new ones to come out asap, because your books are just full of life and energy, and literally everything. I am so thankful that such an amazing author exists on the planet. You are one of my favorite, I’d even say the most favorite ;) Thank you so much

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Bennie Mahonda May 14, 2015 at 7:49 pm

HI my name is Benedicte and I’ve read both Looking for Alaska and Paper Towns and I had one question. Why do both books take place in Florida?

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Bella May 14, 2015 at 10:11 pm

Dear John,
I have been very fascinated with all your work for about a year and hope to see some new work soon. While a literary masterpiece, I think Looking for Alaska has a lot of inspiring lessons. I think that yes, the only way out of the labyrinth of suffering is to forgive, and I also think that it is love.
Thank you for such inspiring stories and I hope to be reading some more soon.

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Cay May 15, 2015 at 2:41 pm

I’ve read all of your books, although I can’t pick a favorite they are all fantastic!
I have probably read Looking for Alaska about 3 times now and Paper-towns 2 times, I absolutely love your writing and I really wish Looking for Alaska could be a motion picture one day.. Have a good day.

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Courtney-Elizabeth Marie Holmes May 17, 2015 at 3:03 pm

Courtney-Elizabeth Marie Holmes May 17, 2015 at 2:57 pm
Dear John, i am writing to you because your books have done me wrong. they are beautiful in every which way. But as i read Looking For Alaska, i was attached. i found that i got attached to Alaska Young and Pudge, i was hoping that they would have a wonderful relationship, i understood that Lara was Pudge’s Girlfriend but i didn’t ship it quite as much, I was hooked on the Life inside Alaska, and the Curious thoughts of Miles. and then, Alaska died. she Died and i sobbed. i sobbed like never before, like i had actually lost a friend of mine. my heart hurt and i couldn’t read anymore. i am still indecisive of if i should finish the book, but i can’t without alaska. She’s like a fictional bestfriend, she was badass! but then she got killed off. Why? why did she have to be the one to die? it hooks the readers and its a brilliant plot twist, but i just cannot seem to figure this out, should i read the book or should i not? i can’t even imagine the book without alaska and her cigarettes. Explain this to me please. if you would like to keep a little more private like peter van houten in the fault in our stars, You might like to call me, it might sound like a horrible thing to trust my number on the website of someone i don’t even know, but i need an answer of should i or should i not. so, 1573-727-8884.

Yours Truly, Courtney-Elizabeth.

PS. i understand that i just copy and pasted this, because i realized i posted this on your events page which is insanely irrelevant but i’d still like a reply.

PPS. i also understand that you might hardly reply to people

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Allison May 17, 2015 at 4:16 pm

Dear John,
Hi! I would just like to point out that you have reached a new level of awesomeness in that Looking For Alaska is now one of my summer reading books for school. Yes, you’re just that epic. That’s all :)

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Jana May 18, 2015 at 10:43 am

Well I know your not going to reply but at least I’ll try First of all I did really like the thing about BEFORE… AFTER… and I liked the “Last word” idea!!!!! I did really feel upset because of her death as well as shocked since I don’t know… but maybe because it wasn’t her right time to die … I think shes in a beautiful and better place and I hope (as Pudge said) well I had an answer for ALASKA’s question which is ” SUFFERANCE ( LIKE PAIN) DEMANDS TO BE FELT” maybe we should all feel pain and suffer so we can deserve happiness !!! Well MY MOST IMPORTANT QUESTIONs are: (1) why do good people always die?? (2)why did Alaska stay with Jake even after everything happened between her and Pudge ?(she didn’t like cheating) (3) what happened to pudge then?Did she fall apart from his memories? By the way I appreciate you as well as I appreciate your books (as somepeople said to Tiney cooper) Another thing I wanna say to you is that you made me love english language more than my real language and although I’m only 14 I’m learning from your books the way of writting as well as I learned so many life lessons… So I can’t wait to read more books written by you :)

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Jessica May 18, 2015 at 9:43 pm

Hi, John. I’m Jessica.
I have a one easy question. By the way, this is for my English project.
I was wondering how you got the ideas for looking for alaska.

Thank you!

Jessica

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A human May 19, 2015 at 5:23 am

Dear John Green,
In the sixth grade I decided I did not like reading.
I have always loved reading. In fact, I loved reading so much my mom used to give me books as Christmas presents. But, when all my freinds told me they hated reading I decided I hated it too. And you’re probably wondering where this babbling is going and I guess I said all of that to say that in the 8th and 9th grade I decided I liked reading again and I began to read the Inkheart series by Cornelia Funke.
My heart was filled with wonder (spoiler alert) by how people could travel in and out of books and with the concept that the stories in books continued after authors stopped writing them.
Stories do that for me to this day.

Well, the summer after my senior year in high school I experienced a heavy bought of depression. I was angry and filled with hate. Nothing in my life seemed filled with wonder and I was not only making myself more miserable, I was also making my friends and family miserable.
However, I had a wonderful English teacher who gently pushed me to fall in the love with the world. We read part of TFIOS in class my senior year (along with many other treasures) and while I was crushed and obliterated there was hope inside of me. I read all of your books that summer. I read so many books that summer.
When I left for college my relationship with God was rekindled and the depression passed, but I never forgot the hope I found in your books.
I don’t know where you stand with religion or God but a professor once told me he didn’t care where it came from but, “A truth is a truth is a truth is a truth.” And I think that’s true about the truth: when you’ve discovered the truth nothing can be truer. And the hope from your books led to me seeking to better understand the truth I have found in Christ.
Now, a year later, staying up extremely late rereading your novels, I am reminded of all of this wonder inside me and I just want to thank you. Thank you for writing stories and making magic out of ink and paper. Thank you for providing the medium for me to travel between the pages of a book and for allowing me to dream of the characters of your stories and the lives they are living now.
With much gratitude,
A human

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Courtney-Elizabeth Marie Holmes May 20, 2015 at 12:31 pm

Dear John, i have decided to finish Looking for Alaska. now i am upset because the book is over, not because alaska is dead anymore. I did not really understand what happened though. Summer break, but what happens AFTER summer break? Takumi goes to Japan, what does he do there? what About Lara? Do they continue the tradition each year?? what happens to jake? and mayra? I think you should make a book like “Remembering Alaska” where they’re all going to college but before they leave the creek, they have a parade like “Alaska day”. I hope to hear back from you, and if you write more things (i’ve read all your books) i’d love to read them.

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Stacy May 20, 2015 at 3:30 pm

Hey John,

I am one of the readers who mourns for Alaska’s loss and lives in a fantasy that she is still alive till the ending of book. Alaska is a mysterious girl. I want to find more about her. Please write a sequel so we don’t end up being Hazel wanting to find more about imperial affliction IN MY CASE LOOKING FOR ALASKA.
Thanks.

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Jessica May 20, 2015 at 6:04 pm

I read “Looking For Alaska” some years ago & was instantly in love. It is the very book that made me a reader, a bookworm, since that’s what I have been known to be called. I just wanted to thank you for writing such a beautiful piece of work. Since the day I finished the book for the first time, I have become a writer in my own way & just wanted you to know that this book & you, John, as an author have inspired me to try my hardest as well to become an author so I can tell my stories.

My only hope is that someday I can create someone as fictionally beautiful as Alaska Young & her crooked heart.
Thank you for this wonderful art.
-Jess

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Catrin May 21, 2015 at 1:19 pm

Dear John Green,
my name is Catrin Gruber and I am 15 years old. We had to read a book in English class, so I chose „Looking for Alaska“.
Lots of people talked about the book and it was a real hype, because everyone hoped and thought that this book would be as good as „The Fault In Our Stars“.
It would be nice if you could answer some of my questions, but if you are not able to, it is no problem because, as an author, it is not self-evident.
I would be interested in knowing why you have written this book and why you have made a countdown. The countdown is not bad, but I think that a simple story would have been possible, too.
Another question is if your book is based on a real event or if it is pure fiction.
At first, I thought that your book would be great, but I changed my mind by reading the first few pages. The story did not really get me from the beginning on, so I stopped reading. After a while, I continued with reading the book , but I did not like it a lot.
Otherwhise, I did not like the way it was written.
I think you have a special writing style and a lot of people like it, but I am not one oft hem. If I could choose between „Looking for Alaska“ and „The Fault In Our Stars“ , I would probably choose the second one.
I had expected more, so I am a bit disappointed of „Looking for Alaska“ , because I thought that it would be great, but in my opinion, it was not.

Yours sincerely,
Catrin

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Sarah Brooke May 21, 2015 at 6:43 pm

John Green, I am currently reading Looking for Alaska and tell me that I did not just read that ALASKA IS DEAD! You have got to be lying John Green!

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Jessica May 21, 2015 at 10:58 pm

Dear. John Green
Hi, I’m Jessica. I was wondering if you had any special memories and
it includes the book! OR… How did you get the ideas for Looking for alaska?
I have to do this for my English project. Even if you don’t reply my question, thanks for reading!

Jessica (12)

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Jessica May 21, 2015 at 10:59 pm

I love your books!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I love your book ‘Let it snow’!

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Im someone May 22, 2015 at 10:30 pm

I have no words for this amazingly talented author. The art of this writing leaves me in thought. I never want a book to end but his never do. I always imagine what happens to the characters after their first story ends.

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mariaaclara May 23, 2015 at 5:27 pm

meu aniversário foi antes de ontem ganhei o livro que estou louca para ler que é QUEM É VOCÊ ALASKA inda não chegou espero louca por enquanto lendo CIDADES DE PAPEL.

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Dani May 24, 2015 at 12:54 am

Hi, John.
I really love this book, it’s so beutiful but also is so mysterious and l love it. I hope that you’ll write an other book, you’re an amazing writer.

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