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

{ 1639 comments… read them below or add one }

lynda November 16, 2011 at 3:21 pm

john this book was amazing! i read it all in one day because i simply could not put it down. i loved the way you wrote about Alaska, i truly felt like i knew her myself. when i reached the After i cried though the entire half, never have i felt so emotional while reading. i still get a little emotional when i think about it. this is the best book i have read and i don’t think any other will ever top Alaska.

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Sarah February 2, 2012 at 12:31 am

My thoughts EXACTLY. Best book I’ve ever read in my life.

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Enna November 18, 2011 at 6:05 pm

this is the best book I’ve ever read!

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Lily December 12, 2011 at 8:58 pm

Not until you read Paper Towns <3

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Gracie December 19, 2011 at 5:25 pm

Looking for Alaska is still the greatest and I’ve read all of his books.

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Ben January 18, 2012 at 8:59 am

If you have read TFIOS that opinion must have changed :)

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Libby K. January 27, 2012 at 3:38 pm

TFiOS is amazing. I’m reading it for the 2nd time right now.

Gloria November 18, 2011 at 6:10 pm

An easy, yet enticing read. Though the second half could daily be summed up as suicidally depressing, it isn’t really. Rather its intensely emotionally, and although you may not cry, it leaves it’s impression whether you want it to or not.

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Hannah Sims November 19, 2011 at 12:56 am

John, this book is truly an amazing work you’ve done. It has tied as my favorite book, (alone with tricks by ellen hopkins hehe), and will always hold a special place in my heart. I can relate so much to the characters, and I got very attached. When Alaska died I was in chemistry class reading the book, and I just burst out crying. I read the book often and it never gets old, I feel as if it is a part of me. Thank you so much for writing this and letting me enjoy such a great novel.

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Estelle November 21, 2011 at 11:50 pm

I loved this book. So far it has to be my favorite John Green book. The characters were amazing and though I have never cried while reading a book or watching a movie, this book touched me deeply. I felt for the characters and how they felt that Alaska’s death was their fault. Brilliant book.

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Tiffany Tucker November 22, 2011 at 5:29 pm

not being self centered but since you wrote the book i thought i could say it here. When people say to me ‘describe yourself’ I just reply ‘read Looking for Alaska’ cos Im her’
Everyone in their life will meet their Alaska weither it a girl or a boy, an adult,teenager or child
you will meet Alaska
she comes in many forms
Im just one of them
by the way thanks for writing such an amazing boook

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Deanna December 29, 2011 at 11:42 am

Exactly what i thought. I’m her as well in some ways.

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Devon November 23, 2011 at 11:27 am

I am in a senior creative writing class and one of our writing assignments is to write a short story based on our favorite author’s work. I chose John Green and Looking for Alaska and I have had a hard time doing so because every one of John’s books is so well written. Looking for Alaska struck a nerve with me and, since first reading it, I have read it five more times. It gets me every time. In John’s “Looking for Alaska at my High School” vlogbrothers video, as he was walking through the places that inspired him to write Looking for Alaska, I felt like I had been there before, with Miles, Alaska and the gang. I felt a great deal of nostalgia, emotion, and inspiration. Thank you, John Green. DFTBA.

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preston November 29, 2011 at 1:22 pm

i love the book.im in 6th grade but im on a ninth grade reading level.

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SARAH. January 31, 2012 at 11:45 am

You punctuate goodly.

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preston November 29, 2011 at 1:27 pm

that book f***** awsome

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katya veleva November 29, 2011 at 2:37 pm

great book John,

I read it and when I finished it, I was on a beach that had a beach library box kind of thing next to the life guard stand, I wrote what i thought of the book on the first page and left it there – this is what i wrote –

“”bliss was in that dawn to be alive but to be young was very heaven” …
i loved this book… people always want to make great things seem complicated and convoluted when they really are not, and we all know that, we just forget… we forget that we ARE invincible, and we call that maturity… i don’t like this, i want to be young forever!”

I am an architecture student, and the first time when i realized this was when i read “the fountain head” by ayn rand, a terribly terribly long and heavy book, to me it says what “alaska” says, but your book does it in a much easier way
anyway i LOVED your book, keep being young, i will keep trying, but damn it people keep making me grow up – it’s horrible!

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Stefania January 27, 2014 at 8:19 am

I have exactly what info I want. Check, please. Wait, it’s free? Awmoees!

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Anastacia December 2, 2011 at 7:41 am

I have read Looking for Alaska after i finaly found it.I cried so hard when i read after no one can replace Alaska. I think Alska and Miles would make a great couple to bad she died

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Petra December 2, 2011 at 11:36 pm

John Green, you are king. This book made me laugh, cry (like through over half the book), and I could really relate t all the characters, especially Alaska and Lara. I read it a while ago, along with ALL of your other books, but I plan n rereading it again, right now. Will Grayson was amazing too, as were your other two. One criticism, WHY DO YOU ONLY HAVE 4 BOOKS OUT!?!? I literally crave more of your writing.

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Max December 4, 2011 at 10:01 pm

John, I just finished reading this book yesterday, and it almost made me cry. The ending had some of the most profound insight I’ve heard, and I can see why miles has been compared to Holden caulfield. Well done John! This book was a masterpiece that touched me very deeply. I salute you

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Paige December 5, 2011 at 2:12 pm

where can i go to get the movie “Looking For Alaska”? I was in aw by the book and now its my favorite.

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preston December 6, 2011 at 1:35 pm

the book is awsome. too many curse words though.at eastern guilford middle school it got taken off the selves.

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Sydney December 6, 2011 at 3:27 pm

I’m reading this book for the third time- absolutely inspiring. I’m interested to see who they cast as Alaska in the movie.

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kelsey lawler December 8, 2011 at 2:50 pm

john –
reading these comments is almost as good as reading looking for alaska, no insult to your abilities as a young adult novelist but realizing that people read this book that aren’t me is really. i dont have a word that describes what should come next so i will have to leave you hanging in that respect (being that i didnt finish my sentence). i wonder if you read these comments anymore, seeing as you have so mnay youtube comments to take care of and a brother and son and wife to take care of (in that order??) writing here is kind of like writing to anyone you really admire, wondering if they will ever see this or ever, dare i say it respond or if you are being too melodramatic or too liberal with diction or if the laziness of me not pressing the shift key when i use the word “I” is bothering or obtrusive to a novelist. or writing here is also like praying to god or allah or buddah (i just finished alaska for the first time if you can tell, ive read all of your other books first which is interesting for me). when you pray to god you sort of assume that he is listening, that in some respect he has thousands upon millions of tiny ears positioned to everyone who is talking to him, or just a super backlogged inbox with thousands of messages. and even though we never get a response from him, at least, though i never get a response from him, i always just assumes he heard me or read my message or got my text and i just move on with whatever i am doing. i hope i can leave here and just feel like you read this, or that you are listening or writing or doing whatever it is that you are doing. ugh i’m rambling now, i think its from the thrill of having somewhere to talk to you. i really like you (sound like a 12 year old girl) and hope to surround myself with people like you as i finish my final year of college and in my life. thinkings important and i like the way you manifest your thinking because it means that people like me and the thousands of other people who have read lfa or any other book by you get to see how you think and your books make me feel. again, no word to follow that but i dont think there needs to be.

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dalvin law December 12, 2011 at 3:03 am

thanks for summing up my thoughts. i also read paper towns b4 looking for alaska. ps if u ever get this message, could you tell me what college you go to and what your majoring in? don’t worry, im not a serial killer or a stalker. just curious. dalvin law @ dalvindtl@gmail.com

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karo December 11, 2011 at 2:17 pm

hey john. looking for alaska is such a fantastic book. i’ve read it in one night and i almost cried in the end. alaskas death wasn’t predictable but having it done, it seems like it was obviously that she had to die. thank you for that wonderful book!!

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Vincent(dalvin law) December 12, 2011 at 2:56 am

i dont think john green will ever see this comment but what the hell *laugh* looking for alaska was an astonishing novel. there was not left to say and not a word unsead. this book moved like many books have done before but in a this is just the beginning kind of way. john green has done something james patterson, rick riordan and heather brewer could not. he inpired me. so thank u jg. im looking towards majoring in english.

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Christina December 14, 2011 at 7:29 pm

Love it!!! The stripper…. wow-o! This book had me rolling on the floor. Well, most of the time. :)

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Micheal December 15, 2011 at 12:35 am

I read this book in two sittings.

I could have easily been one sitting except that the time came where I had read until page 133 (in the paperback, I don’t know if that changes anything) and, upon realizing what was about to happen, I had to put the book down and walk away.

I felt shattered.

It felt, in some small way, like I had felt when Leslie Burke had died in Bridge to Terabithia. While her death (Leslie’s) was perhaps more tragic the feeling that I had lost someone dear to me was nonetheless heartbreaking.

With Leslie, a childhood friend or sister-like character, but with Alaska…

In point of fact, through Miles’ eyes, I too had come to love Alaska. And when she left my life, as it did with him, she left a hole that could not simply be patched or filled. Her life had meant something to me, her death was nearly painful.

I cannot bring myself to re-read this book right now for fear of the pain associated with entering a world where Alaska is alive knowing it only inevitable that she is to die, again.

In hindsight, perhaps it was inevitable and I should have seen the signs, but I didn’t. Or, perhaps it would be more correct to say I didn’t want to. Yes, Alaska was damaged, but I didn’t expect her to die. In a way, for the longest time, I suspected that the title “Looking for Alaska” had more to do with figuring out who this character was underneath it all.

And maybe in a small way it was. But, not in the way I had expected.

John, if you are to ever read this comment, I wish only to say thank you. Thank you for writing a novel so amazing that I wish strongly to read it hundreds of times over, but also for writing characters so that took so much a part of my heart that re-entering a world where Alaska lives just to have her die on me again keeps the book on my shelf.

I realize I’ve been rambling. I apologize, but this book left me with a lot to say and no one, but those who will read this, to say it to. Thank you for your time.

-Micheal

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Kait January 9, 2012 at 2:23 pm

I believe that this comment sums up what everyone has tried to say. This book is one the best anyone could ever hope to read or even right, it makes the reader feel connected, Alaska Young will forever be in our hearts and thoughts because of how powerful she was. This is a book I will continue to read for the rest of my life.

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Nadia February 9, 2012 at 9:45 pm

I couldn’t have said it better myself(:

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Sarah December 17, 2011 at 2:10 am

I have read every single one of John Greens books and every time I am always blown away. The way he writes is so intriguing ! The style is so unique compared to other current writers that it became a glass of cool water to me. Please keep on writing! Looking forward to seeing another best seller soon!

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Cristina December 22, 2011 at 10:24 pm

Dear John,
My first ever Dear John letter! Lol…anyway I just finished Looking for Alaska and I really wanted/needed to tell you how much I enjoyed it! Especially the freestyle contest. When I read Alaska’s tribute to the rap, I almost fell over. It was like I could have rapped that myself. Tori and Ani are my two favorite artists of all time! I couldn’t help but wonder how so perfect a sentence was written, like it was written just for me. I fell in love with all the characters. I really felt like I could have boarded at Culver Creek and only hoped that I would have been lucky enough to hang out on the edge of the woods with the regular boarders praying the Eagle wouldn’t catch us or met Colonel’s mom and helped her cook. I want to thank you for your imagination. Such a well written and moving story. I was hooked from the very first sentence and couldn’t put it down. Can’t wait to read your other books! Happy Holidays!

Cristina

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Casey Black December 28, 2011 at 9:30 pm

Micheal – wow, I felt the exact same way.

I read this book while lying in bed and when I got to page 133 or the page right before the ‘After’ I cried more than I have in years. I really felt shattered, I couldn’t even sleep. It was awful but at the same time so great to actually ‘feel’ these emotions again. Figures I had a dream about my first love, albeit not a great one.

‘Bridge to Terabithia’ is exactly what I thought of when I reached that point.

This novel is fantastic. The most emotional, almost traumatizing (for me) novel that I’ve read in years. I mean that in a good way, if possible.

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Honey January 10, 2012 at 6:34 pm

At last! Something clear I can uderntsand. Thanks!

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Deanna December 29, 2011 at 11:46 am

I am forever changed after reading Looking for Alaska.
This is a book i know by heart.

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Lauren January 31, 2012 at 7:47 am

You should read TFiOS (The Fault in Our Stars) which is also by John Green.IT’s reeeeaaalllllly good. But i like Looking for alaska a little better.

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Tot January 26, 2014 at 6:15 pm

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www.tonyfahey.com February 18, 2014 at 7:28 am

Wow, your post makes mine look feeble. More power to you!

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Ramon January 3, 2012 at 1:45 pm

Just thank you for your book, Mr. Green! It puts the whole feeling of growing up and teenage angst in a nutshell without being a cliché – quiete the opposite: This book tells moving and unique story, which was able to touch me directly and I think it moved also many other readers.

Best wishes,

Ramon from Germany

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Britt January 3, 2012 at 1:45 pm

This book affected me like no other. For some reason, I felt a freaky attachment to my mom after I read it, so I woke her up and we talked about it (I blubbered) for two hours. You kick ass, John Green.

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Milan Jović January 4, 2012 at 6:07 pm

I’ve read four times.

If I wrote wrong these sentenses, you’ll know that google translator made a mistake.
Fuck it, i hate English. Serbian forever.

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Lena January 9, 2012 at 12:19 am

i haven’t read this one yet, but when it was banned from our high school library it only made me want to read it more

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Kait January 9, 2012 at 2:20 pm

You really should, it’s available in many places and is beyond worth it. It pulls you in to the point of not being able to stop reading, so you may want to save it for a weekend.

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Kait January 9, 2012 at 2:18 pm

You won’t be able to put it down once you start.

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Nadia February 9, 2012 at 9:46 pm

Agreed.

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Lauren January 9, 2012 at 4:11 pm

Looking For Alaska is, and will remain, one of the best books that I’ve ever read. Reading it is like transporting yourself into the story. You feel the heart-wrenching pain that Miles felt during the After, and just like him, you find yourself analyzing the events leading up to the After.

As corny and cheezy at it sounds, reading this book has quite possibly made me a better person.

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Casey January 9, 2012 at 9:13 pm

If I ever have a daughter, her name will be Alaska.

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Jenny January 9, 2012 at 10:17 pm

Hey John! I just read your book because my mom’s bookclub was reading it. I’m a nerdfighter and have been meaning to read it, and when my mom was reading it on the plane over winter break I freaked! Turns out that my mom was the one that also had to research info about the author. Couldn’t be better! I took over the research and get to make a powerpoint about you. So psyched!

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Rachel B January 10, 2012 at 8:41 pm

I finished this book over Christmas Break and loved every page. This novel represents teenage emotion in the most genuine way I have ever read in young adult fiction. Picked up a copy of TFiOS today in celebration.

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Brussel Sprout January 11, 2012 at 4:09 pm

A little late for this party, I just did a quick review of LFA, which I really enjoyed.

Can’t wait for my copy of FIOS, should arrive tomorrow.

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Rose January 11, 2012 at 11:37 pm

This book was so powerful. I was amazed that a book could have me laughing and sobbing and nervous this way, all within these couple-hundred pages. Mile’s journey is so inspiring and I truly felt like I can view my future and my present with a slightly different light having read this.

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Tati. January 17, 2012 at 5:44 pm

This book, changed the way I thought of my best friend, Will, who just happens to be gay. I loved reading it; it is officially the best book I’ve ever read!

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SMKY January 18, 2012 at 3:59 am

Check out our review of ‘Looking for Alaska’ http://bit.ly/x8f7HD

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Violet January 18, 2012 at 11:02 am

I love this book, i’ve read it over and over and it is still my favorite. I wish i could write half as interesting stories as this book.

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Matti January 18, 2012 at 6:37 pm

John Green,
Let me just start this by saying you are my all time FAVORITE author. Seriously, I love your books. “Looking for Alaska” and “The Fault in Our Stars” are my go-to books when I’ve got nothing else to read. Your writing has inspired me, made me laugh, made me cry, and taught me a lot about life and love. I hope someday I will have the pleasure of meeting you in person.
Love,
Matti

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Matti January 18, 2012 at 6:50 pm

P.S. JOHN GREEN I LOVE YOU!!!!

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Ruthie January 26, 2014 at 6:51 am

105Your style is so unique in ciaomrospn to other folks I’ve read stuff from. I appreciate you for posting when you have the opportunity, Guess I will just book mark this web site.

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Rhiannon January 19, 2012 at 8:38 pm

I love Looking for Alaska! This book changed my life! Thank you for writing this book. I wish there were a way for me to personally tell you how this book changed me.

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Elena Kilian January 22, 2012 at 6:15 am

I love your books !!!

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megan January 24, 2012 at 4:49 pm

This book changed my perspective on life and death; Our bodies die, but we are only truly dead when we are forgotten.
Such an inspiration

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Alaksa Malone January 26, 2012 at 4:34 am

I absolutely loved this book it was brilliant and also it is very hard to find a book with a character that sharwes the same name as i do so it was great to start with but it was just an incredible book!

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Todd, UK January 30, 2012 at 4:22 pm

My brother has been watching all the videos etc for a while, then he told me to read this book. I finished it in 3 days – with school, a record! It’s made me think so differently about life and I’m so grateful you wrote this, John. I go to seek a Great Perhaps.

Todd, England

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Adrial McDaniel February 4, 2012 at 2:25 pm

Looking for alaska has to be my all time favorite book. It has helped me find my way through the labyrinth and I have found my own great perhaps. John green has inspired me to write my own book. i just need some help getting it off the ground.

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MJ February 8, 2012 at 4:35 pm

loved every bit of this book my first one by John Green and i’m totally hooked was totally heart broken by it was wishing for her to come back but it was reality smacked back in your face. loved the characters and felt every bit of their happiness and pain. worth the time and money! :-)

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Brian February 9, 2012 at 3:59 pm

I want to buy this book (all of your books actually, except for TFiOS which I already own) but I want to make sure I do so through a link where you will receive proper compensation for your masterpiece even if it means paying more. Where is such a link?

Thanks!

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Nadia February 9, 2012 at 9:57 pm

I saw this book as entertaining, in a sense of never being able to put it down. It just took hold of your attention and never let go. I think John Green and his works are BRILLIANT. Just Perfect. I have never felt this way about any other book. And I’m being honest.

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Nadia February 9, 2012 at 9:58 pm

Well, I’ve never felt this way about any other book not written by John Green.

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