Looking for Alaska

Looking For Alaska

John Green

A tale of a teenager’s first love, loss and friendship.

The only way out of the labyrinth of suffering is to forgive.

Miles Halter is a fanatic on last words, often quoting them for his own enjoyment. For his junior year of high school, Miles leaves his home state of Florida to attend preparatory school in Alabama. After arriving at his new dormitory, he befriends his new roommate, Chip Martin, who carries the nickname ‘The Colonel’. Chip dubs Miles ‘Pudge’ before acquainting him with his friends, Takumi Hikohito and Alaska Young. After comfortably settling into his new life at the school and enjoying the company of his new friends, Pudge starts to develop feelings for Alaska. Over time the two grow closer and a mixed relationship forms. Soon, Miles will realise the depth of his feelings for Alaska but unfortunately it comes in regrettable circumstances.

Looking For Alaska is a book that has deeply resonated with both teenage and adult audiences as well as creating a cult following. Green’s writing debut is significant, not only does it show the talent of the author but the combination of themes is a revelation, tackling grief, love and humour is a hard task but one which Green excels at. The book contains sexual scenes and is therefore inappropriate for younger readers, however it will likely be enjoyed by older readers, whether YA or Adult.

Why do you think Green chose to have the events of the novel centred around Culver Creek school?

Last words are a key theme of the novel, why do you think Green chose to give his character such enthusiasm for the topic?

What effect does the use of nicknames have on the characters and what do the nicknames chosen symbolise about them?

A source of controversy, do you think that the themes of the novel are appropriate for YA audiences?

Why do you think Green chose to blend elements of comedy into the novel? How does this relate to other aspects of the novel?

Would you describe the relationship between Miles and Alaska as a romantic one? How does their relationship differ from that in typical romance novels?

Miles’ parents are absent for most of the book, do you think that Green chose to do this as a way of reinforcing Miles’ new independence at a boarding school? Do you feel it also makes Miles appear more adult and therefore a more suitable character to handle the themes of love and grief that the book covers, along with its sexual scenes?


Pudge, The Colonel and Takumi learn that Alaska was involved in a car accident and has passed away. The friends struggle to come to terms with her death and blame themselves for not intervening. Given Alaska’s emotional instability, they wonder whether the accident was her intention, an act of suicide. The debate surrounding Alaska’s death becomes heightened; Pudge and The Colonel fall out as a result. Eventually they reconcile and decide to plan a prank in honour of Alaska. They hire a male stripper to give a speech at the school ‘Speakers Day’, it causes great amusement even with Mr Starnes. Pudge concludes that Alaska was probably on her way to visit her mother’s grave when the accident occurred as it was the day after the anniversary of her mother’s death. He finally accepts Alaska’s death and forgives her for leaving.

Due to its sexual references and portrayal of the use of tobacco and alcohol, the novel has been a subject of controversy, especially in American schools.

Green attended Lake Highland Preparatory School, Orlando and used it as the inspiration for Culver Creek.

John Green won the 2006 Printz Award for his debut novel, Looking For Alaska.


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“The only way out of the labyrinth of suffering is to forgive.” . . . Book – Looking for Alaska Writer – John Green @johngreenwritesbooks Publication – Harper Collins @harpercollinsin Review: So what's your favourite John Green book? Well, mine is *Fault in our Stars*. But let me tell you, this book is no less. Miles Halter leaves Florida to join a boarding school in Alabama where his father, uncles and their kids once studied. Miles has this unique hobby to read the Last Words of famous personalities. There in boarding school he meets Alaska who is gorgeous, clever and undoubtedly screwed up. Circumstances lands them as friends making Miles more fond of Alaska. . . “So I walked back to my room and collapsed on the bottom bunk, thinking that if people were rain, I was drizzle and she was a hurricane.” That's what Miles thinks of Alaska. The story is well weaved and when it is John Green, you don't have to think about characterization. The cover too symbolises well with the story. My Rating would be – 4.2/5 If you love Romance, this book is a must read for you. Happy reading! (Full review on blog. Link in bio) . . . #reviews #blogger #read #instagood #instaread #bookreview #bookworm #bookoholic #likeforlikes #follow4followback #followtrain #likeforlikes #reviewoftheweek #instaclick #johngreen #lookingforalaska #instagram #bloggerlife

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