Looking for Alaska is a young adult contemporary book. While I haven't read many contemporary books, the few I have read I loved. Found them to be interesting and fun and amazing. But this book just failed to impress me. I found it boring, most of the time. And I'm not sure that I thought at all that I had to keep reading, because I couldn't stop. It just failed to hold my attention. And that's a bit depressing, cause I wanted to love it.
But I just couldn't. I could not connect to the main character, Miles. Who get nicknamed Pudge. He was interesting, I guess, and a bit pathetic, which I sort of liked. But I just didn't like him much at all, because he was also boring. I liked the beginning of this book, where he sits alone with his parents in this old home before going away to boarding school. Waiting for his non-friends to arrive for his mom's going away party. But he have no friends, so it was kind of depressing. But he seemed okay with it. Maybe. Seemed that way.
The whole of this book takes place at this boarding school. It seemed interesting enough. But yeah. I just found this book to be boring, cause nothing was ever happening. There were a few pranks, but not enough, and I didn't even find them funny. Might just be me, though. But yeah. I didn't like them. The guy who runs the school is the Eagle. I kind of liked reading about him. He at least was interesting :) Though I didn't like that he ended up this really soft guy by the end. Was kind of sad about that.
Miles makes a few new friends at this school. The Colonel. Which I found to be a weird name, cause I didn't get it. He is his roomate, the one who names him Pudge. I might have liked him a tiny bit, but I'm not sure about him. He was a bit weird. I kind of liked Takumi. Maybe. He was a bit smarter than the rest. I was confused by Lara, cause I didn't understand her and Pudge's romance. It was weird and ended in a stupid way. So yeah. That did not need to be in this book. It was just awkward, at least for me.
Then there was Alaska. And to be honest, when I read the summary, I thought there would be this amazing romance between her and the main character. There isn't. She has a boyfriend. And she's kind of a total bitch, to be honest, which they all comment on. She's weird and sad and angry. She could be funny and sexy, but I didn't see her that way. I just didn't enjoy reading about her. Even though Pudge was in love with her. Found it all to be kind of too much, to be honest. Just not for me at all.
Okay. I'm not really sure what to say about this book. The plot is kind of interesting. Maybe. At least I didn't stop reading the book, even though I wanted to a few times :) But yeah. After maybe two thirds of this book there is an accident. Someone dies. And then Pudge is like grieving all the time, and it was kind of pathetic, because I didn't get why he cared so much about it. But yeah. I'm sure others will love this book. I just didn't. I couldn't connect with it at all, which was sad, really. I'm giving it a three star, but it might be a two point five star. I'm unsure. I'm sorry, but yeah. Looking for Alaska was not for me.
Update July 7th 2013: I had to change my rating for this book from a three star to a two star. Why? Because while it has been a while since I read it, I just realized that I was not being honest when rating it. I did not enjoy it as much as I claimed with my three star rating. And because of that I had to change it. Because I like being honest, and giving this a star more than it deserve is not being honest. It is officially a two star for me, because I can’t even remember much of the story, and I would not ever re-read the book. I’m sorry, but not really, because you can’t love every book.
Aww it's a shame you didn't enjoy this as much as The Fault in Our Stars. Quite a few people have convinced me that this is better, while several others have recommended TFiOS instead. I guess it'a a subjective thing. Anyway, I'll give them both a try and see how it goes. :) Great review, Carina!ReplyDelete
<3 thank you sweetie :) I think you'll like The Fault in Our Stars better :D lol, but I guess we all have different tastes ;p hope you'll get to read them both soon :)Delete
I must be very honest: I was never interested to read this book in the first place.. There is something about the blurb that makes me already bored with the story *hides from all the fans* But in my defense, I really can't wait to read The fault in our stars! Nice review Carina! I'm sorry to hear you didn't love this as much as you loved TfioS :)ReplyDelete
Heh, I don't blame you :D I had never noticed this book before I read The Fault in Our Stars, and I only bought it because I loved TFiOS so much (A) sorry I didn't like it, but glad I loved TFiOS :) Hope you'll love it too :D Thank you. <3Delete
Sorry this one disappointed you =( I hate when you read one book by an author and absolutely love it and then read another one and dislike it. This actually just happened to me recently and it's such a let down so I totally understand where you're coming from!ReplyDelete
This was a great review and I agreed with every point you made. Maybe it's because I haven't been in school for a while that I didn't connect with the "Perks of Being a Wallflower" style main character. But I truly detested Alaska. If a main character is going to be flawed, they should at least be interesting. Just like nobody wants Patrick Bateman of "American Psycho" coming for dinner, he sure was an amazing main character to read about.ReplyDelete
Alaska's constant "DO NOT OBJECTIFY WOMEN" angered me a lot. It all came out of the blue in spurts like a young person who kind of, sort of, knows what feminism is. I'm a feminist but I don't scream it for everybody to think I'm quirky and intelligent. And I noted she is so objected to sexism but she says she will "flirt her way" through buying alcohol. Kind of hypocritical if you ask me. And the screaming out of "BUT I LOVE MY BOYFRIEND" is pathetic and attention-seeking. In short, I hated her. I did not relate to her or feel sorry for her which is what I think Green wanted. Even though she had her flaws, I think we were supposed to feel sympathetic because of her mother dying and her haphazard self-destructive ways.
A lot of it seemed immature but that might be my age speaking. I cringed and put my head in my hands when it came to a TWO PAGE rapping battle. How embarrassing.
Very disappointed because I'd heard great things about this book. Not for me, sadly. Nice to find people who feel the same about it.
Thank you so much for your long comment on my review :) Ahh, yes. I really hated her too. She just wasn't anything special. I agree with everything you said, especially the rapping battle. Gah. I did not enjoy that, lol :) Thank you. <3Delete
I actually hated this book. It's boring and basically condones bad behavior as long as one doesn't get caught or "hurt anybody". I mean, the characters aren't even the least bit interesting. I would never want to be friends with any of them. There was no reason for Pudge to be so in love with a bitchy, taken girl who is pretty much know for being a slut. There is nothing special about Alaska beyond her name. I was SO disappointed in this failed attempt at a deep book by someone who wrote TFiOS. I wanted to slap Pudge most the time, and I cringed at how smoking, drinking and sex were just about the only things these young teens did or talked about. There was nothing healthy about this book at all. If that is truly what teens these days are like, I feel sorry for the next generation, because they are screwed.ReplyDelete
That said, I'd give it a star for some of the last words quotes being interesting... but he didn't even come up with those, so... no stars from me. :-P Just glad I'm not the only person who doesn't think everything John Green writes is perfection.
Ack. Yess. I do agree with you. If I re-read this book right now, I would hate it :p I'm not sure how I managed to read it when I did. Hmm. But I did love The Fault in Our Stars :D That book is awesome.Delete
Found it! Beautifully written review, Carina. I completely understand your criticisms. I do love a book set in a boarding school mostly because I went to only public schools. The setting allows the kids to experiment with alcohol, smoking and sex because the atmosphere of the school is very liberal. This, of course, is not the case in public schools. I liked Miles and found him very relatable in his awkwardness. Can you imagine being placed in such a school your junior year? When everyone already had pre-established friendships? I also loved his quirkiness -- the way he collected those last word quotes. But, it was John's use of the backwards timeline that I enjoyed the most. It kept the stakes high. Was there a similar plot and set of characters in Paper Towns? Sure. But, I somehow find this forgivable.ReplyDelete