Thursday 4 June 2020

Book Review - Looking for Alaska

Title: Looking for Alaska
Author: John Green
Publisher: HarperCollins;
Release Date: 28 Feb. 2013
ISBN-13: 978-0007523160


BEFORE. Miles Halter’s whole life has been one big non-event until he starts at anything-but-boring Culver Creek Boarding School and meets Alaska Young. Gorgeous, clever, funny and utterly fascinating she pulls Miles into her world, launches him into a new life, and steals his heart. But when tragedy strikes, and Miles comes face-to-face with death he discovers the value of living and loving unconditionally.
AFTER: Nothing will ever be the same.

My Review
I know how popular John Green is and everyone always says how good his books were. I read The Fault in our Stars a few years ago and whilst it didn't wow me, i thought it was ok. So when I saw this in my local discount book store for just £1 I decided to give it a go. 
It has sat on my shelves for a couple of years and not been touched, but once again due to Corona lockdown, I have had tome to read and am trying to get through all the countless books I have in my collection that I have never got round to reading. 
The synopsis sounded intriguing enough, the book itself is quite short so I assumed I would be in for a quick and easy read. 
First of all we meet Miles, a bit of a loner and a nerd. He doesn't really have many friends and hasn't really 'lived'. He is going to a new boarding school in the hope to start living and experiencing. Once there he meets his roommate 'The Colonel' who is kind of cool, into video games, likes to smoke and drink and knows the one an only 'Alaska Young' - a girl who everyone seems fascinated by and pretty much in love with. She is reckless, smart, crazy and full of energy. She runs round school like a little wrecking ball, a burst of colour and opinion. And my goodness was she one of the most annoying characters I have ever met - so self obsessed and thoughtless. I couldn't stand her. But then again I found the Colonel to be just as bad, thinking he's better than others and taking things from Miles - praying on his easy going nature. 
Then we have Miles himself, he is such a pushover and tries so hard to fit in, but fails to see the really important parts of life. Going out and getting drunk is not the way to 'live', it's just called stupidity.
The first half of the book is called 'Before', which follows their lives living up to an 'event'. Once this event happens the book is then 'After'. To be honest though, it was pretty obvious that the event was going to be something dramatic and I did predict that it would be what it was. My main concern and problem with this book was that I just didn't care. I didn't like the characters enough to care and the event had no real impact on me at all. 
The second half of the book made Miles seem a little bit more human, but he still annoyed me and it ended up just being a 100 page long pity party. 
To me, the characters didn't have enough redeeming features or likeable personality for me to want to get to know them. ANd whilst I did read the book fairly quickly, I found myself looking at the pages to see how many more I had to get through. 
It was not an enjoyable read and I don't think it will be one I even remember other than it being simplistic, over the top and annoying. 
I really am not sure I understand the hype around these books, maybe I am just missing something. But for me, this was not a book I would ever read again. 

My Rating

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