Book Review: Looking for Alaska


Popular author John Green’s novel Looking for Alaska has been awarded the Michael L. Printz Award by the American Library Association for its hidden message and ability to reach a variety of readers.
The novel’s main protagonist is an upcoming college student named Miles Halter who is obsessed with people’s last words. His main purpose in life is to find his “Great Perhaps.” That is, until he meets Alaska Young. New friends and foes force Miles out of his comfort zone as he attempts to discover the mystery of Alaska. Miles’s experiences lead him to a greater understanding of life and his “Great Perhaps.”
While many readers find Miles’s journey at Culver Creek exhilarating, others do not agree.

Critics of the story say that it lacks excitement/suspense and feels pointless. The climax starts toward the end of the book, causing the story to feel drawn out. Miles’s discovery of his “Great Perhaps” occurred too late in the book, making it less impactful for the reader.
Those that read the entire book, despite the slow pace of the plot, are able to discover the positive details and the greater meaning behind the novel.
Green takes a unique turn when it comes to his main character Miles. Even the more sociable readers can find relatable qualities in Miles, a social outcast, and will be surprised to discover that they find more similarities between themselves and Miles.
Green conveys an important message to readers that isn’t thought about often enough through the use of a uniquely relatable character such as Miles. While some readers find the story in need of improvement, most overall find it amusing and meaningful. Readers who don’t mind slow-paced books that have an impactful perspective will find themselves thoroughly enjoying this book.