Book Review: Looking for Alaska by John Green

PopSugar 2019 Reading Challenge Prompt: A book with at least one million ratings on Goodreads TW: Death, conversations about su...

PopSugar 2019 Reading Challenge Prompt: A book with at least one million ratings on Goodreads

TW: Death, conversations about suicide, classism, underage drinking

It's true. Looking for Alaska has been on my TBR for way longer than I can remember. Two things forced me into finally reading it - the Hulu show and the fact that it satisfied one of my last remaining PopSugar reading challenge prompts. So here we are, and the book was such a quick read, too. I'm glad I got to it this year.

Miles "Pudge" Halter is a fan of last words, and is on a journey to find his "Great Perhaps." So he leaves his home in Florida and travels to small-town Alabama for boarding school. There he meets new friends and general trouble-makers, Chip "The Colonel," Takumi, and Alaska Young, with whom he quickly becomes smitten. 

I'm a fan of John Green. His books are easy-to-read, with fantastic dialogue, laugh-out-loud moments, and then there's always a big, sad climactic moment. Looking for Alaska follows those same elements throughout this YA novel loosely based on Green's teen years.

There were definitely parts of the book I didn't enjoy, but none that really stuck with me afterwards. Most of the story revolved around underage drinking, a boy obsessing over a girl with a boyfriend, and prank-playing. But underneath all of that, there's a heavy focus on fighting the patriarchy, the family you're born into vs. the family you find, and coping with grief. Overall though, I felt the pros of the book outweighed any cons that may have arisen. The underage drinking isn't quite so glamorized, which is good. And I loved how "F the Patriarchy" Alaska's character is.

The one thing about Green's books that annoys me the most is there's almost always a boy chasing a girl - like almost literally obsessing over her. And that's a major part of Looking for Alaska too, but that's not to say I didn't enjoy this book. Because I did. Another thing, it was very predictable in terms of the climax. I saw it coming from the start, but it felt way too obvious, and then it was the thing. So there's that.

"If people were rain, I was drizzle and she was a hurricane." - Looking for Alaska, John Green

I actually watched the mini-series on Hulu just after finishing the book, and it's possible I liked it even more. It made each of the characters more complex, more developed. The storyline was the same, with some additions, and it made me love the story even more. So if you're on the fence between one or the other, the book or the series - watch the series. But the book is also a quick read, so it's totally worth it too. But you'll likely want to read the book prior to watching the series, if you do both.

Goodreads rating: ★★★★☆

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