* Please note that this post contains spoilers. *
I don’t normally post about the books I read. Book reviews aren’t my thing. However, I wouldn’t categorize this post as a book review. More of a book rant. Don’t worry. I’ll keep it short, I promise.
I read Looking for Alaska because it was on sale. And because of John Green’s popularity with the youth of this glorious country of ours. To say I was disappointed would be an understatement. I gave the book 2 out of 5 stars on Goodreads. I reserve my one star ratings strictly to shit writing I don’t even bother to finish. Books I’d easily sacrifice as burning material for fires during a natural disaster, or as toilet tissue when the last roll is used up unexpectedly. But I actually managed to finish Looking for Alaska. Hence the second star.
I have two major issues with this novel.
The first issue is the way the second half of the book is dragged out. The characters in this book are supposedly ridiculously smart. Whenever college is mentioned, the options are strictly kept within the Ivy Leagues. Culver Creek Boarding School is the upper echelon of any of the other competing private schools in the area. And public school? Forget about it. So, with all that being said, how is it that the smartest kids in the state have such a hard time putting two and two together regarding Alaska’s motivations? Because it was pretty fucking obvious.
Which leads me to issue number two. Love. Miles loves Alaska, supposedly. He is one of her closest friends. Supposedly. This girl did not keep her depression a secret. Not well, anyway. She told him about her mother. She told him the date she died. She told him everything. Unfortunately, Miles is too focused on her tits and getting his dick wet (pardon the crude language) to even remember these significant details about his so-called “friend.” Why? Well, because John Green needed another hundred pages. That’s why.
This book had potential. In the end, Miles says he didn’t really know Alaska, because she wouldn’t let him. I call bullshit. He just didn’t pay enough attention. I did. And seeing as how the book is told from Miles’ point of view, he should have seen it, too. Maybe it’s because he’s a stupid teenage boy? But I think it was simply to warrant the filler events that occur after Alaska’s death. Which to me does not make a good story.
Yes, I am aware that this is a YA novel. Maybe I’m holding it to too high a standard, based on the audience the writing is directed towards. I just feel that young adults deserve higher quality writing than this.
Sorry, John Green. 2 out of 5 stars. But maybe the movie adaptation will be better? After all, they drastically improved Scorch Trials, of the Maze Runner series, for the silver screen. However, I highly doubt that will be the case with Looking for Alaska.
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