All member reviews for Looking for Alaska

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Common Sense Media says

Award-winning novel of life and death, for older teens.

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Quality(i)

 

Users say

(out of 146 reviews)
AGE
13
QUALITY
 
Review this title!
Adult Written bysadmom April 23, 2013
AGE
15
QUALITY
 

WATCH OUT!

Holy cow. Be aware this book is available in many MIDDLE SCHOOLS, even though it contains a first-person account of oral sex as well as descriptions of porn film scenes, not to mention the f word, spelled out in all its glory, over and over and over...
What other families should know
Too much sex
Teen, 15 years old Written byohmyitskai August 27, 2010
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

MUST READ

I just wrote a really long review, but it didn't go through or something. The bottom line of is that it's an amazing book, and if you're worried about the "sex scene" you can watch the author, John Green, talk about it in this video; www.youtube.com/watch?v=fHMPtYvZ8tM
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Teen, 16 years old Written bynerdglasses July 11, 2010
AGE
15
QUALITY
 

Books like this are a rare find.

Ah, this is such a beautiful book! The characters are so lifelike and multi-faceted, it's just wonderful. John Green does a fantastic job of balancing excitement and adventure with insightful and philosophical observations. There is definitely underage drinking, drug use, and a little bit of sex, but the characters are not 'rewarded' for any of this, if anything, it all causes their downfalls. And the sex especially is, as John Green once said, a representation of how physical relationships can never ever compare to emotional relationships. So this really is a great read, I highly recommend it.
What other families should know
Great messages
Parent of a 2 year old Written byDrew77766 November 29, 2010
AGE
15
QUALITY
 

The Book to start your own journey

What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Parent of a 2 year old Written bychremotic October 30, 2009
AGE
16
QUALITY
 

Inappropriate Scene

There is an inappropriate scene where a girl gives a guy a bj. Very graphic.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Teen, 17 years old Written byBookworm3 November 28, 2010
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

An easy read with a powerful message.

John Green’s Looking for Alaska is an easy read with a powerful message. Alaska Young is the craziest, most beautiful and self-destructive girl that Miles “Pudge” Halter has ever met. Miles leaves is lonely friendless life in Florida for Culver Creek Boarding School in Birmingham, Alabama. He allows the gorgeous and impulsive Alaska to turn his world upside down and inside out in order to find his “Great Perhaps” the reason, meaning and purpose for his life. Because chapters do not start on new pages it is hard to find a place to stop and it is quite easy to tell yourself “oh I’ll just read a little more” I read this novel in one sitting; it’s haunting and compelling in the simplest of ways. The writing is thought-provoking, funny, and passionate. Green does not shy away from controversial topics; this novel deals with underage drinking, smoking, sex and vulgar language. Though Green addresses these issues in a way that leaves readers understanding of the consequences of such choices, he certainly does not endorse those actions and this is evident from the climax. The characters act like the teenagers they are, they break rules, pull pranks on fellow students and act rebellious for the sake of being rebellious, but they are complex and vividly-real. The first half of the novel is an adventure of self discovery, lust, friendship and seeking the “Great Perhaps” readers will laugh their way thorough it – the end is an adventure of another matter, seeking the truth and understanding of loss and strengthening the bonds of friendship. Looking for Alaska is the perfect story for any teenager. Readers will laugh at the witty narration, smile at innocent love, and cry for the realistic truths that this novel holds.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Educational value
Great messages
Parent of a 14 year old Written byJulianne.Friedman April 6, 2011
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

Great book, nothing that should worry parents though.

One good book! Read it. It sends a message and many kids don't enjoy reading. Something about drugs sex and alcohol intrigues teens to read more. It's a very good book and I would recommend it to anyone over the age of 12. Kids already know what those things are by then reading a book is not going to want them to go out there and try it, even though most kids at the age of 12 have drank alcohol before and some have even tried drugs. Books and movies are not something that influence kids or teens to do these things. Its simply curiosity and nothing more. Parents should simply not worry about what kids and teens decide to read.
Parent of a 16 year old Written byObiMomKenobi February 9, 2011
AGE
16
QUALITY
 

Good for older teens, with parental guidance.

(While I liked this book, I would recommend reading it before you give it to your older teenager. It has content that you will possibly want to discuss with them.) John Green has portrayed the characters exactly as you would expect them to behave without parental supervision. Drinking, smoking, extreme language and casual sex are a part of these kids lives. There is a darkness in the way they have to flounder through the events that happen to them... to somehow survive the situations thrust upon them. I have been where these kids are... exactly. And John Green tells the TRUTH in how the characters grow through their grief. My biggest concern with teens reading this book, is that they will want to BE Alaska... not realizing that her 'coolness' is also a result of what makes her so screwed up. I do, however, think that the mature, older teen can definitely read critically, and see through this. I would also be concerned for teens prone to depression... this could feed that feeling. This I know from experience. All in all... wonderful book for older readers!!!
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 15 years old Written byGrace1111 April 24, 2011
AGE
12
QUALITY
 
I thought this book was amazing. I so often find teen literature disappointing and predictable, but this book was very well written with an amazing plot to back it up.
Teen, 17 years old Written byGCU106Andrew November 29, 2010
AGE
14
QUALITY
 

The book of all books, will open your eyes

This book, was by far the best book that I have ever read. It shows readers a thing or two about trust and living life to the fullest. It was amazing, no other author could have pulled off the suprised twist in the middle of the book the way Green handled it, and the ending, was simply the end of a 20 year series, or thats how if felt rather. Green puts you in the middle of the story with his vivid details and the way he flows through the book. He makes you want to not put the book down because he is not talking about Wizards or Dragons, he is talking about real life here and this is what counts, this book is by far the most amazing thing i have ever read because it changed me and my view on a lot of things, if you ever want a good quick or a powerful read, or a even a new author to get into, this book, more like this story " Looking for Alaska" is the one you want to go to the book store to get, not the library, the BOOK STORE.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 14 years old Written bysoftball_rockstar10 April 10, 2011
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

good for teens.. really makes you think about life

i absolutley love the book.. im 14 and it helped me notice that drinking smoking and all that isnt good and what the outcome could be. also it helped me think what really happens after we die? is there s beyond? but i feel this book shouldnt be criticised as bad becauase od the drinking smoking and sexual content of the story because almost every teen and pre teen knows about it all from tv or friends. and its life, theyre bound to find out sooner or later.. my point is its a great book and everyone should read it!! it really makes you think about things.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Teen, 17 years old Written byMaddie_Moonlight November 7, 2010
AGE
16
QUALITY
 
Looking For Alaska is one of the best books I have read, It issomething different for all the other teenage books out there. You can quote the entire book and see a little of yourself in each character.
Teen, 16 years old Written byyayayay February 13, 2011
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

Changed my life!

The swearing is annoying because I don't swear, but other than that, this book CHANGED MY LIFE. I read it 2 times in one day lolz. I've been having the worst year of my life (all my fault though) and I've messed up everything I could possibly have messed up. For the longest time I was wallowed in self pity and my only friend that I had/have now told me to read it and when I did, it just completely changed who I am. It made me stop doing things for everyone else and it made me realized that this is MY LIFE, and one day nobody else is going to care so I need to do things for ME. I think I learned this because it showed me how short life really is and that I can take control of things and make my life what I want it to be. I thought it was all so very captivating and the end message gave me goosebumps. Oh, and Alaska taught me to be more spontaneous (but not stupid lol). She taught me that sometimes you have to do things and stop worrying about what will happen. She taught me to just put myself out there and thanks to John Green, I'm turning my life around. So, what's the lesson here? READ THIS BOOK! You won't regret it :)
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Educational value
Great messages
Parent of a 6 and 9 year old Written byaksunmama September 21, 2010
AGE
14
QUALITY
 

Wish I would would have read this book when I was 15.

Loved this book. Good book to bring up issues about depression which is not spoken about often enough in the stressful teen-world. Also, shows life in a realistic manner - not everyone is the popular kid. There are lots of challanges to being a teen. Loved that the kids had to ask a friend about sex...good for kids to understand that you should never be embarrased to ask!
What other families should know
Educational value
Teen, 15 years old Written byArtichokes-United May 29, 2011
AGE
15
QUALITY
 

Read it!

There's alot of controversy surrounding this book, and I can certainly understand why. Sex, drugs, and a couple of f-bombs can be found within the pages of this book, but I'm glad they're there. What people often fail to understand is that these things are a part of life, and teens are often faced with them quite frequently. I'm not saying that all us teens lead a secret drug and sex filled life (although you'd be suprised), they're things that we do have to deal with. Looking for Alaska is by far one of the best books I've read, and I know many adults will agree with me on that. The great story that Green lays out is not one of sex, smoking, or drinking. It's one of life, death, and finding yourself, but without those things it would be only a mere shadow of the truth. Before you realize this you can never truely enjoy and comprehend this wonderful work of literature.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Teen, 14 years old Written byAGbookworm January 13, 2011
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

Amazing Book. EVERYONE SHOULD READ!

This book is a beautifully written story. I think any mature 12 year old could handle it. There is a lot of frequent swearing, and the sex is kind of disturbing, plus there is a lot of smoking and drinking. However this story is tugs at your heart strings, the characters are beautifully written, the story is funny, but very sad. The book also is very well written. If your child is mature than they can most likely read this book.
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 16 years old Written byRainy Day November 8, 2010
AGE
15
QUALITY
 

A Subtle, Moving Mystery

"Looking for Alaska" is a book that changed my life. It deals with themes like loneliness, heartache, and teen love with such raw emotion that the words become transcendendent, elegaic and mournful in strange, mysterious ways. The character of Alaska Young herself is one of the most interesting, self-destructive heroines in young-adult literature. As a young writer, John Green's first novel inspires me each day to write "deeper," and to pierce new ground in terms of creating meaningful stories. And I can’t think of another novel that ended so beautifully.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Great messages
Parent of a 14 year old Written byLena M February 23, 2010
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

Stop mollycoddling.

This book has plenty of educational points and is therefore being used in English classes across America. If you took the time to read the Author's blog post on the subject of sexual references in his novel, you would realise he wrote 'certain' scenes not to be crude or controversial, but to explore teenage awkwardness and possibly also peer pressure. Okay, the book isn't suitable for everyone, but mainly because they wouldn't understand the metaphors and philosophical undertones of this book. I would rather have my kids read a book I personally know and love rather than google it and get the wrong ideas. If you are too protective, your kids will just go out and find this stuff for themselves anyway.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Adult Written bybshay29 April 27, 2009
AGE
2
QUALITY
 

Remarkable

i have read this book 3 times in the past year, i cant stop it just sucks you in from page one!! the first time i read Looking For Alaska, i was happy and sad at the same time and i hoped the characters would find what they were looking for. (being discreet in case you havent read it yet) this is by far my favorite book in the world and i would like to thank John Green for writing it and giving the world something to think about upon finishing it. some parts i wish i could go and erase but actually those are the parts that make the story!! i seriously hope someone considers making this into a movie, but not the type of movie where they cut half the actual book out but a movie where they use the book as the script!!
Parent Written byTonyBMG July 9, 2014
AGE
2
QUALITY
 

Seriously?

It has way too much bad language, sex, and drinking – graphic sex and drinking. I can handle the occasional reference to sex, or maybe some drinking in a young adult book, but this book went way over the top. Your teen will learn how to get and stay drunk, the proper manner in which to administer a blow job (very graphic), and how to use the F word in every sentence. http://riffingonreads.com/blog/book-review-looking-for-alaska/
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

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