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Parent reviews for Looking for Alaska

Common Sense says

Award-winning novel of life and death, for older teens.
Based on our expert review

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 43 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 176 reviews
Adult Written bysadmom April 23, 2013

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...

This title contains:

Sexy stuff
Parent of a 16 year old Written byObiMomKenobi February 9, 2011

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!!!

This title contains:

Sexy stuff
Language
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Parent of a 2 year old Written bychremotic October 30, 2009

Inappropriate Scene

There is an inappropriate scene where a girl gives a guy a bj. Very graphic.

This title contains:

Sexy stuff
Parent of a 14 year old Written byJulianne.Friedman April 6, 2011

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 2 year old Written byDrew77766 November 29, 2010

The Book to start your own journey

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Adult Written byMcCat June 14, 2014

Not for young teens...

This goes beyond, drinking, smoking, and sex. Many of the books middle schoolers read have those topics and the theme outweighs the vices. This however, gives some pretty graphic details of oral sex and I don't feel like the under 16 crowd needs this in a book.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Sexy stuff
Parent of a 14 year old Written byLena M February 23, 2010

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.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Parent of a 6 and 9 year old Written byaksunmama September 21, 2010

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!

This title contains:

Educational Value
Adult Written bybshay29 April 27, 2009

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!!
Adult Written byalexjoy November 10, 2009

perfect

While this book does include references to drinking, sex, smoking, marijuana, reckless behavior, and obscene language, you should read it if you are considering not allowing your child to. Children today are experiencing and learning about things very early, so by not allowing your child to read this book you are not shielding them from anything. In all honesty i believe that by parents being naive, and hoping their kids do not already know about the topics discussed in this book, you are hurting your child. the lessons that are portrayed in this book concerning various topics are excellent, and could be very beneficial to SOME decisions they will shortly be making, or already have made. while some topics like smoking, and drinking are not heavily reinforced with consequences this simply means that you should talk to your child about these issues. However, even with smoking and drinking consequences are mentioned, but they are not done so in an up front way. so some children may not catch on. the real issue being this particular reading material is great despite controversial topics that are in the novel.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Parent of a 12 and 12 year old Written byDtownmom October 3, 2014

Inappropriate Material

The protagonist goes looking for the "Great Perhaps." I thought it might be something powerful and meaningful. But what it turns out to be is him hanging out with a bunch of other teens whose pastimes are drinking heavily, smoking, watching porn, and playing mean pranks. While it was horrible and stupid from the beginning, the real jaw-dropper was the lesson in oral sex. Really? In a book marketed to children? Do you know who is reading John Green books these days? It's all the way down to 5th graders, 10-year-olds. Mr. Green defends the scene by saying it is not erotic. Hello! That's worse! It is very casual. The receiver has barely even made eye contact with the girl, and afterward, he basically ignores her. Made me want to vomit.

This title contains:

Sexy stuff
Language
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adult Written byALing71 January 13, 2014

Glued Fingers

This book is a great book for your children to read! It shows positive messages very much like the book "The Fault in Our Stars" . I teach grades 9th & 10th at a highschool and they all seemed to have fell in love with "Looking for Alaska". As a teacher I believe this book is a great book for students starting thier freshman and sophmore year.

This title contains:

Educational Value
Positive Messages
Positive role models
Sexy stuff
Language
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adult Written byJess02 April 20, 2010
Sure the book has sex,drugs,and language. But it goes through a teens life. What do you think most teens are doing today? Plus, just because the book has some explict content,doesn't mean its a terrible book. I have read this book, and so has my mom and we both enjoyed it! The book gives a postive messgae at the end. Besides most kids who are 13+ already know everything that's in that book. It's not like they've never heard those words before in school or else where.

This title contains:

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Positive Messages
Adult Written byamicia September 28, 2009
this book is really good. i am 13 and i read this book when i was 12. i dont see why people think it is so inappropriate. in the book it deels with many issues that teens face daily and while they are "dark" and "inappropriate" the book teaches very good lessons and is very realtable.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Parent of a 18+ year old Written bydarkfang911 March 16, 2011

Love love love this book

I personally loved this book when it came out. It is extremely interesting and provocative entertaining!!
Adult Written byCrazyMusicKat April 6, 2015

Shows The Truth

I believe this book is very educational about the world we live in today. As sad as it is, the world we are surrounded by is portrayed accurately through this book. We all experiences crushes, "love", heartbreak, depression, and regret. This book portrays that. People have tendencies to smoke or drink their problems away, thinking it will actually help. In reality, however, it makes it worse. As for the sex scene, it is inappropriate. It does not impact the story, however, it is quite inappropriate.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Adult Written byKristalkaye February 25, 2014

All the hype, no come through

The book was hyped so much. It was a disappointing read from beginning to end. Lacked original imagination. (something that has been done 100 times before and better) Didn't create, nor stick to the mere story line or the "plot". I feel as though the book had a whole lot of nice words and sayings but not worth the read at all. The outcome of Alaska was utterly stupid and just when the book seemed to be picking up interest. Hopefully fault in our stars is a much better read..

This title contains:

Consumerism
Adult Written byLizBriz April 9, 2008

A Modern Day Separate Peace

Our whole family listened to this book together and it was rivoting. There are certainly tough issues and frank discussion about sex, the frequent use of alcohol and tobacco by some of the students, but all presented realistically and from a teens perspective. Very enlightening for any age. We loved how it was written, that there was mystery, humor, sadness, all in one book! Great read.
Parent of a 3 year old Written byredheadheroines December 10, 2011

Unsettling, Yet Ultimately Rewarding

Looking for Alaska is a coming-of-age novel that does not condescend to the reader, but rather, forces them to think critically about life, death, friendship, and conforming to social norms. However, the content itself is a bit unsettling for a teen novel, even if it does serve to prove a great point. - Alyssa of Redhead Heroines

This title contains:

Educational Value
Sexy stuff
Language
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adult Written byJohn.green19 July 15, 2012

Fantastic for mature audiences

This book is FANTASTIC If you are open minded to mature content and can see metaphorical resonance there within.

This title contains:

Educational Value
Positive Messages
Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Language
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

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