Year 10, Book 96

96. Looking for Alaska by John Green

Miles leaves behind his boring, virtually friendless life to go to boarding school where he befriends his roommate and a girl named Alaska. The three of them embark on many teenage adventures together and philosophize on life in ways that only teenage protagonists in books can.

I have heard a lot of criticism about the way John Green writes teenagers. The only other book I have read by him is The Fault in Our Stars, which I really liked so I never quite got it until I read this book. I found the characters in this book to be entirely unrealistic. They all had immediate seemingly required nicknames for each other and little quirks that somehow were meant to define who they were. Miles can quote any last words of famous people while his roommate can name all the capitals of countries around the world.

As much as the way these teenagers were written bothered me I also acknowledge as someone in her 30s that I am well outside the age range that this book is aimed at. Thinking back to my pre-teen and teenage years this book is probably something I would have eaten up. I definitely remember being drawn to totally unrealistic characters living some idealized, fantasy teenage life that doesn’t really exist. So although this book wasn’t great for me I can see it appealing to the people who it was written for. I give it a 5 out of 10.

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