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am 9. Mai 2017
A book that should not be “wasted“ (sorry) only on teenagers…

Miles Halter is sixteen when he succeeds in persuading his parents to send him to Culver Creek, the boarding school that is a tradition in his dad’s family. He hopes for…well, more: Something of a loner, with no real friends at his old school, his hobby is reading biographies – and collecting famous persons‘ last words on their dying beds.He argues with his parents: “I go to seek a Great Perhaps“. p. 8, PERHAPS not what he is living with now.

Miles‘ start in Birmingham, Alabama, comes with roommate ‘The Colonel‘ – and a very pretty girl named Alaska who offers more than just a little danger to the peace of mind. Well, Miles might collect last words – but moody and somewhat unpredictable Alaska is an avid reader and soon challenges him: on death, life, pulling of a prank, the sense of everything. Something of the trouble raiser she is, she pulls him into her world, „Sometimes you lose a battle. But mischief always wins the war.“ p. 71, Miles still feels deeply attracted. Or, as the Colonel puts it: „I just did some calculations, and I’ve been able to determine that you’re full of shit.“ p. 98

Both, his teachers, the school and his new friends prove to be demanding for Miles, and his former attitude of shrugging everything off and rather living a lonely life where nothing might really matter. Things do begin to matter, though, and Miles and his friends do have to make up their minds as they will be forever shaken by what happens.

The tone is light, the book is an easy read – but it comes up with a good set of intelligent questions on life, death, loyalty, meaning, loss, and friendship – without giving too easy answers but rather offering a guideline along the way. Clearly dedicated for teens, I still found it enjoyable even as a grown-up (somewhat to my surprise, I did not like teen lit much even when I was a teen). One might find some persons lacking more detail – but then, just as they are, I guess they offer better potential for simply more identification, so – I liked the book as it is! Author John Green does not shy of really getting to the matter – may it be teenage drinking, smoking, loss, death, or first sexual experiences. I will never ever look at my tooth paste innocently again!

Recommendation – particularly for the 10th anniversary edition. Not only does it look sophisticated (and that coming from me, I HATE cover shopping) with its gold and black and white style, the metallic look and the slight embossing of details, gorgeous with its black edge and black flyleaf/endpaper (yes!). It also comes with an extra introduction and an attachment which will help you better understand the story and its making.

Follow up:
Movie: Harvey (deutsch: Mein Freund Harvey) James Stewart. No other version allowed. Mein Freund Harvey [Blu-ray]
Book: Colin Higgins: „Harold and Maud“ (Harold und Maud…). There also is a decent movie for it, the book goes slightly deeper, the movie has got very apt music. Harold und Maude [Blu-ray]Harold and Maude: (Fremdsprachentexte) (Reclams Universal-Bibliothek)Deuce.

Or, as Alaska would recommend: Gabriel Garçia Marques "The General in His Labyrinth" The General in His Labyrinth (Everyman's Library Classics)
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am 26. September 2014
"Miles Halter's whole life has been one big non-event, until he meets Alaska Young. Gorgeous, clever and undoubtedly screwed up, Alaska draws Miles into her reckless world and irrevocably steals his heart. For Miles, nothing can ever be the same again."

After "The Fault in Our Stars" this is the second John Green book I read and it's almost as good. It's poignant, humorous, sad and intense, and the characters stay with you like friends, like you know them personally. It's an authentic story of a young man... struggling with life, and love, and loss.

The book is divided into two parts, "Before" and "After". While reading the "Before" I was constantly wondering what could happen that can draw such a clear line between the two parts. Well, I won't tell you a thing, except that the "Before" is quite different than the "After". And I personally didn't expect THAT to happen at all. But I must say, in the end I really liked how the story continued and how the characters developed.
Especially Alaska is a very captivating character: clever, funny, melancholic and full of inconsistencies. Reckless and completely lost. You get to know her and you mostly love her (also, sometimes you don't love her), but you never fully understand her, she's hard to grasp, she remains a mystery. I feel like I can tell you tales about her, but still… I don't know her at all (like nobody in the story really does). But God, she's fascinating!
And Miles… this guy collects famous people's last words - that's just great! Loved this detail (and many many last words are woven into the story).

I liked the raw sentences and sharp dialogues. John Green's wit is what makes this story so extremely attractive and makes it worth to read the book over and over again, just because of the sparkling dialogues and observations you just can't get enough of. I love it.
The novel makes it clear that life is full of twists and turns and you can never prepare for them. Sometimes the life you just start to feel comfortable with ends in an instant. You get a little lost then, you try to collect the pieces remaining - and then life just goes on, it doesn't wait for you… but that's ok.

4,5 stars for "Looking For Alaska" (vs. 5 stars for "The Fault In Our Stars").
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am 21. März 2014
Nachdem ich so begeistert von Green’s The Fault in Our Stars gewesen bin, musste ich einfach noch andere Bücher des Autors lesen. Nachdem ich Looking for Alaska nun beendet habe, weiß ich ehrlich gesagt nich so recht, wie ich es bewerten soll.

Miles lebt in Florida und führte bisher ein eher unspektakuläres und ruhiges Leben. Freunde hat er eigentlich keine, was ihn aber auch nicht weiter zu stören scheint, und in seiner Freizeit liest er gerne Biografien, wobei er sich vor allem für “letzte Worte” interessiert. Seine letzten beiden Schuljahre will Miles jetzt aber auf einer Schule in Alabama verbringen. Kaum angekommen wird er von Miles zu “Pudge”, befreundet sich mit seinem Mitbewohner Chip, oder auch “the Colonel” genannt und lernt das schönste Mädchen überhaupt kennen: Alaska Young. Alaska ist ein ziemlich durchgeknalltes Mädchen, bei dem man nicht immer weiß, wenn sie etwas ernst meint und deren Stimmungen ziemlich schnell mal umschwenken können. Pudge verliert ziemlich schnell sein Herz an sie doch dann geschieht etwas, das alles verändert.

Miles alias Pudge war nicht gerade mein Lieblingscharakter. Ehrlich gesagt fand ich ihn eher langweilig, auch wenn mich seine Begeisterung für letzte Worte ziemlich interessiert hat. Um ehrlich zu sein fand ich jeden anderen Charakter interessanter als ihn. Ich hab’s auch nicht so richtig verstanden, warum er sich in Alaska verliebt hat, denn plötzlich war er es einfach. Ok, sie ist scheinbar ziemlich heiß, lustig, wahnsinnig intelligent und abgesehen von ihren Stimmungsschwankungen einfach nur perfekt. Aber ansonsten kam es mir so vor, als wolle er sie nur, um seine jungfräulichen Bedürfnisse zu stillen und besonders nachdem das große Drama eingetreten ist, ging er mir besonders auf die Nerven und ich war ziemlich froh, dass der Colonel überraschenderweise mal Klartext mit ihm geredet hat. Der Colonel ist auch einer der Charaktere, den ich richtig gern hatte und besonders seine Beziehung zu seiner Mutter fand ich richtig herzerwärmend. Auch kleinere Charaktere wie Takumi oder auch den Eagle haben mir gut gefallen.

Die Kapitel beginnen immer sozusagen mit einem Countdown und los geht es mit One Hundred and Thirty-Six Days Before. Man ist natürlich sofort neugierig darauf, was passieren wird und ich persönlich habe nicht damit gerechnet, weswegen ich schon überrascht war. Diese Before Kapitel konnten mich allerdings nicht sonderlich mitreißen, ziemlich oft war ich gelangweilt und wartete darauf, dass mal etwas passiert. Irgendwie kam es mir so vor, als würde unsere Clique die ganze Zeit nur das selbe machen: Trinken, Sex, rauchen, trinken, rauchen, ach und Streiche spielen, die ich nicht einmal wirklich lustig fand. Pudge hat mich hier auch etwas enttäuscht, gerade eben meinte er noch, er trinke eigentlich keinen Alkohol und rauchen tut er auch nicht und kaum auf dieser Schule ist er dauerbesoffen und am Rauchen (wobei er von seinen eigenen Zigaretten am wenigsten abbekommen hat, da der Colonel ja alle weggeraucht hat). Insofern gefiel mir die Umsetzung der After Kapitel viel mehr, vor allem waren sie zum Teil richtig emotional, auch wenn ich hier jetzt keine Träne vergießen musste. Zum Lachen oder Grinsen gab es in diesen Kapiteln im Gegensatz zu denen davor, bei denen ich doch ab und zu mal schmunzeln musste, auf jeden Fall nichts mehr.

Was mir an dem Buch gefallen hat, war ganz klar der Schreibstil von Green und seine Art, dass man selbst mal in’s Grübeln kommt. Die Charaktere beschäftigen sich oft mit der Frage “How will I ever get out of this labyrinth?” und behandeln diese so tiefgründig, sodass man manchmal vergisst, dass die Kids vielleicht 16 Jahre alt sind.

“You spend your whole life stuck in the labyrinth, thinking about how you’ll escape it one day, and how awesome it will be, and imagining that future keeps you going, but you never do it. You just use the future to escape the present.”

Wahrscheinlich hab ich mir einfach viel mehr erwartet, da wirklich jeder so sehr von dem Buch geschwärmt hat. Ich finde Looking for Alaska nicht unbedingt schlecht, doch begeistert bin ich davon auch nicht. Miles als Hauptcharakter hat mich zum Großteil gelangweilt und besonders der Before Teil konnte mich nicht immer mitreißen. Die Nebencharaktere fand ich eigentlich ganz toll und auch die tiefgründigen Abschnitte sowie Green’s Schreibstil haben mir sehr gut gefallen. Deshalb bekommt das Buch 3 Sterne von mir.
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am 23. Juni 2010
The main protagonist and the first person narrator of the book is Miles Halter a sixteen years old boy from Florida who is leaving his hometown to go to Culver Creek Preparatory School which is in Alabama. Therefore the main setting of the book is in Alabama, where Miles new school is. At the beginning of the book, when his parents arrange a goodbye party, Miles was not very liked in his school because to his party come only two persons. But at his new school a lot of things change in his life now. At first he gets to know Chip his roommate. And then he gets two know the girl Alaska and he fall in love with her. But the relationship between them isn't easy everytime because for Alaska Miles is only a good friend and not more. But by and by they come closer to each other. Furthermore a big tragedy happens, because Alaska has got a car accident and dies. Because of this blow Miles begins to find out the reason for her death. And therefore he hast to ascertain that Alaska was very important for him and that he still miss her. The most important person in the book is Miles and he hast got a special ability because he can perceive the last words of people. And he is a tall and skinny boy. In contrast to Miles, Alaska is a self- destructive, wild girl who captures Miles heart and attention. I would give the book five stars out of five, because it is very exciting to read and the book is full different acts which make it very absorbing. I would advise the book to teenager because it is a very nice hopeless love story at the beginning and has got a dramatic course which ends very sorrowful.
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am 3. Mai 2014
Sozialer Versager ohne Freunde ? Check
Bricht aus seiner vertrauten Umgebung und wagt den Sprung ins Neue? Check
attraktives Mädchen, das zu viel Schopenhauer gelesen hat und unserem Protagonisten den Kopf verdreht? Check
Erste, sexuelle Erfahrungen ? Check
Ein offensichtlicheres Ende als jeder Disney Film? Check :(

Klingt zunächst wirklich schlecht, ist es zugegebener maßen auch. Dennoch hat John Green einen angenehmen Schreibstil und die Geschichte ist abgesehen von den ganzen Klischees wirklich schön. Das ändert aber nichts, an dem mehr als offensichtlichem Ende. Leute, ist das euer Ernst ? Ich möchte diesen wichtigen Teil nicht spoilern, aber ich denke man weiß, was gemeint ist. Was mich am meisten gestört hat, war die Passage - ACHTUNG: SPOILER - RUNTERSCROLLEN-


Als Miles mit seiner Mitschülerin und ersten Freundin rummacht und sie seine Genitalien auspackt. "Wooooooo, itz so biiiiiiig" Leute, das ist ja der Hammer ! Miles ist gar kein Loser, er hat einen wundervollen, riesigen Lümmel ! Miles ist gerettet ! Ich habe vor Freude und Mitgefühl Tränen geweint.

Wer wirklich gute Literatur in dieser Kategorie lesen möchte, dem kann ich "The Catcher in the Rye" und "The Perks of being a Wallflower" empfehlen. Denn das hier, ist desillusionierter Schwachsinn.
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am 21. November 2017
After a very long time, I've finished Looking for Alaska by John Green. This book is about Miles, called Pudge, who went on a boarding school in Alabama. There he meets new friends who open a new world to him. Beside studying, they break several school rules and love to prank their enemies.

First let me start talking about Alaska Young, a friend of Pudge and one of the most important characters of the book. To be honest, I did not like her very much. She is confusing sometimes and does a lot of wrong things. One thing I liked about her is that she really is what you call a Feminist. She points out when someone says mean and inappropriate things to or about females. She makes people think about the world and about their action and why they belong here. Alaska is a very philosophical person and I liked that. To talk shortly about the other characters in the book. All of them are experiencing new things in this book. Especially Pudge, who never had real friends before and was new to a lot of things. They all were in the final stages of becoming an adult and they acted as such adolescents. I did not have a favorite person in the book, I did not like them all very much.

John Greens writing style is something unique. In this book, he wrote like a teenager (if this makes sense), but you literally were sucked into the story and believed everything that happened. And writing like a teenager would was very authentic. But to be honest, I did not get that John-Green-Book-Feeling. I read The Fault in Our Stars several years ago (and might read it very soon again) and I don't know, I got that very special feeling. People are always talking about that too. I mean, you can't compare these two books.

The book is divided into two parts. The "before part" and the "after part". The before one was a bit long-winded and the climax of the story was not a surprise to me, because I knew something would happen when there is a before and after part. But what really got me was the ending. That turned the whole story around. The ending really impressed me.

All in all, the book was good. And it became very handy to have an annotated version of the book, I liked that. I'm not gonna stop reading John Green books, they are brilliant.
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am 1. März 2011
Gold Star Award Winner!

Miles Halter is the type of high-schooler who always faded into the background at his public school in Florida. He had few friends, by choice as much as by fate, and wanted only to study his passion--memorizing the last words of people who had died. After reading the dying words of poet Francois Rabelais, "I go to seek a Great Perhaps", Miles is convinced that there's more to life than what he's so far experienced.

So Miles sets off to spend his junior and senior years at Culver Creek, a private boarding school in Alabama. There he gains his first nickname "Pudge" (a misnomer, by far, since Miles is quite skinny); meets his first love, Alaska Young; has his first sexual encounter with a Romanian girl named Lara; and gains two great male friends, Chip "The Colonel" Martin and Takumi Hikohito. He also experiences the joys and sickness of getting drunk, the strangeness of smoking cigarettes, and the unadulterated pleasure of playing pranks.

Pudge's new group of friends have their own quirks--The Colonel memorizes countries, capitals, and populations; Alaska collects books for her Life's Library that she hasn't yet read; Takumi relishes being The Fox. They all work together to irritate their teachers, avoid confrontation with The Eagle, the school's dean, and pull off pranks against the rich Weekday Warriors that are the popular clique at Culver Creek.

But LOOKING FOR ALASKA is mostly the story of growing up, of falling in love, of dealing with loss, and getting through life as best that you can. With wonderful dialogue, fascinating prose, and characters that are so real you'll think you know them personally, this is a book well worth reading. Not just is it the story of a group of teenagers looking to find their way out of the labyrinth of loss, or just the story of finding our Great Perhaps, LOOKING FOR ALASKA is about living the best life that can be led.

I loved this story, and highly recommend it. Once you do, you'll realize it's no surprise that it won the Teen's Top 10 Award and the Michael J. Printz Award--in fact, it probably deserves more.

Reviewed by: Jennifer Wardrip, aka "The Genius"
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am 21. Juli 2014
IV. Before I started reading "Looking for Alaska", I expected the novel to deal the story of a man, who is tired of living in his hometown and decides to move to Alaska. But the novel tells a story of a boy, who is bored of his life and decides to go to a boarding school. There he experiences the qualities of life, which have been hidden from him all these years of loneliness. Now he gathers all those experiences with his friends, especially with a girl called Alaska. While he is taking part in boarding school life, he soon realizes, that not only his life has changed, also his character of shyness and low self- esteeam has changed into an exciting and proud personality. The story seems to have a good developement until Alaska, who he felt in love with commits suicide. But the question that comes up is why she did it. Still stuck in grief, the major character and his friends are "looking" for the the truth behind Alaska`s death. This heartbreaking story is packed in the humourous and sarcastic style of writing of John Green. While reading the novel you will realize that the story deals with friendship, loyality, responsibility, grief and the question of existence many young people try to figure out today.
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am 2. Juni 2013

What I like about this book is, how you can fully identify yourself with the characters and empathize with them. At the part where Miles and the Colonel learn that Alaska has died, it made me feel really sad, almost as if I was the one who lost a close friend.

I heard from the author, that when writing about Culver Creek, he didn't just make it up, but he also referred to the school he went to as a teenager. All the places like the smoking hole, the swing or the lake actually existed! So maybe that's why you start to feel like being there, while reading.

Looking for Alaska isn't the kind of book that gives you indubitable facts, it only gives you opinions from different views and you can decide what you think.
Alaska for example describes her father as someone who blames his daughter for her mom's death; someone who she doesn't like to talk about, who maybe doesn't even love her enough. But later at Alaska's funeral her dad makes sure to close her coffin because he remembered her telling him so eight years ago. It just made me think, that he DID care about her after all...

My favorite part in the book though, was when Alaska, the Colonel, Lara, Miles and Takumi tell about their best/worst day. At that point it was very easy to forget that they are only made-up characters. Their stories are just so touching and give them personality.

My class teacher made us read this book for school and I'm truly glad she did, because otherwise I probably wouldn't have known about it at all. I really enjoyed reading it and it made me think a lot. I can only recommend it!
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am 7. Juni 2017
What I realized while reading this book was, that I rarely read stories written in the perspective of a guy. Especially teenage (love) novels tend to be narrated by girls. So it was nice to be a teenage boy for a change.

And in the end it feels like we all have the same struggles. What I enjoyed about this book that it was more than a struggle to find love or wanting to be a famous actor or musician.

Pudge was looking for meaning in his life. Trying to find answers in the last sentences of dead people or really caring about the answers of different religions.

Mix that with a bunch of friends who are more the alternative group than your usual populars and are dealing with their own problems and it makes for some good stories.

Of course, since this is a boarding school book, there are some epic pranks played as well and a 'rivaling' group of rich kids.

I enjoyed reading the story. I feel like you have to be okay with not expecting a 'normal' love story narrative, but enjoying the weird places the thoughts of lost teenagers can go. And you'll enjoy this story as well.
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