Friday, 20 March 2015

Wee Book Review: Looking for Alaska *spoiler free*

Hello lovelies!

Today I have ANOTHER wee book review for you! 
I absolutely had to review this book the second I finished it because a) I needed to figure out how the hell I felt about it and b) my opinion seems to go completely against the grain!
Don't judge a book by it's cover... 
The cover for this was perfect. Simple and elegant (in a funny way considering the writing/daisy is quite childlike), I think this is a great example of a well chosen cover. 
A little bit about it...
This book takes us through the journey of our main character 16 year old Miles, transitioning from public to private school in America in search of the "Great Perhaps". Miles soon finds somewhere to fit in where he didn't before, and falls head over heels for a mystical girl called Alaska. The book introduces us to all the main characters and takes us through the lead up to a mysterious "event" and how Miles and his new friends deal with the fall out afterwards.
What I disliked...

Firstly, I found this book incredibly predictable, the "big twist" was the most obvious twist I think I've read. Secondly, I felt this book objectified women in a massive way, despite the main female character being written as a "feminist" all the female characters in this book were really reduced to their parts. All I really remember about Alaska is she has big tits, curvy hips and amazing hair so yeah there's that. There was also a particularly gruesome piece of objectification that I can't go into detail without spoiling the plot, but I found it really uncomfortable. In addition, there was a real lack of any "real" conversation with the female characters, it was always about "fucking" and boys.

I also didn't particularly enjoy the characters this book had to offer. I found that I couldn't relate to any of them (could this be an age barrier? doubtful, as I can relate to other YA characters). Also, I just found Miles to be so whiny, annoying and selfish.

Finally, I think the book was supposed to leave you with a bit of mystique, but it really didn't leave enough details out to spend much time thinking about it.
What I liked...

In saying all of that, there were some elements of this book I enjoyed. In particular, I really enjoyed the "colonel" character, he was definitely my favourite and the most realistic character in my opinion. The format of the book was cool, similar to Gone Girl with the "X amounts of days before" "X amount of days after" in reference to the (very predictable) big event that happens in the middle of the book. It was a really quick read, which is always good. I think my favourite thing was the writing towards the end, there was some beautiful passages and some nods to philosophy which I really appreciated. Lastly, there definitely were some funny moments that gave me a chuckle.
If you like...I think you'll like this...
I think fans of Fangirl and Perks of Being a Wallflower would enjoy this, and of course I think you will enjoy this if you enjoy other John Green books i.e. Fault in our Stars

On Goodreads I awarded this...

A 3 out of 5 stars however as previously discussed I despise the Goodreads star rating system! It is nowhere near sensitive enough. And this book was very tough to rate, the book clearly split into 2 parts, the first (the before) I would rate 2.5/3 and the second 4 out of 5. I went for the 3, as I just didn't really feel it was a strong 4.
Looking for Alaska by John Green (paperback) is currently £2.85 on amazon

Have you read Looking for Alaska? I would really love to hear from anyone who didn't love like book like me!

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  1. Replies
    1. I did like it, just had a few problems with it, probably doesn't help I was in the middle of doing my dissertation on sexualisation in the media when I was read it though! x