The unmissable first novel from bestselling and award-winning author of THE FAULT IN OUR STARS and TURTLES ALL THE WAY DOWN.
“In the dark beside me, she smelled of sweat and sunshine and vanilla and on that thin-mooned night I could see little more than her silhouette, but even in the dark, I could see her eyes – fierce emeralds. And beautiful.”
BEFORE. Miles Halter’s whole life has been one big non-event until he starts at anything-but-boring Culver Creek Boarding School and meets Alaska Young. Gorgeous, clever, funny and utterly fascinating she pulls Miles into her world, launches him into a new life, and steals his heart. But when tragedy strikes, and Miles comes face-to-face with death he discovers the value of living and loving unconditionally.
AFTER: Nothing will ever be the same.
Poignant, funny, heartbreaking and compelling, this novel will stay with you forever.
“Miles's narration is alive with sweet, self-deprecating humor, and his obvious struggle to tell the story truthfully adds to his believability.” School Library Journal
“What sings and soars in this gorgeously told tale is Green's mastery of language and the sweet, rough edges of Pudge's voice. Girls will cry and boys will find love, lust, loss and longing in Alaska's vanilla-and-cigarettes scent.” Kirkus
“This is an amazing first novel by a writer who is young enough to vividly remember his powerful years of high school and he expertly turns remembrance into story.” Children’s Literature
“The novel's chief appeal lies in Miles's well-articulated lust and his initial excitement about being on his own for the first time.” Publishers Weekly
About the author
John Green is an award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of several YA novels including THE FAULT IN OUR STARS and TURTLES ALL THE WAY DOWN. He has received numerous accolades including the Printz Medal, a Printz Honor and the Edgar Award. John is also one half of the Vlogbrothers; co-creator, with his brother, Hank, of the popular video blog Brotherhood 2.0, which has been watched more than 30 million times by Nerdfighter fans all over the globe (youtube.com/vlogbrothers).
Join John's 5.3 million followers on Twitter (@johngreen) or visit him online at johngreenbooks.com and probablysignedturtles.com. John lives with his wife and son in Indianapolis, Indiana.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Like his runaway bestseller The Fault in Our Stars, American author John Green’s first novel is an off-kilter love story driven by fantastically vivid characters and smart humour. A bookish teen named Miles—whose special talent is memorising the last words of famous people throughout history—convinces his parents to let him attend boarding school in Alabama. There, he meets the mercurial and beautiful Alaska Young. Looking for Alaska is a celebration of teenage friendship, intellectual awakening and the delicious heartache of infatuation.
This ambitious first novel introduces 16-year-old Miles Halter, whose hobby is memorizing famous people's last words. When he chucks his boring existence in Florida to begin this chronicle of his first year at an Alabama boarding school, he recalls the poet Rabelais on his deathbed who said, "I go to seek a Great Perhaps." Miles's roommate, the "Colonel," has an interest in drinking and elaborate pranks pursuits shared by his best friend, Alaska, a bookworm who is also "the hottest girl in all of human history." Alaska has a boyfriend at Vanderbilt, but Miles falls in love with her anyway. Other than her occasional hollow, feminist diatribes, Alaska is mostly male fantasy a curvy babe who loves sex and can drink guys under the table. Readers may pick up on clues that she is also doomed. Green replaces conventional chapter headings with a foreboding countdown "ninety-eight days before," "fifty days before" and Alaska foreshadows her own death twice ("I may die young," she says, "but at least I'll die smart"). After Alaska drives drunk and plows into a police car, Miles and the Colonel puzzle over whether or not she killed herself. Theological questions from their religion class add some introspective gloss. But the novel's chief appeal lies in Miles's well-articulated lust and his initial excitement about being on his own for the first time. Readers will only hope that this is not the last word from this promising new author. Ages 14-up.