Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9780007523528
Pages: 272
Price: 300 INR

“If people were rain, I was drizzle and she was a hurricane.”

This is one book review where I’ll take care not to divulge much. There are times when you begin a book that grabs your attention by the first word at the first page. Then, there are those that stay with you forever. ‘Looking For Alaska’ by John Green is one such novel.


The genius John Green wants you to be calm and unsuspecting as you begin Miles Halter’s journey to Culver Creek, a boarding school in Alabama. He’s sixteen year old and nothing eventful has occurred in his life so far. No challenge, no girls, no mischief and so, no real friends. But his life changes dramatically upon arriving at Culver Creek. He stays in the dorms, the very same place that his father occupied decades ago. He comes to live with Colonel who immediately nicknames him ‘Pudge’ and introduces him to the legendary Alaska Young and her pranks. And so the magic begins.

With beautiful paragraphs, John Green makes you wonder even the most basic and never-questioned things in life. For instance:

‘And what is an “instant” death anyway? How long is an instant? Is it one second? Ten? What the hell is instant? Nothing is instant. Instant rice takes five minutes, instant pudding an hour. I doubt that an instant of blinding pain feels particularly instantaneous.’

Personally, my favourite character was that of Colonel. He reminded me a lot of Patrick from The Perks of Being a Wallflower. On the other hand, Pudge’s character has some weird quirks and they are explained. He speaks about his obsession with last words once after a lovely evening alone in the dorms. He says:

“A lot of times, people die how they live. And so last words tell me a lot about the people they were, and why they became the sort of people biographies got written about.”

It is only when you finish the novel and close the pages to come back to your boring life that you realize how simple and slyly the front cover has been made. How it tells the entire story – the missing gist that had been haunting Miles and the Colonel each day after the death. A picture is truly worth a thousand words. The only shortcoming I found with this novel was that it could have been longer, but then it might not have held the same charm. Nevertheless, when you turn over that last page and breathe normally again, something in you would have changed. And for John Green to achieve that from his debut novel is nothing short of sheer talent and brilliance.

Overall Rating: 9/10

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