Teen Miles Halter has just switched schools and is now attending exclusive Culver Creek. He is quickly befriended by roommate Chip (aka, the Colonel). He also meets Alaska Young, who he immediately falls for. Much of the first part of the novel consists of Miles, Chip, and Alaska wreaking havoc on the Culver Creek campus (smoking, drinking, pranking, etc.).
The book is laid out in a countdown format, beginning at 136 days “before,” and growing smaller as the event nears. Said event is unknown until it happens (at which point the book switches to days “after”), and when it does the lives of the students will change forever. The countdown adds suspense to the novel, as readers will know something is going to happen, but there are few clues as to what “it” is.
Chip is a believable character, focused solely on the object of his affection, Alaska, for nearly the entire novel. Green draws the reader into this relationship on a very intimate level. Without giving any spoilers away, the consequences of the event that occurs force the students of Culver Creek to evaluate what, and more importantly, who, is most important in life.
If you enjoy Looking for Alaska, try:
Will Grayson Will Grayson by John Green
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
For something DIFFERENT, try:
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak
Review by Carlen