Reviews tagging Injury/injury detail

Looking for Alaska, by John Green

8 reviews

thelibrarianwhodidntread's review against another edition

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adventurous dark emotional funny hopeful lighthearted sad slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.0

After a notable event partway through the book, it just seemed to drag on. I didn't find the characters engaging enough to make their "means to the end" compelling. I complained to friends and family who would listen that I "just can't wait to be done with this book". I'm of the belief every book should be given its own fair shot unless it's that unbearable. But alas, it was just mediocre. Not my cup of tea, really.

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navayiota's review against another edition

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adventurous challenging dark emotional mysterious medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.75

Spoiler I didn't really enjoy most of this book. I found the characters annoying cause they all take themselves way too seriously. Maybe I'm angry cause they remind me of myself and how mysterious I wanted to be at their ages, and if so I guess the writing is genius for evoking that kind of feeling in me, but it really hit a nerve. The punchlines Alaska delivered at the end of some chapters really pissed me off cause this seems like the exact kind of character kids with god complexes (me in middle school) would attach to, and I think the world has enough smartasses already, we dont need more. Maybe I'm being overly critical, I don't know, I think this book might grow on me if I read it again after a while. The last third of it was a lot more interesting, and I think that might have been affected by the fact that I was reading it after learning about a death in my family, and had to listen to all my family members express some of the thoughts the characters had about Alaska's death. Maybe me being in a more sensitive state made me connect to the death of a young girl more, even if I didn't really care about her as a person. I did feel very bad for her though. It seems to me like Alaska had BPD, I'm not sure if it was John Green's vision to make her like that, if it was then she was super underdeveloped, but if it wasn't then that's just a funny coincidence.

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romanysky's review against another edition

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adventurous emotional funny mysterious reflective sad fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0


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ruby_gordon's review against another edition

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dark emotional funny hopeful inspiring reflective sad fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.5


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reuben394's review against another edition

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emotional sad medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

2.5


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misha_dhawan's review against another edition

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adventurous dark emotional sad fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0


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johoeforbooks's review against another edition

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adventurous emotional hopeful mysterious reflective sad slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.5


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katsbooks's review against another edition

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challenging emotional mysterious reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

“The only way out of the labyrinth of suffering is to forgive.”

"We need never be hopeless, because we can never be irreparably broken."

“Sometimes you lose a battle. But mischief always wins the war."

“If only we could see the endless string of consequences that result from our smallest actions. But we can't know better until knowing better is useless.”

My feelings about this book are constantly in flux. On the one hand, this book gutted me as a teenager. I have actively thought about getting the fourth quote I listed above tattooed on my body. I think it was my first foray into literature that dug deeper and got philosophical. It broke my little teenage brain. So naturally, the climax caught me by complete surprise and I distinctly remember the visceral ache I felt. That's good writing. When a book makes you feel something that much, it holds a special place in your heart. 

But now, I've had about 15 years to intellectualize and philosophize on things that previously broke teenage Kat's brain and I have  thoughts. First of all, as an adult, I do not like most of the characters. For the record, that's not a critique, it's actually probably a compliment. The characters are teenagers and they're supposed to be young and dumb and do young and dumb things. As a teenager, I liked how mysterious Alaska was but I'm not a huge fan of how she seems to embody the trope of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl. We ultimately know little about her and her presence seems to be a vehicle for the boys of the story to grow and learn about themselves and their world. To his credit, Green addresses that a few times and the main character seems to acknowledge that he believed what he wanted to believe about Alaska and never really truly knew her. I think it would have improved the story to have a few moments that truly humanized Alaska for the main characters instead of leaving her this enigmatic figure in their lives. I also think it led to a romanticization of her obvious mental illness which is never fully addressed. The boys discuss it as a factor in their investigation but since what happened is never fully understood, they can't really know how much of a factor it actually was. I can appreciate that the author was probably trying to make a point about the ambiguity of events like the one that occurred in the climax but I think it would have been possible to still discuss her probable mental illness regardless of intention. This bothered me enough to knock it down to three stars but it creeped back up to four because of the nostalgia factor. It really was my gateway into more intellectual reading materials.

Overall, this book has some fantastic writing. If you like coming-of-age novels with some philosophy thrown in, this is probably a book you would enjoy. However, there are definitely books out there that would give a similar vibe that are much more inclusive than a story that centers a cishet, straight, white boy. Essentially, this is a great supplement to the genre but I don't know if it should stand as an exemplar. 

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