The Great Perhaps

Review  lfajg Looking for Alaska by John Green

If you haven’t read Looking For Alaska, just go away.    This entire post will be spoilers and you don’t want to read this book knowing much.    You may come back later.

OK?   Are  you gone?

[crickets chirping.]

If I knew how to do one of these jump-to-read-more breaks, I would.   Sometimes, I wonder if this blog is so I have a place to talk with others about stuff I’ve already read (past tense) and I just don’t want to read any more reviews of stuff I haven’t yet (future) – anyone agree with me?

But if you are still here and yet haven’t yet read the title of this post’s discussion, perhaps you might click over to these other reviews which will tell you plot and all the etcs…   Because I’m not going to.

Other Reviews that link to even MORE Reviews:

MUST CLICK HERE ==>   This is Dewey’s Review and it helped me quite a bit.  [sadly, Dewey’s blog is no longer available…]

Heather (Book Addiction) – this is the review I read first after reading the book.   It was the one I had to avoid before I read the book – even though she doesn’t really give anything away…

Dewey’s was the second review I read – and it’s a MUST.   Do watch the Green video.

I think I read all the links that these reviews link to…   I think Nymeth has the most – she wins the linkylove prize!


♦  I don’t like to review books that everyone I know has read and reviewed already.     But I do want to talk about it.   Maybe I should skip this post and only comment everywhere?  nah.

♦ I came to the one part (the part that has Green so incensed in the vid. yea, that one.) and thought “Uh Oh.   I told my niece to read this!   I can’t be endorsing such things to 16 year olds!!!”     Well, I’m over that, thanks to the author.  OK, I get it.    But I was fascinated by the impulse I had to censor this for the youths in my life!    The cig smoking and the drinking?  Sure, yea, whatever.   s.e.x.?!   goodness me.  sigh…

♦  I did not read any reviews before I read this – other than everyone loves it.       I was seriously thinking Alaska only ran away.     I did know enough that Alaska was a person, so I did pick up on some stuff…   but, WHAT?!   dead?    car crash?    suicide?     Am I only going to fill this post with questions?   I was thinking – Hey! nobody warned me she was going to die!!!

♦   Some extremely funny laugh out loud sections.  OMG.    terrific.    The last prank – did they really have Lara yell that out?   I would have been mortified.   I really liked Lara.     And the cheers at the first basketball game?    I sent Jill an email that we would have to remember those for the next Read-A-Thon.   (which, alas, makes me sad – I’ll help if anyone is thinking about maybe having one. ??? )

♦   I absolutely love that Alaska gave tutoring in pre-calc.   She was awesome.

♦  I did figure out that what Alaska FORGOT was the date of her mom’s death.    I also was bummed that Miles and the Colonel ignored Takumi and Lara and was miffed as they were that they were being ignored.     I think this is another example of the skill of Green’s writing.   It’s not that I figured stuff out I wasn’t supposed to but that I felt RIGHT THERE TOO.    And, who, really, kept track of the days before and after?  Not me.   I did think about it though and decided it wasn’t important for me to be anal about it…

♦  I loved all the book references that I knew!   I read Vonnegut’s Cats Cradle in high school.    so cool.   And I want to read the ones I don’t know and I was thinking that if I was 16 years old, I would want to read all those books, too.  WAY TO GO GREEN!

♦  I love thinking about stereotypical ‘smart’ kids who aren’t stereotypified.    Does that make sense?    I know this is what I loved about majoring in engineering.    The variety of personalities; really cool kids I studied with who weren’t the nerdy guys who tore apart washing machines and put them back together.   NO, the guy I had a major crush on quoted the entire Poe’s Raven to me in the dark.     We discussed all the existential questions.     This book made me reminisce so much…

♦  Any idea how to explain the word ‘perhaps’ to someone who doesn’t speak English?   I think I failed miserably.   I was put on the spot.    It’s a great word, isn’t it.    Maybe doesn’t quite cut it, does it?     So the bit about what the title of this book is in Dutch (I think.) and how it translates back, fascinates me.

♦ I read this for the Dewey Challenge.   I’ve already read 3 of the 5 books I planned on.    How COOL is that?!

♦  I am writing this without having the book with me.   HATE IT when I rush off to loan it to somebody and forget that I haven’t yet written the review…    I just walked it over to my neighbor…   She’d never heard of it.

♦  I actually had the terrific idea that I would read the Reading Guide at the end of this book and answer them for this review.   THEN I read the questions.   Nah,  maybe some other day.


16 thoughts on “The Great Perhaps

  1. 1. I definitely need to remember to write down the Colonel’s cheers for the read-a-thon…that was a superior idea!

    2. I spent the first half of the book desperately wondering what the big event was going to be. The crash came as a huge surprise to me, too. As did the reason why.

    3. What are you reading next for the challenge? You know, so I can beat you to the punch on that one, too. Kidding!

    I wanted to get to Abundance of Katherines! but it will be awhile. I think. I’m reading a Coetzee book right now (because it’s short and I hope to complete by the end of the month! pathetic, huh?!)

  2. This was fun! I suspected from the beginning that she was going to die, just because of all of the build-up, but I was hoping against hope it wouldn’t happen!

    Those cheers would definitely be great for the next read-a-thon; I’ve been wondering if that’s going to happen too. I know when Dewey first passed, some bloggers talked of keeping it going. I hope so!

    Love your story of the your crush quoting “The Raven” to you in the dark. 🙂 This book made me reminisce about college a lot too!

    Hey – you’re STILL in college and are having all those fun existential discussions, right?

  3. Yeah, I confess I’m a bit of a link magpie 😛

    I didn’t know what the “before” was leading up to either. I began to suspect at some point, but I really didn’t want to believe it, and when it came it was a huge shock.

    I also wholeheartedly recommend Katherines. It was almost as good. And I started Paper Towns today, yay 😀

    About the Read-a-thon, I talked to Trish briefly about continuing it…what we were planning with Dewey before she passed away was “train” even more co-hosts so that in the future people could rotate between organizing things and just having fun reading. The next one was scheduled for April, though, so it’s still a bit early to think of the details. I think it’s safe to say it will continue, though.

    Magpie! I have declared 2009 as the year I “GO GREEN” and I don’t mean environmental. so far, so good. I’ll get to Katherines soon, I’m sure. AND Paper Towns.

    YIPPEE for the R-A-T. I’m in.

  4. Thank you for leaving such a nice comment on my blog! It made my day!

    Your blog is awesome, by the way!!! 🙂

    Hello Anita! Thank you for the sweet compliment. Stop by anytime. This place is very informal, or tries to be.

  5. My eyes are tired and so I am and I read your review and don’t think you ruined anything for me (never heard of the book but will look for it now) and who knows? I love that you review books that millions of others haven’t done already which is why I’ll have to check this out. When? I don’t know but I’m writing it down in my planner.Thanks!

    So much for my persuasive skills to make you leave but I guess they’re OK if you want the book! It’s one of those you just don’t want to put it down and then you continue to think about after.

    You haven’t yet tried to fix that empty box in your profile yet, have you?…

  6. aw thanks so much for linking to my review! This book was awesome, I’m so glad you got the chance to read it.

    I wasn’t going to buy any books this year but was in Borders tempting fate and almost got out of there until I saw this in paperback. And I had a coupon. You’ve been reading a lot of books that I really want already or have and so I’ve not been around much thinking I didn’t want to have anything spoiled!

  7. Hi!

    So glad you visited my place, because then I found your blog and this seems to be fun 🙂
    I thoroughly enjoy ´disrespectful reviews´ (meaning reviews where you just write whatever takes your fancy, and not what other people think you should do).

    Greetings from Denmark where “perhaps” = måske (i.e. may happen).

    Hello! Nice to meet you! I guess I do a lot of ‘disrespectful reviews’ but this one was my most antiestablishmentarian. I think.

  8. Oh, for pete’s sake, I forgot to subscribe to comments so I have to post again. Um. Weather in Portland is sunny and 37 degrees, and I’m off to the library now for more books. Heh.

  9. I think I like random thought reviews like this one much more than the normal ones.
    The video of Green’s defense of his book was perfect, I don’t censor my kids’ reading, but I think I may have to reference this next time my son gets sent home from school for reading unacceptable material (Michael Crichton’s ‘Next’.)
    Oh and those reading/discussion guides are such a pain in my ass, I always plan to use them but the questions always end up seeming too blah 🙂

    Ok, then, more random thought reviews in the future.

  10. Shoot, I wish I had a neighbor who read. That would be nice. I thought about his “I Am Not a Pornographer” vid when I got to that scene because, yep, I think I’d have wanted to keep it from my kid but we watched the video together and laughed about it. And, then he wasn’t even interested in reading. So much for censoring. LOL It doesn’t work, anyway. I tried to hold back some books from my eldest and he just sneaked them off the shelf at night. He was a twit, but that’s not the point. What was the point?

    Oh, yeah, I knew Alaska was going to die but I think the reason I knew that is the same reason that I avoid Amazon reviews like the plague (unless friends wrote them) — they have spoilers! And, they don’t warn you!!! That is so wrong.

    I think John Green is just all kinds of brilliant and wonderful and awesome.

    Yes, he’s ‘some kind of wonderful’. I see you have the abundance book – I have this on my to-read list for this year as well as Paper Towns.

  11. “It’s not that I figured stuff out I wasn’t supposed to but that I felt RIGHT THERE TOO. ”

    Tardy comment, but my 2 daughters (15 and 16) are huge John Green fans – look for his vlog with his brother Hank on youTube it’s hugely popular and he IS as smart as his characters let on.

    The quote above from your review sums up perfectly why I love his writing so much. You don’t find that level of Engagement very often.

    Thanks for the post
    DFTBA – John and the Nerdfighters mantra (Dont Forget To Be Awesome)


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