Fifteen-year-old Zoe has a secret—a dark and terrible secret that she can’t confess to anyone she knows. But then one day she hears of a criminal, Stuart Harris, locked up on death row in Texas. Like Zoe, Stuart is no stranger to secrets. Or lies. Or murder.
Full of heartache yet humour, Zoe tells her story in the only way she can—in letters to the man in prison in America. Armed with a pen, Zoe takes a deep breath, eats a jam sandwich, and begins her tale of love and betrayal.
I loved this book! It was very realistic (not the dark secret part and writing to a condemned-to-death criminal in the dead of the night) but the characters were very believable. I loved the family elements in it and I’m glad the author focused on Zoe’s home life without it being too messy. The love triangle between the protagonist and two brothers didn’t take up the entire storyline, and it wasn’t overly romantic. Also, the two brothers weren’t charming and perfect like most love interests in Young Adult books.
However, the ending was a bit anticlimactic and disappointing. I was half hoping for a huge plot twist, but I was happy with the ending anyway.
Anyway, I give it 3/5 stars and would definitely recommend it!
A deeply affecting coming-of-age story, Looking for Alaska traces the journey of Miles Halter, a misfit Florida teenager who leaves the safety of home for a boarding school in Alabama and a chance to explore the “Great Perhaps.” Debut novelist and NPR commentator Green perfectly captures the intensity of feeling and despair that defines adolescence in this hip, shocking, and emotionally charged work of fiction.
Miles has a quirky interest in famous people’s last words, especially François Rabelais’s final statement, “I go to seek a Great Perhaps.” Determined not to wait for death to begin a similar quest, Miles convinces his parents to let him leave home. Once settled at Culver Creek Preparatory School, he befriends a couple of equally gifted outcasts: his roommate Chip―commonly known as the Colonel—who has a predilection for memorizing long, alphabetical lists for fun; and the beautiful and unpredictable Alaska, whom Miles comes to adore.
The kids grow closer as they make their way through a school year filled with contraband, tests, pranks, breakups, and revelations about family and life. But as the story hurtles toward its shattering climax, chapter headings like “forty-six days before” and “the last day” portend a tragic event―one that will change Miles forever and lead him to new conclusions about the value of his cherished “Great Perhaps.”
I didn’t like this book as much as I thought I would. It wasn’t what I had expected, at all. All of the characters were a bit whiny and ungrateful, and I didn’t really like any of them. Alaska was unbearable, and although I loved The Fault In Our Stars I have noticed that Alaska Young, Augustus Waters and Margo Roth Spiegelman (Paper Towns) are annoyingly similar characters, who spout quotes and say things that, realistically, no teenager would ever use.
However, the storyline was interesting (even if the characters weren’t) and I found the way the days counted down to something very interesting; I must admit I was interested to see what it was counting down to.
Altogether, I did enjoy it enough to give it 3/5 stars and still would recommend it, and I must admit I did shed a couple of tears.
Amy Curry thinks her life sucks. Her mom decides to move from California to Connecticut to start anew—just in time for Amy’s senior year. Her dad recently died in a car accident. So Amy embarks on a road trip to escape from it all, driving cross-country from the home she’s always known toward her new life. Joining Amy on the road trip is Roger, the son of Amy’s mother’s old friend. Amy hasn’t seen him in years, and she is less than thrilled to be driving across the country with a guy she barely knows. So she’s surprised to find that she is developing a crush on him. At the same time, she’s coming to terms with her father’s death and how to put her own life back together after the accident.
So my friend leant me this book last week and I’ve only just finished reading it due to lots and lots of homework! I gave it 4/5 stars because it was very cute and sweet, but with a serious streak that made it much more realistic and wasn’t too depressing. The cover was very busy and exciting although not what I as a reader usually go for, and when my friend recommended it, I’ll admit the title seemed a bit cheesy and put me off. However, as soon as I started reading it I fell in love with it.
I love the atmosphere of the book, and the road trip itself wasn’t rushed like some can be. I also loved the photos of scraps from the road - diner napkins, receipts, postcards, maps, and the playlists.
One problem I did have is that although the character development of Amy and Roger was very well-written and planned out, the other characters they encountered were quite rushed and underdeveloped, but aside from that each character was very interesting.
Altogether, a very short and sweet book, perfect for long journeys. I finished it with a smile on my face and would definitely recommend it!