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ryandejonghe

Ryan DeJonghe - The Avid Reader

I didn't always read, but that changed in June of 2013. I dropped the unnecessary stuff and picked up the awesome stuff--like reading! I started posting my reviews on Amazon and within a few months rose to the top 0.1% of reviewers. My reviews then went to Goodreads, and now my blog (http://ryandejonghe.wordpress.com) and Twitter (@Ryan_Reads). If you are reading this, why not leave a comment or send me a note? I love talking to other folks about books and my reviews. Publishers and authors, feel free to drop me a note if you want me to review your book. I usually stick to mainstream publishing, but I'll consider anything. If I review your book, I’ll give you a fair and thorough review and let you know when the review goes live. You can reach me at dejonghes@gmail.com. Happy Reading!

Looking for Alaska

Looking for Alaska - John Green “So we gave up. I’d finally had enough . . .” Without giving away spoilers that is how the award-winning LOOKING FOR ALASKA ends. What transpires in this novel is an undulating tale of teenagers looking for cigarettes, wine, and sexual advance. The detumescent novel fails to define its central conflict, leaving an end with no resolution.

What separates LOOKING FOR ALASKA from author John Green’s other book FAULT IN OUR STARS is a solid protagonist; Green gives the reader nothing to root for in his character Miles Halter. The lackadaisical attitude of Halter is reminiscent of Holden Caulfield—the differentiating factor being Halter’s higher sense of purpose in seeking “the great perhaps”.

The meandering characters seemingly have no aspirations outside of cigarettes and getting past “first base”. Occasionally they will study, philosophize, or introduce their sentimental family histories, but a bulk of the narrative is spent on pranks, making out, drinking wine, and laying about. This is not an exaggeration. As an example: several pages were given to one of Halter’s love interests (yes, the stereotypical love triangle is included) holding his manhood in her mouth, sitting still, unsure of what to do. Eventually both parties previously engaged in movement-less fellatio seek out the advice of Halter’s other love interest who demonstrates to them proper technique with a tube of toothpaste as her prop. This scene serves as a metaphor for the entire book: motionless and unorgasmic. For those thinking the book gets better after the build-up to the first half, you’ll be highly disappointed—it’s just a tease and then a letdown.