Books Like Looking For Alaska

Books Like Looking For Alaska

Looking for Alaska is the remarkable debut novel from John Green, and it has been causing quite a stir ever since its release in 2005. Part of the reason for the notoriety of this novel is the sexually explicit scenes and profanity that it contains, which has seen the book end up on the American Library Association's list of Frequently Challenged Books numerous times. However, it is the themes explored in the book, such as searching for meaning, dealing with grief and coming of age that also resonates with a lot of readers. Since the release of Looking For Alaska, Green has released a number of bestsellers, such as Paper Towns and The Fault in Our Stars. Despite this, his debut novel still holds a special place for many readers, so if you are looking for something similar, then check out these books that are like Looking For Alaska.

As Simple As Snow

by Gregory Galloway



One of the books that is the most similar in style and tone to Looking for Alaska is the 2005 novel, As Simple As Snow, by Gregory Galloway. In fact, John Green himself has admitted that he was inspired by As Simple as Snow for many parts of his own book. It is a mystery novel about a girl named Anna Cayne, who wins over the heart of the unnamed narrator. He is completely enamored with her, despite her strange quirks that include making up obituaries for all the living people in their town. However, when Anna vanishes without a trace shortly before Valentine's Day, the narrator has to follow a series of clues to figure out what happened to her. The question is, was her disappearance something she did intentionally or is there something else going on.

Thirteen Reasons Why

by Jay Asher



Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher is a 2007 young adult novel that went on to become an international bestseller and it was even turned into a Netflix Original Series. It is the story of a young high school student, named Hannah Baker, who ends up committing suicide because of all the bullying and betrayal that she experienced. However, two weeks after her death, a boy who had a crush on her receives a box of cassette tapes that were recorded by Hannah before she committed suicide. He discovers that they are her audio diary and explains the reasons why she did what she did, as well as who was responsible for making her feel she had no other choice. Sadly enough, he also finds that he was one of the people who influenced her decision. 

The Starboard Sea

by Amber Dermont



Just like Looking For Alaska, The Starboard Sea is a terrific debut novel, this time from an author named Amber Dermont. It features similar themes to Looking for Alaska and went on to become a New York Times best seller. The book takes place during the summer of 1987 as the eighteen year old protagonist, Jason Prosper, attends Bellingham Academy. It is a school where privileged students can get a second chance if they have lost their way, which is definitely something Jason needs after the suicide of his best friend. Just like Jason, everyone attending the school has issues, but he ends up falling for a young woman named Aiden, despite the warnings of others. 

Before I Die

by Jenny Downham



Just like Looking For Alaska, Before I Die is a young adult novel that deals in an honest fashion with very controversial topics. It is the story of a 16-year old girl named Tessa Scott, who is losing her battle with leukemia. When she realizes that she is not going to make it, she decides to instead cross off a few things from her bucket list. However, a lot of things on her list consists involves sex, drugs and even breaking the law. It is a book that doesn't shy away from uncomfortable topics and quite a remarkable story for a debut novel. It is also a very gritty and real story, so don't expect it to sugarcoat anything.

Norwegian Wood

by Haruki Murakami


Many readers have compared Norwegian Wood, the 1987 novel by the acclaimed author Haruki Murakami, as a more mature version of Looking for Alaska. The narrator of the novel is a 37 year old man named Toru Watanabe, who reminisces about the 1960s, when he was still living in Tokyo as a college student.  Watanabe was best friends with Naoko and Kizuki, two students who considered each other to be soul mates. Then, out of the blue, Kizuki took his own life, which left Watanabe and Naoko to mourn him while growing closer to each other. However, Watanabe also befriends another girl in drama class and has to decide which of the two he wants in his life. 


These are just five of the books that are most like Looking For Alaska, but there are also others out there. Novels such as The Virgin Suicides, If I Stay, and Anna and the French Kiss, all explore similar themes and are well worth reading. 

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