Books, YA (Young Adult)

Book Review Comparison! Looking For Alaska vs. Shift

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Title: Looking For Alaska
Author: John Green
Publisher: Speak (Penguin Group)
Page #: 221
Genre: YA Fiction

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Title: Shift
Author: Em Bailey
Publisher: Egmont USA
Page #: 304
Genre: YA Fiction; YA Fantasy

Before I get into the reviews and the comparisons, I want to apologize for the lengthy absence.  It isn’t that I haven’t been reading, I definitely have I just have not had the will to write anything down.  In my head I had ideas about what I wanted to say for all of these books.  I just never put the proverbial pen to paper.

I think I should begin by saying that yes these two books are not completely comparable.  John Green’s novel is realistic fiction where as Em Bailey’s is more fantastical in nature.  While both take place in a universe that is realistic there are many more elements to Bailey’s novel that could not be feasible, her antagonist for example.

Both books were great reads.  I read each of them in a day I believe.  Picked them up, read them, and put them down.  The characters were witty and relatable in both novels, even those who are considered antagonistic in nature.  (Though the antagonist in John Green’s novel was not a separate character but the inner demons within the protagonists)

The rest of this post is going to be me comparing different elements of the two books and in order to do that I am going to have to talk about the plot.

**Some people may consider the next two paragraphs to contain spoilers, if you wish to read these novels and do not want an element to be ruined than please continue where I place the next two asterisks!  SPOILERS FROM HERE UNTIL …

My main complaint for both novels is within the way the protagonists face and react to the death of friends.  The first half of both novels this friend is alive and well and though in Shift the two have fallen out of sorts based on some incident, and in LfA the two are new friends, or soon to be new friends they are friends none the less.  In the middle of the book this friend dies.  The characters in these novels react in completely different ways.  There was evidence in Shift that Olive cares for her friend yet when she dies, she is barely effected and then it is almost as if the character never existed for the rest of the novel.  Obviously she is mentioned, but the connection is no longer there.  Which seems unrealistic to me.

The opposite happens in LfA, the characters become so emotionally distraught that they become hyper focused on her death. Their life literally revolves around her.  This is how Green wrote the novel purposely to show how Pudge views his world.  As before and after Alaska.  While I do not believe that most people really become this obsessed with how or why their friend died, I do believe that it could happen, especially for someone who is obsessed with last words. It is far more realistic though still slightly exaggerated.

** HERE


I thoroughly enjoyed both of these novels and I would recommend them.  I read them a while ago now but I still  remember the plot and the different mannerisms of the characters.

I will try to do some more reviews for you guys in the next few weeks.  I might also post more musing blogs as well.  New things to come soon enough.  For now I have final essays to write, and exams to study for.  Talk to you guys soon.

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