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Alchemy by [Wood, Mike]
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Alchemy Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 90 customer reviews

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Length: 368 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"What starts as a hunt for a missing father later reveals itself as clever novel about young love and the maturation of emotion. In the summer of 1984, Al's dad has been missing for 5 years. A scientist interested in alchemy, he one day just disappeared. But Al tells us and his young girlfriend Cammie that he believes he has been receiving codes that will lead them to his father. As the search progresses, he learns some hidden truths from his parents' past and present relationship. The result is an engaging novel that addresses many feelings young readers will relate to (jealousy, longing, sexual curiosity) in a constantly moving adventure. And while the narrator's denouement offers a more cynical slant than perhaps is preferable, it's not enough to overshadow the charm of this touching rumination on the nature of chance and fate." - Publishers Weekly

About the Author

Alchemy is “author” Mike Wood’s first novel. His previous publications include a series of humor/dating pieces for the Connecticut Post, where he was a featured free-lance writer for their popular “Get Out” column. His work has also appeared in the web-based ‘zines, “CT Independent News” and “Scientific Dinosaur.” Alchemy is the result of a somewhat serendipitous meeting with best-selling author AJ Jacobs, whose continued praise and encouragement inspired Mike to head to the basement and start pursuing his secret dream of being a writer. Presently, Mike is happily living out his real dreams in Connecticut as a middle school teacher, faithful husband, and dedicated father.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1331 KB
  • Print Length: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Booksurge (January 12, 2010)
  • Publication Date: January 12, 2010
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0038M2HC6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #681,785 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I definitely felt disappointed that this book was not what I expected. I'm not sure what exactly I expected, but I felt that it turned into some sort of after school special, which ironically, was referenced in the book itself.

I didn't enjoy the opening introductions because they felt really forced to me, but after that, I enjoyed getting to know Al and friends - and I enjoyed the idea of the mystery/codes etc. While some of the details about his dad were quickly obvious, it was still disappointing to me that the story took a totally different turn from the mystery angle. I was looking forward to the mystery/adventure. I'm trying not to spoil the story, so it's hard for me to write my thoughts completely. I guess the the long and short is that I felt like it became very belabored. Some of the dialogue was just too much. And it seemed that Al sure was an emotional genius for processing some difficult issues quickly. In the end, it just felt like two halves of two different books - like a fun/nostalgic would-be mystery/adventure turned preachy after school special.

Still, I did keep wanting to stay till the end, and I found Al pretty likeable overall. Esp the parts that were just b/t Al and Cammie and Al and his friends were fun. So - it's a solid three, in my opinion.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A stunning debut by a major new talent, Mike Wood has written a fresh tale with realistically constructed characters. From the opening sentence to the exhilarating conclusion, Alchemy is a captivating story filled with nostalgia. I found myself, more than once, laughing out loud at Al's antics. Although told from the point of view of a 15 year old boy, people of all ages can easily relate to this story. In my opinion the next book can't come fast enough!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This story started out slow and I was having difficulty getting "into" the story. But, I persevered and finished it. I was pleasantly surprised. I started caring very much about the characters and even got teary eyed. Also, the way the Al starts to tell is story is great and makes much more sense by the end. I think this book has a good lesson about making the most of the opportunities you have and don't let the fear of hurt stop you from caring.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I wasn't expecting to like this book as much as I did, what a pleasant surprise. It was nothing like I thought it would be - it was better!

The story is told from the point of view of a 15 year old boy, Al. The characters are very well developed and I felt that I had a good sense of who they were and how they fit into Al's life. The story kept good pace and kept my attention. I love quotes and this book had several really good ones that I wrote down so I can remember them. It took on some tough topics for a teenager and and allowed Al to make mistakes and allowed him to correct those mistakes.

I look forward to reading more from this author.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book manages to take the reader on a nostalgic trip to the past, while still embracing relevant and topical themes. A story that is, at its' core, about relationships and will appeal to both teens and adults. As a child who grew up in the 80's this book was like a blast from the past and had me smiling about "the good old days". But what made me really love the book was the characters. They were so well developed and real. My favorite was the grandmother. A difficult to love (or even like) woman, who, in the end you "get", even if she doesn't change and become magically perfect. The scenes with her ranged from lol to truly poignant and I really love that. I found that despite that the author's audience seems to be young adults, he never patronizes, or doubts their ability to understand that families are complicated. Love and relationships are complicated. And still, despite the deeper underlying themes, it is a truly funny read. The cast of quirky supporting characters only adds to the hilarity and the feeling that this is a real town with real people. There's Gilly the camp couselor, who was kind of like that jerk in every 80's movie that you love to hate. Or Tweety the little girl with the speech impediment and loads of spunk. Really, I could go on and on, but the bottom line is that it is truly a superb freshman effort and I can't wait to see what Mike Wood comes up with next. Very nice!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A lovely holiday story which brings back memories.....many of us who have read this book must have thought - "that sounds so familiar" Loved the story line which had everything from sadness, happiness, adventure, love and finally acceptance. Enjoyed the characters especially Al mainly because I kept trying to anticipate his next move. A book for all ages - invest time in reading this book, you will not regret it!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I fell in love with the main character, a kid transitioning from his childhood hanging around with boyhood friends to first love and coming to terms with the realities of the Hugh Manatee of his parents. This kid is who Holden Caulfied (The Catcher in the Rye) wishes he could be - less neurotic, more self-aware, more humane and forgiving of the foibles of others but still experiencing the same confusion and pain as he deals with the fundamental truth of life - LOVE HURTS whether it's love for a girl or love of your parents.

This book would be an excellent read for teenagers coming to terms with particular social challenges but you'll have to read the book to discover what those challenges are. This book is funny and nostalgic and poignant and truthful and uplifting. Excellent book that achieves the tricky balance of being equally appealing and "message-worthy" to both teenage and adult readers.
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