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Alchemy Paperback – January 12, 2010
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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.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
As a YA writer, I read this with the expectation that I was reading a book for teenagers. What I got was a wonderfully written story that shows the nostalgia of the 80s that should appeal to anyone who grew up in that era. I had a few areas that I felt could have been played-up or played-down, so I went with a 4 star rating - with the expectation that he will turn this one or the next into a hands-down 5!
If you're looking for a charming story that makes you wish you were back in 1984, falling in love, or thinking your family was the strangest one EVER, please read Alchemy. You'll be glad you did.