Deadzone (Horizon, #2) by Jennifer A. Nielsen

“…if we’re going to be a single team, then we’re going to function like one.”

The survivors have made it out of the jungle, but they may be sorry they ever left when they stumble upon a whole new ecosystem, populated with entirely new threats. And the greatest threat of all may come from within. Because one of the kids is changing . . .

The seven-book series begun by #1 New York Times bestseller Scott Westerfeld only gets bigger and bolder under the frenzied imagination of bestselling, critically acclaimed author Jennifer A. Nielsen!

Book Links: Amazon | B&N | Book Depository | Goodreads | Publisher

Personal Thoughts:

Deadzone is a survival story with a video game vibe and mystery, that will keep young readers at the very edge of their seats.

Those of you who have visited this blog for some time probably know that Jennifer Nielsen’s The Ascendance Trilogy is a favorite middle grade series of mine. It’s one of those fantasy books I love to read and reread. Which put Jennifer Nielsen to my auto-buy list. I’ve been looking out for her latest releases, hoping that she’ll create a new character like Sage/Jaron of The Ascendance trilogy. But in this new book of her, Deadzone, I didn’t actually expect a character like Jaron. Since the series is basically a collaboration from different authors, I know that Jennifer will have to continue the previous author, Scotte Westerfeld’s story. Which only means, same characters to play and expand for Jennifer.

Team Killbot – Kira, Yoshi and Akiko are still stranded in the arctic rift, trying their best to survive. Together with other survivors they have to cross the Blood Sand with the hope to finally find safety and answers. But crossing the Blood Sand is not an easy task. There are dangers and risks involved which may cost not only their energy and sanity but also their lives.

For a sequel of a series with different author from the previous book, Deadzone offers a same feel of read. Jennifer Nielsen continue the story from Scott Westerfeld’s Horizon with ease. She manages to deliver the same urgency if not more engaging. Unlike with the prequel, Jennifer doesn’t have to set-up the ground for the storyline anymore, giving her more space to push the story forward. Which she successfully did by giving readers and the characters new playing grounds, and more difficult battle to face.

With relatively diverse characters, Jeniffer weaved a compelling story in this sequel. The characters are not only struggling to survive the situation they are into but also each of their personal issues. Moly had to embrace her leadership role for the team Killbot; Yoshi has to accept his mother’s reason for sending him to Japan; while Kira and Akiko has some language barrier that they need to overcome in order to contribute more for the team.

Overall, Deadzone is a solid follow-up to Scott Westerfeld’s Horizon. Jennifer Nielsen not only moves the story arc forward but also set a higher stakes for the characters.

* This review is based on an ARC received from the publisher, Scholastic Press Philippines in exchange for my honest opinion about the book.

Celebrating Debutantes 2017: Dare Mighty Things by Heather Kaczynski (Author Interview + Giveaway)

I’m thrilled to welcome new author Heather Kaczynski on the blog as part of Celebrating Debutantes 2017 blog event. Heather answered few questions for me about her upcoming debut YA novel, Dare Mighty Things.

Dare Mighty Thingwill release in October but you can pre-order your copies now.

Following the author interview is Heather Kaczynski’s author bio along with places where to find her online. Then there’s also the book description and where to pre-order copies of Dare Mighty Thing. And if you would like the chance to win a signed advance readers copy of Dare Mighty Thing, Heather is giving away one below. Just enter the rafflecopter form a bit further down in this post. I hope you guys enjoy the interview.

Interview with Heather Kaczynski

What’s your journey so far to writerhood been like? What inspired your debut science-fiction novel, Dare Mighty Things?
Like most writers, I’ve been writing stories since childhood. I never finished a story until I graduated college. Before then, I’d started numerous original stories and fanfiction but always petered out once I got past the beginning. This time, I really sat down and made myself finish something I’d worked on and off for years. I told myself: “You’re finally out of school, you have a regular work schedule and nothing much else to occupy your time – no more excuses. If you’re going to be a writer you actually need to finish something.” So I finished it. And the next book I worked on became Dare Mighty Things.

DMT was inspired mainly by where I live – the home of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center and Space Camp – and my love of space and sci-fi adventure stories. I’m very passionate about science and encouraging girls to pursue STEM education, as well as all the exciting things the space program is doing and where we’ll be in the next few years. I tried to be as realistic as possible about the science of what’s currently possible or may be possible in the near future, but this book focuses on a girl with a dream and how she works hard to achieve it.

What kind of research went into crafting Dare Mighty Things? Did you read a lot of books about space or other science related materials?
I definitely did! My educational background is in biology, not space science, so I was really starting from square one. I read a lot of astronaut biographies and books about physics. My two favorites were MY DREAM OF STARS by Anousheh Ansari and PACKING FOR MARS by Mary Roach. Also tried to read a lot of Neil deGrasse Tyson to get a good baseline for the laws of physics (so I’d better know how to break them, ha!)

I also went on a behind-the-scenes tour of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center and interviewed an astronaut about what it’s like to leave Earth.

Dare Mighty Things is the first book in a planned duology. Did you know it was going to be a two books when you first write the story? Do you already have longer story arcs outlined?
When I first wrote Dare Mighty Things, I knew I had too much story for one book. For a time I thought it needed to be three, but then realized selling a trilogy would be quite difficult, and luckily I found ways to distill everything the story to only two books – which I think made it much stronger. I didn’t have book two entirely plotted, but I did already have the main conflicts and even the plot twists in my head from the beginning. It was a bit of a cliffhanger ending, so I was hopeful that we’d be able to sell the sequel also, and luckily it worked out that way.

What was the biggest change you made to the story before it reached an agent/editor/publisher?
Deciding where to end it. Since I’d always planned to have two books, my main issue was figuring out where to cut my one story into two pieces. It was originally much longer and ended almost in the middle of what is now book 2. Then I cut it too short, making for a very sudden and surprising cliffhanger – this was softened and slowed by my editor so that it’s not so jarring. I think we found a good happy medium.

Many writers tells how their characters take on a life of their own. As you wrote and developed Cassie, is their anything about her that surprised you?
Strangely, Cassie didn’t change much from her first draft. I was initially reluctant to include much of a romance, but kind of forced one because I thought it would be expected of by readers. I came late to the realization that it wasn’t working because Cassie was on the asexual spectrum and I was trying to make her something that didn’t go with her nature. I think I’d always kind of known that, but I had to let her be who she was.

Aside from being a half-Indian, what makes Cassie special for you to tell her story?
I don’t share the same background as Cassie, but there’s a lot of myself in her personality. I was very competitive when I was younger, and dare I say, maybe a little arrogant too. In the book, Cassie follows a similar path that I did as I matured in humbling herself, albeit in a shorter period of time. Cassie also comes to realize she may be demisexual (she begins the book identifying as ace.) And though I don’t currently ID myself the same way Cassie does, a lot of her experiences and feelings are modeled after my own. She’s also very brave, boldly going after what she wants in life – in this way she’s my opposite, as I was always very anxious as a child and afraid of doing the most basic things. Writing her that way was very cathartic and freeing for me, as I’d always wished to be able to go through life the way she does – without fear.

What are your ambitions for your writing career?
I just want to keep telling exciting stories about adventures in space – and hopefully inspire and entertain people along the way.

And lastly before we end this interview, can you please share to us your favorite scene or line from Dare Mighty Things to intrigue and tantalize us before the book hit the shelves in October.

Here’s a quick line where Cassie reflects on her genetic engineering and her ambition:

“My genes were expensive. I was an investment….My parents didn’t just expect perfect; they had paid for it. It used to bug me, their level of expectation. But not anymore. I wanted the same thing they did: to be the best.”


Heather writes books for teenagers and other people who like books about teenagers. They’re usually about teenagers saving the world, because she really believes they can.

Heather never got to go to Space Camp, so she had to settle for writing about it. After graduating cum laude with a degree in biology, she returned to her first love of books, and now works in a library near NASA. She lives with her husband, their daughter, and way too many books. She’s not nearly brave enough to go into space, but she did twirl a fire baton in high school.

She’s represented by Kristin Nelson of Nelson Literary Agency.

Find Heather

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads


Book Details:

Title: Dare Mighty Things
Author: Heather Kaczynski
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: October 10, 2017
Pages: 384
Format: Hardcover, eBook, Audio

THE RULES ARE SIMPLE: You must be gifted. You must be younger than twenty-five. You must be willing to accept the dangers that you will face if you win.Seventeen-year-old Cassandra Gupta’s entire life has been leading up to this—the opportunity to travel to space. But to secure a spot on this classified mission, she must first compete against the best and brightest people on the planet. People who are as determined as she to win a place on a journey to the farthest reaches of the universe.

Cassie is ready for the toll that the competition will take; the rigorous mental and physical tests designed to push her to the brink of her endurance. But nothing could have prepared her for the bonds she would form with the very people she hopes to beat. Or that with each passing day it would be more and more difficult to ignore the feeling that the true objective of the mission is being kept from her.

As the days until the launch tick down and the stakes rise higher than ever before, only one thing is clear to Cassie: she’ll never back down . . . even if it costs her everything.

Book Links

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What’s up for Grab?

  • Pre-order copy of Dare Mighty Things by Heather Kaczynski

The Rules:

  • Open International where Book Depository Ships
  • There will be one (1) winner
  • Winner will be chosen and announced by rafflecopter
  • Winner will be contacted thru email & should response within 48 hours
  • Ends September 16th, 2017
  • Prize will be sent by the author

To enter fill out the rafflecopter form

Good Luck!!!

Treat yourself to a complete #CelebratingDebutantes2017 experience. Click the image below for the full list of schedule and links to each feature post or check out twitter and facebook using #CelebratingDebutantes2017.

Celebrating Debutantes 2016: The Adventurer’s Guide to Successful Escapes by Wade Albert White (Author Interview + Giveaway)

Celebrating Debutantes 2016 Second Wave

One of the perks of hosting a blog event like Celebrating Debutantes is the chance to work with talented authors. The chance to ask them questions and have a peek of their creative minds. Just like today, I got the chance to interview new author Wade Albert White about writing for middle grade readers and his upcoming book, The Adventurer’s Guide to Successful Escapes. This sci-fi, fantasy adventure will hit the shelves next week, September 13 and I am excited for every kids and kids at heart out there to experience an adventurous read.

I hope you guys enjoy the interview and be sure to check the bottom of the post for all the details about Wade Albert, The Adventurer’s Guide to Successful Escapes, and a fab giveaway!

Interview with Wade Albert White

Was The Adventurer’s Guide to Successful Escapes always for middle grade readers, or not? If so, why did you choose middle grade?

It was always intended for younger readers, yes, although in the first draft the main character was sixteen instead of thirteen, which would typically be considered more young adult than middle grade (going strictly by age, that is). As I revised the story and received feedback from various critique partners, however, I realized the overall voice and content were more middle grade in tone, and so adjusted accordingly.

I write for a younger audience because my kids are still young. I wanted to create something they could read and enjoy. Also, some of my favorite books have been middle grade books (Harry Potter anyone?). Plus, sometimes I tend towards the silly side, and that tends to be a good fit for middle grade as well.

Did you know right away that this was your story, or did you discover it as you wrote? How did the story evolve?

It started with the world. I knew I wanted to write a fantasy parody of sorts (although the book is definitely more than that), but I was also familiar with several such works and didn’t want to simply duplicate what was already out there. With that in mind, I thought it would be really interesting to write a story that mashed together fantasy with science fiction, and it took me a while to figure out how best to combine the two. In the end, I decided it would be fun to have a fantasy setting filled with magic and dragons and the like, but whose ancient history hinted at a society of science and technology (sort of the reverse of our world today).

Once I had those elements in place, I had to figure out what would be the most interesting story to tell in such a world. The answer, of course, was to send the characters on a hair-raising adventure that explored how their modern world of magic had evolved from an ancient world of science.

What is the best part of writing for middle grade readers?

I enjoy the enthusiasm of younger readers, whether it’s the jump up and down kind of excitement of some, or the quieter sit in the corner and smile of others. But when they love a thing, they tend to really, really love it.

I also enjoy the challenge of writing for that age group. They’re a sophisticated bunch, and can typically tell when they’re being pandered to, which keeps a writer on their toes. So you can be silly and playful, but the story still needs to mean something. The stakes need to be real for the characters, no matter how ridiculous the story gets.

What aspect of writing do you find most challenging, and why?

In terms of the process of writing, I have developed the ability to put myself in a chair and just write. I do sometimes, however, fall into the trap of spending too much time on smaller tasks that feel related to writing (such as organizing my bookshelf or cleaning my desk or checking out social media) but which are not the actual writing itself. These tasks make you feel like you’re getting stuff done, but the true work, the primary work, the writing, gets neglected. I think it happens most often when I’m feeling stuck, and by keeping busy with other things I trick myself into thinking I’m still moving forward. And don’t get me wrong: sometimes time away helps. No question. I do some of my best creative thinking while I’m washing the dishes or going for a run. But I’ve learned to see some of this other “busy work” for what it really is: a distraction. The writing should always come first.

In terms of actual content, I find my greatest challenge is conveying the emotions of characters—in my head I know what they’re feeling at any given moment, but as I write them it’s not always clear on the page. Of all the notes I receive from my editor, the item that recurs the most has to do with having the characters show a bit more emotion or reflect more on what’s happening to them.

Fantasy and science fiction are both exciting genres, you can create whole new worlds and defy common structures. For you, what’s the best part of writing in these genres?

I like both fantasy and science fiction because no matter what I think up, no matter what outlandish thought pops into my head, if I want to fit it into the story I can usually find a way to put it in there. So I can write a book that has robots fighting dragons and make it seem perfectly normal. Or I can include a wizard with a platypus for an arm. Or a holograph-like sparrow for a guide. As long as it all serves the needs of the story, I’m not constrained by any one particular view of reality.

Do you have a set of rules for your world? Is there a process you go through that helps define these?

There are rules, definitely, and I would argue that every story or world needs well defined ones. The primary rule for The Adventurer’s Guide series is that the world is run as a Bureaucracy. There are rules governing everything. That means paperwork or it didn’t happen. This sometimes (read: almost always) makes things more difficult, since often what should be a simple and straightforward task might be made infinitely more difficult because of some completely arbitrary rule. But the characters can use this to their advantage as well. It allows me to play with and even poke fun of a lot of common fantasy tropes.

Rules provide the parameters for the story and characters, and the parameters are what help the reader interpret the story in context (think of the rules as a container and the story the liquid you pour into it). That might at first blush seem contradictory to my answer in the previous question (that I like these genres because I can do whatever I want), but I think of it this way: I can make the rules whatever I want, but thereafter it’s important to make sure the story follows said rules.

What project are you working on or planning to write next?

I’m happy to say my next project is already well underway. I just finished the second draft of the sequel The Adventurer’s Guide to Dragons (And Why They Keep Biting Me), which is due out in the fall of 2017.

Thanks so much Wade for those wonderful answers. I had so much with this interview. Your answers are not just thoughtful but also a welcome reminders for beginners writer like me. I’m looking forward for the release of  The Adventurer’s Guide to Successful Escape in few days. And have fun writing the sequel, The Adventurer’s Guide to Dragons (And Why They Keep Biting Me).


Author Wade Albert WhiteWade hails from Nova Scotia, Canada, land of wild blueberries and Duck Tolling Retrievers. He teaches part-time, dabbles in animation, and spends the rest of his time as a stay-at-home dad. It is also possible he has set a new record as the slowest 10K runner. Ever. He owns one pretend cat and one real one, and they get along fabulously.

Find Wade

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Tumblr | Goodreads


Book Details:

The Adventurer's Guide to Successful EscapesTitle: The Adventurer’s Guide to Successful Escape
Author: Wade Albert White
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: September 13, 2016
Pages: 384
Format: Hardcover

A thrilling debut novel where fantasy and science fiction meet, dragons aren’t as innocent as they look (which is to say, not innocent at all), and nothing is quite what it seems.

Anne has spent most of her thirteen years dreaming of the day she and her best friend Penelope will finally leave Saint Lupin’s Institute for Perpetually Wicked and Hideously Unattractive Children. When the big day arrives, a series of very curious happenings lead to Anne being charged with an epic quest. Anne, Penelope, and new adventuring partner Hiro have only days to travel to strange new locales, solve myriad riddles, and triumph over monstrous foes–or face the horrible consequences.

Packed with action, humor, and endless heart, this debut novel marks the first volume in an irresistible and original fantasy series.

Book Links:

Amazon | B&N | BAM | BD | Goodreads | IndieBound | Powells


What’s up for Grab?

  • Personalized Signed Hardcover copy of The Adventurer’s Guide to Successful Escapes

The Rules:

  • Open to US/CA only
  • There will be one (1) winner
  • Winner will be chosen and announced by rafflecopter
  • Winner will be contacted thru email & should response within 48 hours
  • Ends September 27th, 2016
  • Prizes will be sent by the author

To enter fill out the rafflecopter form

Good Luck!!!

Treat yourself to a complete #CelebratingDebutantes2016 experience. Click the image below for the full list of schedule and links to each second wave feature post!

CD2016 Second Wave Collage

Tempest by Julie Cross

“…pain and grief are nothing compared to regret. ”

The year is 2009. Nineteen-year-old Jackson Meyer is a normal guy… he’s in college, has a girlfriend… and he can travel back through time. But it’s not like the movies – nothing changes in the present after his jumps, there’s no space-time continuum issues or broken flux capacitors – it’s just harmless fun.

That is… until the day strangers burst in on Jackson and his girlfriend, Holly, and during a struggle with Jackson, Holly is fatally shot. In his panic, Jackson jumps back two years to 2007, but this is not like his previous time jumps. Now he’s stuck in 2007 and can’t get back to the future.

Desperate to somehow return to 2009 to save Holly but unable to return to his rightful year, Jackson settles into 2007 and learns what he can about his abilities.

But it’s not long before the people who shot Holly in 2009 come looking for Jackson in the past, and these “Enemies of Time” will stop at nothing to recruit this powerful young time-traveler. Recruit… or kill him.

Piecing together the clues about his father, the Enemies of Time, and himself, Jackson must decide how far he’s willing to go to save Holly… and possibly the entire world.

Personal Thoughts:

I read Tomorrow is Today, the prequel novella of this book a month ago which leave me more curious about the time travel aspects of this book. It reminds me of  Audrey Niffenegger’s The Time Traveller’s Wife and Steven Gould’s Jumper. Though I am not really a fan of sci-fi stories in general, I am surprise that I did enjoy this book more than I expected.

It’s year 2009 and nineteen year old Jackson Meyer can jump through time. At first his ability to time travel is not that massive. He can only jump few hours into the past and he can’t jump forward. But when something happened to his girlfriend, he suddenly find himself trap two years in the past with no way to return to his present time.

One thing that really intrigue me here is the unusual concept of time-travelling. Jackson ability to travel is not as simple as going back through time. At first his travels backwards are not harming. What ever he do in the past during his jumps can’t change the future. But that all changed when he try to learn more about his ability. It is more complicated than what he and even I expected. The genetics aspects of time travelling alone is already intriguing. Throw some secret organizations and scientific experiments along the way I am really sold.

At first I didn’t care much about Jackson nor his ability to time travel. Even I enjoy reading much about his jumps through different timeline, discovering his ability and the mystery behind it, I still can’t connect much to him. It took a card with a message written by Jackson for his twin sister for me to finally see Jackson as a real character. One letter that changed my perception about him. That card and his decision at the end of the story proves me wrong about his character. A decision that really gain my respect. I’m not sure if I can do the same thing if I am in Jackson’s situation. It is nice to see Jackson’s character grow throughout the book.

As a narrator Jackson is confusing because he is really a confused guy I guess. I mean, who wouldn’t be confused if one day you find yourself in a different time and location? The ability to time travel is not as good as it sounds because in reality it is really quite freaky. So yeah, I buy Jackson’s confusing narration. He doesn’t know much about his ability. He don’t know how and why he can travel through time, much less how to maneuver his ability. He doesn’t know if he is a good guy or freak of nature. He doesn’t know his purpose. And worst he doesn’t even know whom to trust and not. Even his own father is a big mystery to him.

Jackson’s father is an interesting guy. I honestly don’t have any doubt in him even Jackson’s can’t fully trust him. The moment he enter’s in the story from one of Jackson’s travel to the past I know there is more story behind this guy. As if he holds the secrets of Jackson’s ability to travel and he can provide the answers to all my questions. I am glad that he doesn’t disappointed me. The complexity of his character really shines at the end of the novel.

Another interesting character for me is Courtney, Jackson’s twin sister who died few years before the novel starts. Though she isn’t much present here, I think her little appearance put a big impact in the story. Her relationship with Jackson gives Jackson the edge to be a more complex character. She is the main reason why I connect much with Jackson as a character. Her back story with Jackson provides emotional moments to the plot.

The story is continuously moving. The pacing is perfect with all the actions, adventures and mysteries of each Jackson’s jumps to different timeline. It’s like I am racing reading the story as it never leaves any space for dragging moments. There are so many things going all at once but it is not overwhelming for me. All the information, explanations, secrets were all interesting. The twist and turns makes the story more exciting and engaging.

The characters’ motivations were pretty complex. They all have their own goals and secrets that keep the story rolling in a more interesting way. As Jackson tries to figure out his ability, he also needs unravel the mysteries behind all that is happening. He needs to pick which team he should align himself while figuring out which side is really for greater good? Who should he trust and what role he needs to play in all these?

Filled with secrets, mysteries and interesting ideas, Tempest is a fast-paced time travel story. With exciting twist and turns this book is a trilling ride that will leave you asking for more. I am really excited for the next book of the series.


Tempest is also available as an audiobook from Macmillan Audio. Below is an audio clip of Tempest provided by Macmillan. Listen to Jackson’s voice as he narrate a little part of his adventure in Julie Cross first installment to Tempest series.


I had a hard time deciding if I’ll be writing a review for Inception or not. I don’t think I am good enough to write a review for a film like this but still I can’t help but give a space for this movie in my blog. The movie cannot be summarized by a line, paragraph, or even a review. It is something massive that can’t be analyze in one viewing alone. I’ve seen the movie only once and I’m still mazed.

The movie consists of several worlds layered on top of each other, and they all affect the physics of the next. It is a multi-layered journey into a constantly-changing dream worlds. It unlocked so many boxes that it is hard to label it with one genre. A piece of sci-fi, heist, action and psychological thriller. Sci-fi in a way it uses it’s imaginary and vast concept of dreams in creating a new world of ideas. Action movie because of fight scenes that whether real or imagined are given time, detail and disbelief. It is a thriller of the mind that won’t leave your head after viewing. It keeps you in constant suspense and constant shock. While the heist is in the creation of dream within dream within dream within dream (yes, multiple layers of dreams). It helps the hackers drill deep into their mark’s subconscious mind. The idea is that each nested dream happens more slowly than the one above it. You’re parsing four stories happening simultaneously, but at different timescales.

The director, Christopher Nolan make such a good job of creating worlds in this films. He mastered the arts of non-linear narrative, misdirection, and visually impressive scale then combines them all to create a masterpiece – Inception. He also crafted something unique and dynamic through the power of sheer story telling. His brilliant conception is outstanding. The story is fast pace full of exciting developments. Every location and every shot of the film is imaginative. The laws of gravity and physics are no longer apply. Cities folding up on itself, people can float, objects can move at any pace they want, time speed change. He created a world without rules. A world of dreams and imaginations floating at any given time.

Leonardo DiCaprio as Dominic “Dom” Cobb, delivers another outstanding performance. He can really handle mature and psychologically complex roles. He knows how to play people so torn up that they can barely even function as humans. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is exceptionally great in the role of Arthur. He is the epitome of professionalism. His gravity scene is one of the nice thing in this film. He gives the film the extra niche by not giving into the CGI. It makes the whole look of it quite real that we’re willing to submerge into this concept or idea behind it.

The final shot is cracking, it makes you think more. The debates weather Cobb’s is dreaming or in reality? and whether if the top (totem) starts to wobble or continue spinning is unending. But honestly, I don’t care much about the top. I don’t even believe that it is Cobb’s totem in the first place. At some point I ask – What If Cobb’s reality is nothing more than another dream level?

Finally, Inception is a clever film. It is incredibly original and extremely sophisticated. A genius in every level. From the script, direction, execution up to the performance. I won’t detail anymore how impressive this film is in each level but I love the fact that it requires us to actually engage with the film and keep thinking. It constantly bring questions that are brain melting, confusing, and fantastic. It give space where we can suspend reality and somehow makes us realize that dreams are essentially realistic. Inception is one of the best movies of 2010.

Flowers For Algernon by Daniel Keyes

Flowers for Algernon is brilliantly written novel by Daniel Keyes. The story first come up as a short story published in a magazine and won the Hugo Award for best short story. Eventually the author expanded it into a full-length novel. It also hits the film, television, stage play & radio drama.

Quite often I get frustrated reading books written as if they’re actually someone’s diary, but with this book it worked out perfectly. The author weaves a perfect story, through the eyes of the main character Charlie Gordon. Charlie Gordon is a mentally challenged person but extremely motivated student. When an opportunity arise to undergo an experimental surgery as part of a neuro-psychological study to artificially increase intelligence, he happily signs on. He can’t wait to become smart. After that surgery, his intelligence quotient increased so fast, and about 8 months later he became a genius with an IQ of 180. When the most successful animal test subject, a little white mouse named Algernon, suddenly begins to experience severe adverse affects to the experimentation, Charlie is forced to accept the fact that his new-found brilliance might not be permanent, while fighting through an emotional immaturity that doesn’t go away as his I.Q. rises.

The structure of the novel was the most compelling tool of making Charlie sympathetic. The way it was written in a diary-like “progress reports” made the transformation of Charlie’s character especially powerful. It really helped me to get into his feelings and what was really going on with him in his world. The intentional use of poor grammar, lack of punctuation and atrocious spelling in the beginning is brilliant. It makes me able to see the progress that Charlie makes.

The writing style was fluid and engaging. The way the author describes the story makes me feel like I was actually there. I found myself believing that this was a real person and a real experiment. Charlie’s development is fascinating, depressing and real all at the same time. I feel emotionally attached in this book. I found myself hurting when he was hurt, being embarrassed when he was embarrassed, and feeling frustrated when he did. It’s ironic how he has learned so much but still couldn’t understand. I find myself entirely sympathetic to Charlie and wanting desperately for him to be able to find his balance. It’s easy to get surprisingly attached to Charlie and suffer with him while he suffers and grieves. I don’t think this novel could have been written better. It was perfect to me with its sadness and loss. It is sad and uplifting at the same time.

This is a wonderful book and it will definitely keep readers thinking back to it long after they finished the story.

Here are some of the ideas that are presents in the story:

  • Men playing God through science.

Should we alter aspects of other humans if we have the scientific capacity to do so? Like Frankenstein, this story tells us that trying to play God will even make things worse. Sometimes we have to accept what God gave to us. We should learn how to really appreciate what we have in life.

  • Mistreatment of the mentally challenged persons and Labeling People

The story is a sharp rebuke of the way that the mentally challenged are treated in our society. How harshly the world judges everyone. In the book, Professor Nemur constantly looked at Charlie as a problem to be fixed. Someone who couldn’t participate in society. Someone who was so handicapped that his quality of life meant so little. He didn’t look at Charlie as another human being. That Charlie too was living and breathing and had thoughts and feelings no matter how basic it is. We should be reminded that every human being is important no matter what their limitations are. The point of Flowers for Algernon isn’t the technology that lets Charlie become more intelligent but rather how people react to him, both before and afterwards of his operations.

  • Is it better to know everything or remain naive and happy?

The book presents both sides of the argument beautifully, it really makes one think about what things in life are the most important? I could relate with Charlie in many ways. I always feel the need to be smart. During my school years I always want to show how good I am in class. I understand how the little child in us always needs to get our parents’ approval. Look at me! I am smart! I am somebody! But I come to understand that intelligence is not everything.


Flowers For Algernon is one rare book. A kind of book that proves that it doesn’t need a very complicated architecture to achieve a high level of sensitivity. It is wonderful, enlightening, thought-provoking, heart-breaking, powerful and moving. I just cannot rate this book highly enough. Flowers For Algernon is insanely well written. The book is one of the deepest works of fiction I’ve ever read. This will go down as one of my favorites. I would highly recommend this book.


“.. Miss Kinnian says dont worry spelling is not suppose to make sence.”

“The more intelligent you become the more problems you’ll have.”

“Now I understand one of the important reasons for going to college and getting an education is to learn that the things you’ve believed in all your life aren’t true, and that nothing is what it appears to be.”

“I’m like a man who’s been half-asleep all his life, trying to find out what he was like before he woke up.”

“But I’ve learned that intelligence alone doesn’t mean a damned thing.'”

“They had pretended to be geniuses. But they were just ordinary men working blindly, pretending to be able to bring light into the darkness. Why is it that everyone lies? No one I know is what he appears to be.”

“I passed your floor on the way up, and now I’m passing it on the way down, and I don’t think I’ll be taking this elevator again.”

“Why am I always looking at life through a window?”