The Apothecary (The Apothecary #1)
It's 1952 and the Scott family has just moved from Los Angeles to London. Here, fourteen-year-old Janie meets a mysterious apothecary and his son, Benjamin Burrows - a fascinating boy who's not afraid to stand up to authority and dreams of becoming a spy. When Benjamin's father is kidnapped, Janie and Benjamin must uncover the secrets of the apothecary's sacred book, the P...more
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It's the year 1952, and 14-year-old Janie is living a happy, carefree life with her parents in Los Angeles. One day, while walking home from school, she notices a black sedan following her, which causes her parents to panic and make some sudden decisions. Suspected of being communist sympathizers, they feel like they have no choice but to pack everything up and move to London.
Starting school in London is harder than she ever imagined. Janie hates e ...more
By Maile Meloy; Putnam, 2011
Despite its widely positive reception, I am baffled how Maile Meloy’s fifth book, THE APOTHECARY—her first for Young Adults—could engage a serious writer’s talent, even as a holiday from seriousness. There are investments: in the historical framework of 1952, in the Los Angeles of that time (with McCarthyism and the black list), and the London of that time. The author has done research and invested time and setting with realistic detail. The heroine, fou ...more
The Apothecary is not just another pretty face thoug ...more
Really? That's what snobbish reviewers think is good fantasy? What do they know if they don't have anything to compare it to?
Some writers of adult fiction can carry off YA with grace and verve. I'm not sure Meloy ...more
Mostly, the students seem fairly snobby, but one boy, Benjamin, appeals to Janie. Intense and defiant, he wants to be a spy ...more
Von Amerika ins langweilige England. Eine drastische Veränderung, die Janie überhaupt nicht gefällt. Noch immer erkennt man die Spuren des Zweiten Weltkrieges, der erst vor wenigen Jahren endete. Warum gerade England? Warum gerade diese öde Schule? Warum gerade Benjamin, der Janie in ein waghalsiges Abenteuer entführt?
Benjamin wäre gerne ein Spion, und aus anfänglichem Spiel und Spaß wird bitterer Ernst, als er von seinem Vater, einem Apotheker, ein Buch in die Hand gedrückt bekommt. Die P ...more
Janie Scott, the daughter of two successful Hollywood writers is wrenched from her comfortable life in 1952 Los Angeles when her parents take a job writing for BBC ...more
What I liked about The Apothecary from the very beginning was the voice of first person narrator Janie Scott. She’s witty, intelligent, and ...more
"We were on a nuclear test site with an untested antidote. The Soviet Nav...more
I like this genre of books, and the main characters were interesting. I also thought that making it a historical fiction book was interesting, but overall I thought the execution was poor. The explanation of how the Apothecary worked was not very convincing. Either have a scientific explanation or a magical one; instead this boo ...more
But the age of the protagonist feels confused to me, even for 1952. And the "bad guys" and politics feel flat and simplistic, for a book which has attempted to address such matters. It's as if Meloy intended to get into these issues in a more serious way, but then lost steam (or her initial project was edited into a simpler one). Also, I struggled here, as I do with a lo ...more
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I liked pretty much all of the characters. Even the bit players had some development.
I felt genuinely sorry for Sergei, genuinely fearful for Benjamin's father, and genuinely intrigued and amazed by the magical science.
I highly recommend this book. It's aimed at younger teens, but I thoroughly enjoyed it and I'm 31, so its appeal is not limited solely to the inte ...more
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He stood over the pot, looking down at the leaves. 'Something like, Who do you fancy?'
'That might work,' I said, even though it was the last question I wanted to answer. But it was impossible, suddenly, to tell a lie.
Benjamin took a deep sniff over the steam and turned to me. 'All right,' he said. 'So who do you fancy?'
I hesitated. 'Fancy means like, right?' I said stalling.
I gritted my teeth against the answer coming out. but I couldn't stop myself. 'You,' I said helplessly.”