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Andromeda Klein

3.29  ·  Rating Details ·  690 Ratings  ·  159 Reviews
Andromeda Klein has a few problems.

Her hair is kind of horrible.

Her partner-in-occultism, Daisy, is dead.

Her secret, estranged, much older and forbidden boyfriend-in-theory, has gone AWOL.

And her mother has learned how to text.

In short, things couldn't get much worse. Until they do. Daisy seems to be attempting to make contact from beyond, books are starting to disappear f
Hardcover, 432 pages
Published August 25th 2009 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2009)
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Apr 25, 2011 Punk rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult, ebook
YA. Andromeda Klein lives so deeply in her head that in the first couple of pages of this you only get a few glimpses of her. She's riding her bike. She's wearing a hoodie. But mostly she's thinking about tarot and the Egyptian god Thoth. She relates to the world through tarot and her thoughts are complicated and infinitely layered, but I have to believe Portman purposely made them as dense and inaccessible as possible -- maybe to show us how different Andromeda is, how alienated from her peers ...more
Nov 27, 2009 Jeph rated it it was ok
In all honesty, I really can't recommend this book in good faith. However, for my part, I'm such an easy critic that it really grew on me. Even so, a book that takes until halfway through to really get moving and only really comes together at the last chapters has some problems in the workings.

Andromeda Klein tells the story of a misunderstood teenage girl who is obsessed with Tarot cards and the occult. Her life is falling apart at the seams. Her best friend died while she was on a family trip,
Mar 24, 2011 Sesana rated it it was ok
I didn't really like King Dork when I read it, so I'm not sure now what exactly got me interested in reading Andromeda Klein. Probably it was the concept of a modern teenager doing ceremonial magic in a very Crowley sort of way. And maybe if you liked King Dork, and you're deeply interested in ceremonial magic, it'll be a great read for you. But I didn't like King Dork, and I have only a passing interest in ceremonial magic, so this was doomed from the start.

The ceremonial magic is very, very we
Apr 21, 2012 Zan rated it it was amazing
[Edit: I originally gave this book 4 stars (I mention why in the original review below, which is unchanged), but given that I haven't been able to stop thinking about it or its fascinating main character since I read it, and keep recommending it to friends, it definitely warrants 5. This is a great read (though not for everyone, see review below) and if it doesn't deserve 5 stars, I don't know what does, it just leaves you a little pensive and wistful at the end (at least that's how it left me) ...more
Jun 18, 2010 Kat rated it it was ok
I liked "King Dork", so this had been in the queue for a while. This is another coming-of-age story about an awkward teen at the very bottom of the social totem pole. In this case, it's Andromeda Klein, a teenage girl obsessed with magic, tarot, and the occult. Her best friend recently passed away, her older-guy crush won't text her, her parents are nutty, her hair is awful, her friends are more like "frenemies"...This may sound like your standard young adult fare, but throw in lots of randomly- ...more
Apr 08, 2010 Betsy rated it did not like it
Terrible... so, so terrible. I didn't actually finish this book (which is pretty rare for me), but there was no listing for "I tried, but it was just WAY too bad." I was SO disappointed in this book, I can't even begin to describe it, so I won't. Instead, I'll make a pitch for Frank Portman's 1st book, "King Dork," which quite possibly ranks as my favorite teen-lit book. Yes... it even beats "Catcher in the Rye." ;) So... if you picked this one up by mistake, don't write off Frank Portman. Go ge ...more
Dec 14, 2009 pandamans rated it did not like it
Slow read - often muddied. Wade away from the banks of the first 50 pages and the waters start to clear -- but there is no current that takes you away. Dealing with the occult - one gets the impression the author busied himself so much with reading up on the complexities of the subject that he never got the chance to unstring the tangled points of light into a cohesive plot.
Apr 23, 2010 Colleen rated it did not like it
Shelves: supernatural, fiction
I could not finish this book. It read like a text book on "how to....with the occult". I felt like it was a platform for teaching people about tarot cards, witchcraft, new age...etc. It seemed to be less about a story and more about teaching.
Nov 25, 2009 Megan rated it did not like it
I started listening to this on audio CD, but when my ears began to bleed I quickly retrieved it from the CD player and calmed myself with some NPR...really, really crappy.
Alex Watkins
May 28, 2010 Alex Watkins rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: teen occultists
Shelves: young-adult, fantasy, 2010
This book is really quite something. First of all a YA book that isn't typeset like a freshmen trying to make their paper longer. Second a YA book that doesn't dumb down the writing. While these are not unknown (octavian nothing springs to mind), I find them rare. In fact, this book elevates typical teen speak to good writing. About a young teen occultist, whose library is oddly stocked with esoterica (the dewey number 133 makes quite a few appearances). The pictures of early 20th century occult ...more
Sep 03, 2009 Imogen rated it it was amazing
Would you judge me if I told you I don't like long books? You'd probably be right to judge me, but I don't. I mean, it's not a hardline absolute thing; I'm just always, like, three hundred pages? That will take a LONG GODDAM TIME to get through. And I DO NOT HAVE VERY MUCH TIME. And I WANT TO HAVE AN OPINION ABOUT EVERY BOOK. How will I have an opinion about every book if it takes me a week to read every book?

My favorite writers are Dennis Cooper and Kathy Acker; I namecheck them in every other
Nov 15, 2009 Debbie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, occult
Okay, let me start by saying that I truly enjoyed this book. It was engaging, interesting and kept my attention.[return][return]It follows the adventures of Andromeda Klein, a quirky, independent loner who is interested in ceremonial magic, knows how to properly pronounce Crowley's name and has a crush on A.E. Waite. She dabbles in Tarot on the side and is determined to save the occult book collection in her local library. She also has a hearing disorder which leads to hearing things such as "so ...more
Sep 08, 2009 Matt rated it it was ok
Shelves: young-adult
I attended a panel at the Book Expo in NYC earlier this year and the editor for the publisher did a great job of hyping this book to librarians.

Pretty much he pitched it as Andromeda Klein, a lowly library page, and part-time occultist versus an evil "Friends of the Library" organization with sinister intensions.

Librarians can have a lot of animosity towards Friends groups that are supposed to help libraries, but somehow very often wind up being an additional source of stress.

The occult plays a
Most of my way through this book I felt overloaded, with the density of the text's narrative information, the detailed occult references, the intensity of being trapped in Andromeda Klein's mind. I like to read fast, and this YA book took me 20 days to push through. Was it worth it? I'm not sure. It was interesting and different, but sometimes felt like a slog. When it focused less on the intricacies of AK's solitary magical thinking, and more on the awkward disconnects of her social interaction ...more
Oct 18, 2009 Sharon rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, realistic-fiction
Frank Portman wrote another YA book, and it's almost as good as "King Dork." I really feel like he has an uncanny knack for the teen voice, and from page one the reader is sucked into Andromeda's world, including her terms for the various things that make up her day to day life, like the International House of Bookcakes and Afternoon Tea. At times, this, as well as the incredibly detailed descriptions of Tarot cards and magical rituals, threaten to overwhelm the narrative, but they do help the r ...more
Allison Floyd
Jul 15, 2010 Allison Floyd rated it it was ok
GUPTG at page 79, which begins, "Most magical writing is deliberately obscure, designed to hide crucial matters from the uninitiated yet reveal them to those who know how to read the texts properly."

Well, count me out, Jack. And count you out, too, unless "Horus", "Crowley", and "Isis" are household names in yours. I knew that King Dork (which I absolutely loved) would be a tough act to follow, but this just limps behind. I was intrigued by the occult premise, but the references are relentless,
Dec 05, 2009 Caroline rated it it was amazing
Andromeda often talks about her favorite author, who, to protect the contents of his book from outsiders, tries to confuse the reader with his writing. I believe that this is a subtle reference to Frank P's intentions when he wrote this book. This isn't a YA book for someone looking for a romance or a thrill- this is a story for young adults who want a challenging book that is geared toward their age group. "Andromeda Klein" uses occultism to confuse the reader at first, but once I began to unde ...more
I love old books, I love old libraries... so does Andromeda Klein. I don't like weeding books merely because they are old or unused... neither does Andromeda Klein. I wish she was a teen employee in the Teen Space.
C.J. Lines
Dec 09, 2014 C.J. Lines rated it it was amazing
Astonishingly clever. Frank Portman makes me feel like the rest of us are just playing at this writing fiction game. This is up there with Tom Robbins.
Originally posted September 7, 2009 at Here There Be Books.

I found this on the New Books shelf at my library on Friday, and after checking to see what sort of book it was I decided to grab it before anyone else could get it and read it immediately. I finished on Saturday and WOW! I love it. It's long, but it's totally worth it.

The book as a whole is sweetly awkward, quirky, and fun-in-a-slightly-dark way (like a clown crying while telling jokes, for example). Some parts remind me a lot of my own
Ringo The Cat
Frank Portman was the cat’s literary discovery of 2012. King Dork had so much going for it, one of those absurdly delicious books any 16-year-old with a knack for rebellion should read. Needless to say, when Andromeda Klein landed on the cat’s desk, she was giddy with anticipatory excitement. Little did she realize this would be the only book this year that she’d repeatedly put down, and wonder whether to continue at all…

But then guilt snuck in, this is Frank Portman, dudes! Inventor of characte
Sep 02, 2009 gina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 10, 2009 Jennifer rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2010
This review was originally posted on my review blog :

Andromeda Klein can likely be described as one of those weird chicks that you went to school with that you were either friends with, or you simply made fun of. To tell you the truth, even if you were friends with her you probably made fun of her as well. She's tall and skinny with no curves, and a non-existent bottom. Her hair never seems to do what she wants it to, and it tends to get worse throughout th
Lenore Appelhans
Andromeda Klein is a strange girl with a strange life. She’s into magic and tarot and reads obsessively on the subject. Her best friend has recently died, her much older boyfriend has disappeared and her parents are as kooky as she is. But things get really complicated when she discovers the “friends of the library” plot to rid her local library of all the best books.

Ok…first what I liked about this novel: Andromeda is a well-drawn and fascinating specimen. Her interactions with people are often
Jul 08, 2011 Courtney rated it liked it
Shelves: coming-of-age, wtf, ccpl
I read and adored Frank Portman's other YA novel - King Dork - so I had high hopes for Andromeda Klein. AK is impressively weird on multiple levels. I was intrigued by the protagonist's interest in/obsession with the occult (especially tarot), and I appreciate the book's willingness to integrate a variety of esoteric and obscure allusions to ancient myths, symbols, and the history of tarot/occult studies. There was just WAY too much going on - Daisy's death, the aloof older love interest, a gene ...more
Jan 12, 2014 Elizabeth rated it liked it
Recommended to Elizabeth by: Courtney
Andromeda Klein is a teenaged occultist whose love of the Art is matched only by her love of books. As she starts a new year at high school, she has a lot going on: her companion-in-esoterica Daisy has died, her estranged boyfriend St. Steve is inconstant, her parents are difficult, her body seems intent on sabotaging her, & the library where she works is getting rid of a bunch of books she loves. As Andromeda pinballs between home, school & work, she contemplates her troubles & the ...more
Nov 05, 2009 Christina rated it really liked it
Shelves: realistic, humor
Very funny and very weird--if you like tarot cards or anything "weejy" (that is, relating to ouija boards and the occult), then this is the book for you. It's a lighthearted book, though, it's not really about 'dark magic', just a lot about the tarot and the history of tarot. Andromeda is in high school, a bit of an outsider, has no real friends except Daisy--who's dead. But Andromeda thinks Daisy may be trying to contact her from the afterlife. Andromeda has a funny way of looking at the world, ...more
Mar 17, 2010 Susan rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
This book almost needs to be rated in sections. First third: 2 Stars Middle part: 3 stars End: 4 stars What do you do with that?

This book has one of the weakest opening chapters I've encountered in a YA book. You start with a straightforward enough line like "The universe is huge. The universe is complex" and by the end of the first chapter, the reader is drowning in arcane minutiae about tarot symbology, Aleister Crowley and the history of occultism. By the end of the book--if there's anyone le
Oct 05, 2009 Abby rated it it was ok
Shelves: teen, librarians
I'm not sure what to make of this book. I read it for work, and I don't really think it's a book that will appeal to most teenagers (unless they happen to be obsessed with rare books of magic and unknown occult figures). It's very slow-moving and chock-full of references to obscure 19th-century magicians and arcane rituals that most readers will probably find annoying. The main character, Andromeda Klein, is a hearing-impaired teenaged occultist living in her own particular, strangely regimented ...more
An unusual story about a most unusual girl. Andromeda Klein is a hearing-impaired teenaged occultist who sees almost every coincindence as a "synch," or a message from the mystical unseen forces that steer the universe. Andromeda's never been particularly good at reading these signs and communing with the spirits. Her friend Daisy was a much more gifted medium. But now Daisy's dead and Andromeda thinks her spirit is trying to communicate something very urgent -- but what? Andromeda can't quite s ...more
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I write books and songs. Books: King Dork, Andromeda Klein, and t King Dork Approximately.

***The paperback edition of King Dork Approximately is out now, and includes a free download of the accompanying King Dork Approximately the Album. Basically if you want the book it comes with a free album and if you want the album it comes with a free book.***

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