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The Transplant

3.33  ·  Rating Details ·  87 Ratings  ·  61 Reviews
The Transplant offers an insightful account of two young people living in United States illegally. Witty and tragic, it portrays their endless and fruitless pursuit of legalization. Agata, a young Polish au-pair who arrives in the United States in the late 1990’s, strives to maintain her legal status through hard work but, due to a fateful event, finds herself unable to do ...more
Published November 6th 2012 by United Arts Media, llc
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Sep 09, 2014 Michelle rated it did not like it
Playing Jokers Blog: all suits of genres and bookish news

A few weeks ago, there was a prompt for book bloggers to post about. The question was, “What was the last book you threw across the room?” At the time, I was having a hard time coming up with an answer. Typically, books will only disappoint and not anger me (if they don’t please, delight, or excite, obviously).

The Transplant actually angered me.

Agata is a Polish girl who yearns for a better life than the factory job she could have near her
Aug 22, 2013 ☮Karen rated it liked it
A goodreads first reads win....

Two separate accounts of a couple of illegal immigrants struggling to gain legal status while living in Illinois. Eventually their stories become one. I must say I had no idea all the ways one could go from being a legal documented immigrant to an illegal. In the book, one of those reasons was 9/11. When Agata, a Polish au pair, could no longer renew her au pair status, she could have gotten a student visa but then our govt. stopped issuing them to anyone, no matte
Jun 12, 2013 Zoeytron rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
There is plenty of food for thought in this book which delves into the world of illegal immigration. The Transplant touches on the figurative meaning as well as the literal, and will come full circle by the close of the story, after a fashion.

America, the land of opportunity, also holds plenty of nightmares for the two main characters, Agata and Mario. They will not come together until well into the book, but I never did feel any real chemistry between them. While Mario was certainly smitten wit
Marion Marchetto
I've often heard the term 'parallel universe' or 'parallel world' used in science-fiction. But The Transplant by Alexandra Ulysses rips the veil off of a real parallel world that exists here in America - the world of illegals. We follow the stories of two such people in this book: Agata, the polish au-pair who arrives in the U.S. legally under a work visa but who, through no fault of her own or her employers, is pushed into the unseemly underground network of illegals; and Mario, the Mexican ...more
Apr 28, 2016 Karen rated it did not like it
I was so happy to have won this book from LibraryThing's Early Reviewer's Giveaway. I thought it sounded like it would be good especially with "transplanted" immigrants and an actual organ transplant that needs to take place. Unfortunately, I was wrong and couldn't even finish it. The story was boring and the editing was bad. In one instance, Agata, is speaking with one child she babysits. In the next sentence she has a bloody nose. I had to reread it thinking I missed something but I didn't. I ...more
Anna Mills
Jul 20, 2013 Anna Mills rated it it was amazing
I have never read anything quite like this book! WOW! It puts a face on immigration. In three stories. First there is Agata from Poland who goes to Germany as an au pair, then to the US with the family. The character Agata is mesmerizing, a real girl in the very real world. Hard worker with a mind of her own, thankfully. Everything that happens to her was a surprise to me. Very unconventional. She ends up needing her estranged father who is already in the US.
The next "book" is about immigrants f
Aug 01, 2013 Clover rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 09, 2013 Nikki rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
How many of us living as citizens in America really know what it’s like to live as an illegal immigrant? How many of us have preconceived notions and prejudices against these people? How many of us even have preconceptions as to why they decided to come here in the first place and what they do while living here? “The Transplant” by Alexandra Ulysses offer us insight into the world of illegal immigrants in America. The novel follows the trials and tribulations of the lives of Agata from Poland ...more
Irene Adam
Nov 26, 2013 Irene Adam rated it it was amazing
I received a free early reviewers hard copy of The Transplant from LibraryThing in exchange for an honest review. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and at times couldn’t put it down. The ending was so sad and tragic; it really made me aware of some of the terrible things that another person will do for wealth and the almighty buck. This book presents a different view of illegal immigrants in the US that I wasn’t completely aware of. The majority are very hardworking, good, people. Of course there ...more
Cathie Klampfer
Jul 29, 2013 Cathie Klampfer rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I received this book as an ARC.
The Transplant by Alexandra Ulysses is a psychological thriller about illegal immigrant life in the United States. It details the hopes, dreams, hardships and horrors of those that come across our borders hoping to make a better life for themselves and their families.
First we are presented with Agata, a young Polish immigrant, who initially comes to America through legal channels to work as an au pair for a German couple and their two sons. Interestingly enough, A
Shelly Hammond
Nov 12, 2013 Shelly Hammond rated it it was amazing
I was lucky enough to win a copy of this book from a Goodreads giveaway. It’s not a book I would have generally picked for myself because I think the description doesn’t really do it enough justice so I’m really glad that I won it and gave it a shot. It was well worth it!

I can’t give away any part of the story at all because you need to get in there and find out for yourself what you think of the book, so I’ll give what I can. This book will grab your attention from the very beginning and you wi
Aug 11, 2013 LAWonder10 rated it it was ok
The author cleverly combined three stories into one book.
The books were fairly well-written. In book one, the story
begins with a Polish family, including a daughter, who
desperately wants to go to America to live with her biological
father. He is an alcoholic and makes promises, yet never keeps
The daughter, Agata, gets job as a au-pair in Germany. The story
continues from there. It involves her family in Poland, her
relationship with the family she works for, friendships developed,
then h
Jul 12, 2013 Shay rated it really liked it
** Received Copy From Author**

Putting aside the current U.S. issue with immigration, it was a really good book. Showing that most people do not have it all, that some must work much, much harder than others to achieve what they want out of life. Neither of these characters grew up with a golden spoon, their lives revolved around taking chances, making sacrifices, placing themselves in harms way and at times, depending on compete strangers to reach their goal. At times they take chances and end u
Jun 08, 2013 Julie rated it liked it
I just finished 'The Transplant' tonight...I usually can read a book in two nights but this is such a meaty read that it took me much longer. I must first say that this book is incredibly well written. The author did a great job with the story. Where the book fell flat for me was the characters. Despite the lengthly descriptions about the characters and their circumstances, I never really felt close to any of them. I also had some trouble with the passage of time between sections. Often months ...more
Erin Cataldi
Jul 30, 2013 Erin Cataldi rated it it was amazing
This book was like a punch in the gut. Nothing has opened up the immigration issue more than this novel has.

Personally, I never had very strong opinions on immigration and illegals in America. I always thought that everyone deserved a shot at a better life and if they want to come here let them, our forefathers got the chance, why can't they? It doesn't hurt me one iota, illegal immigrants generally take the jobs no one else want anyway. This book however, really made me take another look at the
Jul 13, 2013 Kasandra rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I won a free copy from a goodreads first-reads giveaway.

The book was interesting. I liked Agata's story, particularly before she even arrived in the US... After that the book sorta falters and drags. I thought the story was a bit long. Agata's story is much longer so I never felt connected to Mario the same. I was also pretty disappointed the summary of the plot on the back of the book discusses the plot for the first 430 pages or so. Then the last 40 pages it rushes by and ends so arbuptly it
Jul 17, 2013 Maryjane rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
Alexandra Ulysses has a great way of telling a story from different sides of the perspective. The book was interesting and the characters were easy to follow and I was always rooting for the good guy and girl. However, what I found confusing was that there were no chapter titles, so I didn't know when the chapter ended or began. I happen to like chapter titles. I like to know when I shift from one subject to the next to keep things straight in my head. I did learn a lot about the illegals in ...more
Jun 20, 2013 Kathy rated it did not like it
I received this book as an early reviewer.
The Transplant is about illegal immigration. This is a very timely and controversial topic, so in that respect, this book comes out at a good time.
The plot looks at the status of immigration in the United States and the mine field of challenges and disasters that befall people trying to gain citizenship.
Beginning in Poland , moving to Germany the story follows Agata , an au-pair, who eventually makes it to the US. There she falls in love with Mario fro
Aug 14, 2013 Brittany rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I won this book in a Good Reads first reads giveaway.
I wouldn’t have normally read a book about immigration, so I am glad that I won this book. The Transplant was a really good book, it pulled me in from the very first page. I became wholly invested in the main characters, Agata and Mario, from the beginning. This book is broken up into 3 parts; the first two parts are devoted to showing the two main character’s journeys towards becoming legal citizen in the United States. The first two parts of
Aug 18, 2013 Joy rated it liked it
I received a copy of this from GoodReads giveaways. This book is about two people who come to US illegally, and try to make a life for themselves. Agata from Poland's story is the first half of the book, good and bad things happen to her, there are many ups and downs, but overall things seem to be working out for her. Mario from Mexico's story is next, there is not as much detail, or insight into his inner thoughts. Then end of the book is the two meeting, and working to make a life together. ...more
Angie Chapple-wang
Jul 28, 2013 Angie Chapple-wang rated it did not like it
Shelves: first-reads
I received this book as an advance release copy. Well for the first time ever I decided to stop reading a book before I finished it. I just could not take The Transplant any longer. I have a large stack of great books just waiting for me to read them and life is too short to waste time on a book I'm not at all enjoying. After 150 pages I was still trying to figure out the point! It was all about Agata's hardships and the hardships and abuses of those around her. I thought it was supposed to be ...more
Dec 30, 2013 Krista rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this novel following the lives of two illegal immigrants to the US, one from Poland and one from Mexico. While we hear much about the prevalence of illegal immigrants in the US, rarely do we get much insight into their lives and subculture in the mainstream media. The book was at times quite disturbing, but unfortunately not particularly unrealistic, I don't think. I was drawn into the story quickly and found it to be a fairly quick read. The only thing I didn't particularly ...more
Aug 20, 2013 Kathy rated it it was ok
This was a slow read for me - the book is more like a diary chronicling the daily lives of two illegal immigrants than a story with an interesting plot. In the first part of the book Agata has several wild homicidal rants that don't make sense as as part of the story and are never explained. These rants don't appear in the later parts of the story. The characters are not too likable. Even though these people are exploited as immigrants they too lie, steal and cheat one another as they try every ...more
Jun 09, 2013 Juanita rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
From the get-go, this book captivated me. I was introduced to characters quickly and immediately rooted for the main characters. The descriptions of the people were very accurate as the author introduced people from all walks of life and personalities.

The book is divided into 3 parts. The first parts focuses on Agata, a young Polish women, who left her home in search for a better job and ended up in the US. The second part focuses on Mario, a Mexican immigrant who initially struggles to get int
Jun 25, 2013 Deb rated it it was amazing
This book is divided into three parts:

1. Story of a Polish Girl and her working as an aupair and coming to America.
2. Mexico friends and relatives working and crossing the border.
3. Girl meets boy from Mexico and have a daughter.

I really liked reading this story, the authors details regarding the story are well worded so you can picture it well in your mind.

I felt for the workers and their trials, there are people who want to work and don't want handouts. Funny(cute) words for the familiar store
David Richardson
Jul 02, 2013 David Richardson rated it liked it
I received this book for free from a giveaway at I had mixed feelings about this book so I'm gonna do this review a little different.
Things I didn't like about this book:
1: It is a REALLY slow starter.
2: The characters in the book puke way too much.
3: The entire book is sad and depressing.
Things I liked about this book:
1: The crossed out parts in Agata's story; sorta what she wanted to do but didn't.
2: The silly replacement names for American stores; Ouch-Mart and Please B
Sep 20, 2013 Elizabeth rated it liked it
Received this book through a Goodreads ARC win. Wasn't exactly what I thought it would be, guess you should read the blurbs better. Even though it wasn't what I expected I must admit that I liked the book.

Agata wants to go to America to be with her estranged father, Mario wants to go to America where he has heard you can make more money, he wants to make enough to help his mother get the kidney transplant she needs. Agata and Mario hooking up makes their process even more problematic.

This book e
Jun 18, 2013 Heather rated it really liked it
Shelves: give-a-way-win
An intimate and fictional look into the lives of illegal immigrants in the US. The story is well written and convincing. One reviewer on another site was ranting about how this book was a manual for illegal immigrants to "cheat the system." As someone who is only 4th generation to this country and with my family only being in this country in the last 75 years I find the "anti-immigration" issue a bit touchy. Since everyone in this country (with the exception of Native Americans) had relatives ...more
I received an ARC of this novel for First Reads on Library Thing. Like many of the other reviewers, I had trouble getting through this novel. While some had trouble with stilted language from Agata, I found that she read too much like an American for me to believe she was from Poland. Mario was a bit better as he often used his native language in his dialogue. This book was in desperate need of editing as it went on for far too long with very, very long chapters. I usually can read 200-300 pages ...more
Jul 06, 2013 Donica rated it it was ok
I recived this advanced reader copy (ARC) as an early reviewer thanks to LibraryThing. As much as I hate to admit it I do look at the covers before I pick up the book and read the burb. I wouldn't be tempted to pick it up in the store based on the cover. I did read the book. I thought it was interesting to break the story down into three different immigrant perspectives or parts. It gave me pause regarding their trials and tribulations trying to "make it" in the United States. I am not a fan of ...more
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