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Chasing Windmills

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3.68  ·  Rating details ·  1,738 ratings  ·  219 reviews
Catherine Ryan Hyde, bestselling author of Pay It Forward, returns with a provocative tour de force on first love—a modern-day rendering of West Side Story born on a New York City subway car and nurtured under the windmills of the Mojave Desert.

The subway doors open and close, and in one moment Sebastian’s and Maria’s lives are changed forever. Rendered in Catherine Ryan H
...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published March 4th 2008 by Flying Dolphin Press (first published January 1st 2008)
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3.68  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,738 ratings  ·  219 reviews


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Tylah Marie
Jul 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
One of my favourite books of all time. Strongly recommend it!
Kristi
Jul 08, 2008 rated it liked it
Chasing Windmills is the story of Sebastian and Maria. They are both prisoners in their own lives, yet their situations couldn’t be more different. Sebastian lives an extremely sheltered life. He is home-schooled by his controlling father and he forbids any outside relationships. Maria is trapped in an abusive relationship, by the father of her two children.

Both escaping briefly, they meet on the subway train. Their relationship growing from just a quick glance to nightly meetings. Unable to den
...more
Majo's Library.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
M
Oct 30, 2009 rated it did not like it
Well this a collossal waste of time and paper. Had I but read the binding so I could have known. Mistake. Two one dimensional, pathetic and completely undeveloped and uninteresting people meet or rather glance at each other across a subway; she in her mid 20s, living with a stereotypical abusive bleep, he, several years younger (seventeen - yuck!) living with a completely evil dad who defies any level of complexity or realisticness; their eyes meet and wham. Anyway the odds are stacked against t ...more
Sarah
Aug 21, 2008 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Laura
Dec 30, 2008 rated it really liked it
This was a terrific book, written in a very conversational style. It was a fast read, and very absorbing - the kind of book where you keep reading long after you should be sleeping. It's a modern day Romeo & Juliet type of story (but not exactly) with a battered woman theme - very well done.

I really want to read more of Catherine Ryan Hyde's stuff now, thinking of starting with Pay It Forward since I loved the film so much. I'd love recommendations tho, on any of her others anyone particular
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Ann Miller
Sep 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is my first Catherine Ryan Hyde book and it won't be my last. I adored her 17-year-old hero, his best friend. While I didn't really "get" the heroine, I loved the heart of the story. It was a deep, meaty tale.
ZeitFürMich
Aug 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
Eine wunderschöne Story gespickt mit Lebensweisheiten.
Ann
Aug 22, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: could-not-finish
Hard to rate. I just couldn't get past the idea of an underage boy and a mother of two in her twenties as Romeo and Juliet.
Rachael
May 17, 2008 rated it it was amazing
One fateful night, a young man and woman meet on the subway. Few words are exchanged, yet a powerful connection is forged. Each is trying to escape their life, the boy Sebastian from a controlling father and the woman Maria from her controlling boyfriend. But the first time their eyes meet, they fall in love. Their nightly subway rides provide refuge from their unsatisfying lives, and soon a dream is born: Maria and Sebastian, now nicknamed Tony, plan to move to the Mojave Desert to start a new ...more
Katie
Oct 15, 2009 rated it really liked it
This was an incredible tale of finding love and identity. I was so enthralled by the relationships, and the issues, and the simplicity of it. There’s no huge plot twists, nothing to confuse you- it’s just a love story. But it’s probably one of the best I’ve ever read.

Maria and Sebastian, or Tony- as Maria likes to call him (a reference to West Side Story) have a very interesting relationship. They just happened upon each other on the subway train, and all it took was a glance between them and th
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Charity
Aug 30, 2011 rated it liked it
This book was a fun read because a lot of it is based in the city, and the 14th street subway station is an important scene in the book. Each of the characters is in a different type of abusive relationship, but both have been isolated and haven’t been able to experience much of the world. These complete strangers find themselves riding the subway from end to end, and an intense attraction is immediate from their first glance at each other.

Eventually, this book is about a coming-of-age, both pr
...more
Tattered Cover Book Store
Hyde, who wrote Pay It Forward among other things, has a very interesting voice. Chasing Windmills is a sort of modern, realistic fairy tale where happily ever after isn't exactly what you think it's going to be, but it's satisfying nonetheless.

Sebastian, isolated teenager aching for the outside world, and Maria, a
twentysomething mother of 2 and an abused wife meet late one night on a subway train. Chemistry? Destiny? Something clicks between these two and they begin a strange, illicit affair of
...more
Alyssa
May 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-contemporary
A simple story about how love can save people even without giving them a "happy ending" in the traditional fairy tale sense.

(view spoiler)
...more
Lindi
Jul 06, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jackie
May 09, 2008 rated it really liked it
Hyde, who wrote Pay It Forward among other things, has a very interesting voice. Chasing Windmills is a sort of modern, realistic fairy tale where happily ever after isn't exactly what you think it's going to be, but it's satisfying
nonetheless.

Sebastian, isolated teenager aching for the outside world, and Maria, a twentysomething mother of 2 and an abused wife meet late one night on a subway train. Chemistry? Destiny? Something clicks between these two and
they begin a strange, illicit affair of
...more
Paula Sealey
Jul 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Seventeen year old Sebastian lives a sheltered life, dominated by his controlling father. Maria is trapped in an abusive relationship with the father of her two children. A chance meeting between the two on a subway train finds them connecting with each other, and they begin to meet more often, eventually forming a bond and they begin planning a way to escape their desperate lives.

I kept reading Chasing Windmills long after I should have turned the light out as it was so engrossing. Well develop
...more
Laura
Aug 18, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2009
I think what I liked most about this story is that it doesn't end happy and neatly tied up. But it doesn't end tragically either, and though you half expect it to (with the references to Romeo & Juliet and West Side Story), in the back of your head you know that it might be sad, but it will be manageable.

What is also great about this story is how the characters grow into better versions of themselves as they go through some timultuous changes. The love story between them is second to their c
...more
Pamela Darling
Dec 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
This was a Richard and Judy recommended book and I am sometimes quite disappointed with these. Of course this one was different and there seems to be a trend of author's writing in diary form; this was much like this with just the two characters explaining their side of the story. It took a couple of chapters to capture my imagination but from then on I was engaged. It was basically the story of two people feeling unacknowledged and trapped in their life situations, how they found each other and ...more
carol
Apr 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another great read from C.R.H.

My favorite book by C.R.H. was "Take Me With You". I've read a lot off other books by this author...most all excellent... but Chasing Windmills takes a very close second to "Take Me with You".
Catherine is a wonderful author. Need to read more....
Bookworm
Feb 08, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I loved this story. I lived inside this book for a couple of days. You know how sometimes you can get really into a book and the storyline and characters just grab you? This is what happened while I read this story. I really wanted Sebastian and Maria to have a happy ending. The plot was really good and I found myself not wanting to put this book down.
Paula
Apr 01, 2008 rated it it was ok
I managed to finish this one, but never really enjoyed it that much and didn't really care about the characters as much as I wished I had.
Gabrielle Land
Jan 11, 2016 rated it liked it
Good book. Didn't like then ending...just kinda ended
Wal.li
Jun 08, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Windmühlen der Wüste

Sebastian hält es mit seinem Vater nicht mehr aus. Dieser möchte am liebsten, dass der 17jährige überhaupt nicht aus dem Haus gehen soll. Nur joggen ist erlaubt. Doch Abends, wenn der Vater seine Schlaftablette genommen hat, schleicht sich Sebastian hinaus und fährt U-Bahn. Dort sieht er sie. Auch Maria schleicht sich Nachts hinaus, ihr Freund Carl glaubt, sie gehe zur Arbeit, doch der Job ist futsch. Maria genießt ihre kleine Freiheit, denn Carl ist kein Traummann. Langsam k
...more
Sue
May 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, read-2017
‘Chasing Windmills’ is told from the perspective of two very different young people, both of whom are spending hours each evening travelling around on the underground in their city. Sebastian is seventeen, and has been brought up by a very controlling father. He’s a likeable and intelligent young man who is beginning to make a push for independence.

Maria lives with an equally controlling boyfriend, Carl. They have two small children. Maria recently lost her job but she hasn’t told Carl. So ther
...more
Charmaine
This was a touching story about some very flawed human beings (aren't we all?). I found the plot to be intriguing and not nearly as predictable as I initially expected from reading the book description. I listened to the audio version, and the readers (one male, one female) were excellent and really brought the story to life. I found some real wisdom shown through the philosophies of a few of the characters as well as some truly despicable behavior in some of the others. All in all, I liked this ...more
Heather
Hmmm! This certainly wasn't one of Catherine Ryan Hyde's better books. It was supposed to be a modern take on West Side Story, but it didn't really work. The two main characters, Sebastian and Maria, were fairly bland their dialogue always felt stilted. Also, I didn't believe their insta-attraction and I was uncomfortable that a 22 year-old woman was willing to sleep with a 17-year-old boy. Then there was the ending. I can see why the author finished Chasing Windmills the way she did, but it bas ...more
Joy Gerbode
May 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book was difficult for me to rate, as I'm not a big fan of books about cheating, marital problems, and abuse, which this book was ALL about. At the same time, though, it was about finding freedom, and it was intriguing, well written, and very thought-provoking; it not only laid out some great advice for those seeking freedom, but also for those who might be wanting to help someone to freedom from these abuses. I enjoyed the story. I especially enjoyed the word pictures of the windmills (in ...more
Jennifer S
May 14, 2017 rated it liked it
Sebastian/Tony (17) and Maria (22) meet while both are riding the subway in the wee hours of the morning as they are escaping their impossible lives. Immediately attracted to each other, it takes a while for them to really find each other and share the details of their unhappy situations. Both need to escape - but can they escape together and what will happen when they do? I loved Sebastian's downstairs neighbor, Delilah, but found a lot of the other characters a bit stereotypical. The ending of ...more
Ashlee Marie
Aug 09, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: tower-team-vi
Sebastian, 17, and Maria, 22 discover love at first sight one night as they venture home on the subway. Their story gives a modern day take on West Side Story. Each of them is a victim of family abuse. When Sebastian attempts to contact his mother, he discovers that he has a grandmother and mother willing to take him in. He and Maria decide to take a chance on their love and run off to Grandma Annie's. Little does Sebastian know, Maria has 2 children.

I enjoyed this "love story", but would have
...more
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I am the author of more than 30 published and forthcoming books, including ALLIE AND BEA, SAY GOODBYE FOR NOW, LEAVING BLYTHE RIVER, ASK HIM WHY, WORTHY, THE LANGUAGE OF HOOFBEATS, TAKE ME WITH YOU, WHERE WE BELONG, WHEN I FOUND YOU, WALK ME HOME, SECOND HAND HEART, DON'T LET ME GO, and WHEN YOU WERE OLDER.

I'm an avid hiker, traveler, equestrian, and amateur photographer, and have released my fir
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“I keep telling you the future isn't set in stone. It's not all decided yet. The future is just what's down the road we decided to walk on today. You can change roads anytime. And that changes where you end up.” 17 likes
“I think you can scare somebody out of doing something, but not out of feeling like they want to.” 6 likes
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