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Fifteen-year-old Reason Cansino has learned the painful truth that she?like her mother, grandmother, and new friends Tom and Jay-Tee?must face a choice between using the magic that lives in her blood and dying young, or refusing to use the magic and losing her mind. Now a new threat leaves Reason stranded alone in New York City, struggling to control a power she barely und Fifteen-year-old Reason Cansino has learned the painful truth that she?like her mother, grandmother, and new friends Tom and Jay-Tee?must face a choice between using the magic that lives in her blood and dying young, or refusing to use the magic and losing her mind. Now a new threat leaves Reason stranded alone in New York City, struggling to control a power she barely understands. But could the danger she faces also hold the key to saving her life? "Magic Lessons" is a stunning follow-up to Larbalestier's debut novel, "Magic or Madness, " which earned multiple starred reviews and a spot on the Locus 2005 Recommended Reading List, along with being named a Best Book of the Year by "School Library Journal" and the Young Adult Round Table of the TLA.


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Fifteen-year-old Reason Cansino has learned the painful truth that she?like her mother, grandmother, and new friends Tom and Jay-Tee?must face a choice between using the magic that lives in her blood and dying young, or refusing to use the magic and losing her mind. Now a new threat leaves Reason stranded alone in New York City, struggling to control a power she barely und Fifteen-year-old Reason Cansino has learned the painful truth that she?like her mother, grandmother, and new friends Tom and Jay-Tee?must face a choice between using the magic that lives in her blood and dying young, or refusing to use the magic and losing her mind. Now a new threat leaves Reason stranded alone in New York City, struggling to control a power she barely understands. But could the danger she faces also hold the key to saving her life? "Magic Lessons" is a stunning follow-up to Larbalestier's debut novel, "Magic or Madness, " which earned multiple starred reviews and a spot on the Locus 2005 Recommended Reading List, along with being named a Best Book of the Year by "School Library Journal" and the Young Adult Round Table of the TLA.

30 review for Magic Lessons

  1. 4 out of 5

    Tam Tam

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I didn't like this book as much as the first (which I thought was 4 stars!). I didn't even completely read this one. I skimmed through the last few chapters just to find out what happened. It was kind of a weird book. Some parts I had to skip over just because I thought some of it was inappropriate and wasn't quite for me... Okay, so this girl who's 15 has sex with this 18 year old which came to happen because she wanted to kiss this boy and she'd never kissed anyone before and was somewhat afra I didn't like this book as much as the first (which I thought was 4 stars!). I didn't even completely read this one. I skimmed through the last few chapters just to find out what happened. It was kind of a weird book. Some parts I had to skip over just because I thought some of it was inappropriate and wasn't quite for me... Okay, so this girl who's 15 has sex with this 18 year old which came to happen because she wanted to kiss this boy and she'd never kissed anyone before and was somewhat afraid she was going to die and never kiss someone (I think that was what happened.). So how is that teaching kids the right thing to do? I believe sex before marriage is inappropriate...even if you are dying! (I'm sure it probably wasn't a graphic detail (I skipped over this part so I can't be sure)). Perhaps the third book of the series will close the book nicely and add some morals to it. Also, it seemed to take forever to get to the whole point of the book. It was like I'm waiting and waiting for the big reveal...and then it's just weird at the end (although again, I didn't completely read it all...lots of skimming, so that could be why...well, no, it was weird.). I'll probably read the third book because I'm curious though. I mean, probably the only reason I didn't like this book was some improper scenes. I like the characters though. And I think Justine's take on magic is an unusual one and that makes it more interesting. I really wanted to like this series, but this second book was not up to par. And it perhaps made me not want to recommend this book...or rather series, to anyone. Sad. Oh, but it did kind of scare me. I was kind of scared reading the book. Haha. What a wuss.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Nicky

    I really think that reading Liar first spoiled me for Justine Larbalestier's earlier books. They just don't have the same complexity. I don't think it helps, reading the second book in a series, that I didn't really get into the first book, very much. It's easy to read and pretty fun, but I didn't engage with the characters, and this second book felt even lighter on character development. The whole Reason and Danny thing... while feeling quite realistic in one way, also seemed to be going way, wa I really think that reading Liar first spoiled me for Justine Larbalestier's earlier books. They just don't have the same complexity. I don't think it helps, reading the second book in a series, that I didn't really get into the first book, very much. It's easy to read and pretty fun, but I didn't engage with the characters, and this second book felt even lighter on character development. The whole Reason and Danny thing... while feeling quite realistic in one way, also seemed to be going way, way too fast, and to be a bit creepy. And it didn't develop their characters -- for me, anyway -- beyond a sort of sketchy outline. Basically, like the first book, it's fun but somehow unsatisfying, and the problems with slang and so on remain. I am a bit more enthused about reading the third book than I was about reading the second, but I'm not desperately anxious to grab it off my shelf and start right away, either.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jaemi

    Reason Cansino has been magic her whole life, but she’s only know magic was real for 8 days. In that time she’s moved into Sydney to live with her evil grandmother, her mother’s been committed to a “Loony Bin,” and she’s stepped through a door only to wind up on the other side of the world, in New York City. And if that’s not bad enough, she gets taken in by stories, only to end up in the clutches of her evil Grandfather, who’s worse than her Grandmother, who has to come through the door after he Reason Cansino has been magic her whole life, but she’s only know magic was real for 8 days. In that time she’s moved into Sydney to live with her evil grandmother, her mother’s been committed to a “Loony Bin,” and she’s stepped through a door only to wind up on the other side of the world, in New York City. And if that’s not bad enough, she gets taken in by stories, only to end up in the clutches of her evil Grandfather, who’s worse than her Grandmother, who has to come through the door after her to save her. Once back on the other side, in Sydney, there’s a lot to think about. Like how magic means insanity or dying young. Whether to accept lessons from a woman she doesn’t trust. The desire to find a way to change things, so that magic doesn’t have to be a curse. But it seems there’s no time for any of that, as the door begins to take on a life of its own, warping, making horrible noises, spitting out weird little creatures who attack the inhabitants of the house, and eventually, sucking Reason straight through. Back in New York, Reason is the only one who can actually see what’s happening to the door. Which is an impossibly old, and very magic, man, is trying to get through. But she doesn’t know why, or whose side he’s on. With the help of Jay-Tee’s non-magical brother Danny, she investigates on her side, while Jay-Tee, Tom and her Grandmother, Esmerelda, investigate and keep watch on the door from theirs. Who is this strange half-phantom, half-man? How can he be so old and yet so strong? How can he be related to Reason, Esmerelda, and her Grandfather too? What is the magic he’s given each of them? Will it help Reason to find a way to save them all?

  4. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    I was very disappointed in this second volume of Larbalestier's Magic trilogy. It almost seemed to have been written by a different, and far less capable, author. The action and dialogue were disjointed and the "rules" of the magical world incomprehensible. Plus, the Aussie lingo seemed forced, even though Larbalestier is a native speaker; if I read the word "chunder" one more time, I was going to, well, chunder. Surely the Australians have synonyms for vomiting? I'll read the third book because I was very disappointed in this second volume of Larbalestier's Magic trilogy. It almost seemed to have been written by a different, and far less capable, author. The action and dialogue were disjointed and the "rules" of the magical world incomprehensible. Plus, the Aussie lingo seemed forced, even though Larbalestier is a native speaker; if I read the word "chunder" one more time, I was going to, well, chunder. Surely the Australians have synonyms for vomiting? I'll read the third book because I'm incapable of abandoning a series, but I don't expect to like it. Maybe that's the most disappointing thing of all.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Anne Osterlund

    Life is hard. Especially when you are magic. For Reason and her friends, there are only two options: go mad from refusing to use their magic or die young using it. The answer, according to Reason’s grandmother, is to use solely a tiny bit every week. Magic Rationing. But then the door—the magic one that leads straight from Sidney to New York—begins to shake. Because something is trying to make its way through. Something with Reason’s DNA and the ability to pierce through her skin. And something th Life is hard. Especially when you are magic. For Reason and her friends, there are only two options: go mad from refusing to use their magic or die young using it. The answer, according to Reason’s grandmother, is to use solely a tiny bit every week. Magic Rationing. But then the door—the magic one that leads straight from Sidney to New York—begins to shake. Because something is trying to make its way through. Something with Reason’s DNA and the ability to pierce through her skin. And something that wants to make certain magic rationing isn’t even in her cards. Book two in the Magic or Madness series. I’m going to have to start budgeting for book three.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    Not as good as Magic or Madness, but good enough that I'll finish the trilogy. Not as good as Magic or Madness, but good enough that I'll finish the trilogy.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Ruth

    OK, not sure I liked this or not, but still want to know what happens next...

  8. 5 out of 5

    Raina S

    For my October book I read Magic Lessons by Justine Larbalestier. After coming back form New York City and stepping through the door everyone thought their lives would be free of the horrible Jason Blake but, little did they know that was not the case. After Reason, Tom, and Jay-Tee's first magic lesson form Esmeralda they went to the kitchen to get a nice cold drink when suddenly, the door started moving and rattling like crazy. They didn't know what it meant and soon enough Reason got sucked t For my October book I read Magic Lessons by Justine Larbalestier. After coming back form New York City and stepping through the door everyone thought their lives would be free of the horrible Jason Blake but, little did they know that was not the case. After Reason, Tom, and Jay-Tee's first magic lesson form Esmeralda they went to the kitchen to get a nice cold drink when suddenly, the door started moving and rattling like crazy. They didn't know what it meant and soon enough Reason got sucked through the magical door and was trapped in New York City! Not only was she trapped in the same city as Jason Blake but, she was also trapped by this mysterious old man who guarded the door. For weeks she lived with Jay-Tee's brother, Danny, who taught her how to be a normal teenager. On the other side of the door, back in Australia, Esmeralda, Tom, and Jay-Tee scrabbled to find a way to get Reason back and save her form the horrible Jason Blake and the mysterious old man. Will they ever get Reason back or will she be stuck forever? I didn't really like this book very much. Unlike the first book in the series it did not make me want to keep reading it. I had no trouble at all putting it down. If I could change something I would change it so that the book was more suspenseful, exciting and, dramatic. The idea, plot, and characters of the book were good but, it needed something to spice it up a little bit. Even though I wasn't a big fan of this book I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who read the first book in the Magic and Madness series. Don't read this if you didn't read the first book, it would be very hard to follow along!!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Carolyn

    As with the first book--loved the Australianisms, loved that the magic system had penalties, but plot-wise, it felt a bit like a teen fanfic. Definitions: Spinifex: An Australian grass with stiff, sharp leaves and spiny seeds that grow in dense masses. From spina, thorn + fex (facere), to make.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Megan

    I didn't like this second installment. Seemed to loose the draw of the first book. I didn't like this second installment. Seemed to loose the draw of the first book.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Marsha Valance

    Again transported to Manhattan, Ransom encounters a powerful ancient entity and becomes pregnant by J.T.’s non-magical brother Daniel.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Wardrip

    Reviewed by Jocelyn Pearce for TeensReadToo.com MAGIC LESSONS is the second book in Justine Larbalestier's trilogy, and it's just as wonderful and gripping as MAGIC OR MADNESS! In this book, there are just as many questions as in the first, as every answer Reason finds only leads to more questions. For everything that's resolved, there are five more things that I was anxious to find out as I read on! There is plenty of suspense in this book. Reason, Tom, and Jay-Tee have all stepped through Esmer Reviewed by Jocelyn Pearce for TeensReadToo.com MAGIC LESSONS is the second book in Justine Larbalestier's trilogy, and it's just as wonderful and gripping as MAGIC OR MADNESS! In this book, there are just as many questions as in the first, as every answer Reason finds only leads to more questions. For everything that's resolved, there are five more things that I was anxious to find out as I read on! There is plenty of suspense in this book. Reason, Tom, and Jay-Tee have all stepped through Esmeralda's magic door into Sydney, leaving behind Reason's evil grandfather, Jason Blake, as well as Jay-Tee's older brother, Danny, in New York. They're being taught magic by Esmeralda, even Reason and Jay-Tee, though they're still not sure they trust her the way Tom does. They've had some bad experiences with magic, but they know now that they have to use it, or else they'll go crazy, like their parents. However, every time they use magic, they lose a little time being alive. Magic is not the blessing it is in other books; in the world Justine Larbalestier has created, it's more of a curse. The door between Sydney and New York is acting strangely. At first, they think it's because of Jason Blake, but it turns out to be something much more frightening and mysterious. They're not sure what it is, but Reason knows something about whatever it is that the rest of them don't: It's a Cansino. She and Esmeralda are related to it. One more thing: it's old. As in, centuries old. Reason isn't sure what to make of this information, but she doesn't trust Esmeralda, so she's not telling anyone. Then she loses her chance to share it. She is sucked through the door into New York. Reason's not as lost as she was the first time; after escaping the scary, stinking old man-like creature standing in front of the door, she finds Jay-Tee's brother Danny, and stays with him. She can't go back to Sydney; the old man, the Cansino, is guarding the door. She could always buy a plane ticket home (or, rather, Danny could buy her one; money is nothing to him, and she has none), but there are a few things keeping her in New York. One, she wants to find out more about the man guarding the door, and maybe do something to get rid of him if Esmeralda figures out what he is. Two, there's Danny... Sequels often don't live up to the high expectations set by the previous books, but MAGIC LESSONS sure does! It's just as great as MAGIC OR MADNESS. One thing that I like about these books is Justine Larbalestier's magic system; it's very original, and it seems more realistic that, if magic existed, it would have a price. That makes this much darker than a lot of books about kids who find out they have magical powers, and also adds some extra awesomeness to an already great book. The number of questions being far more than the number of answers also adds something to this novel. Even though I usually think that a book is made less wonderful by a cliff-hanger ending, I don't think that's the case in these books. First of all, the main conflict of the book is resolved, but, as all answers do in Justine Larbalestier's books, those resolutions bring new questions to be answered in the following story. Nothing here has been what it has seemed to be so far, but everything also makes perfect sense. Add this to great writing, wonderful characters, and brilliant ideas, and you've got an amazing trilogy! I absolutely cannot wait for book number three.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Emery

    This book is so good and well written but the ending has me so conflicted! I don't know if I now love or hate the book or will even read the next one. Ahhhhh. So frustrating! This book is so good and well written but the ending has me so conflicted! I don't know if I now love or hate the book or will even read the next one. Ahhhhh. So frustrating!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Debrarian

    p. 126

  15. 5 out of 5

    Eshusdaughter

    In this sequel to Magic or Madness, the story picks up shortly after the events of the last book. Reason & Jay-Tee are to begin taking magic lessons from Esmeralda. Things go badly awry however when someone or something starts trying to get through the door from Sydney to New York. As action packed and character driven as the last book this was well-written and paced. I would have given the book a four except for the ending. Full review/rant is below due to spoilers. SPOILERS . . . . . . I really liked In this sequel to Magic or Madness, the story picks up shortly after the events of the last book. Reason & Jay-Tee are to begin taking magic lessons from Esmeralda. Things go badly awry however when someone or something starts trying to get through the door from Sydney to New York. As action packed and character driven as the last book this was well-written and paced. I would have given the book a four except for the ending. Full review/rant is below due to spoilers. SPOILERS . . . . . . I really liked the book, right up until the moment 15-year-old Reason ends up pregnant. It's not so much that she's pregnant but the way it's presented. As though that is perfectly normal, acceptable and desirable. I disagree with the blase way teen pregnancy was treated in the ending of this book. For goodness sake Reason is 15! She's so young and a baby is a huge responsibility, not only that but she's the third generation in her family to have a child super, super young. Her mother was pregnant at fifteen as well. Granted in Larbalestier's world and portrayal of magic, the magic-users die young and therefor must have kids young. Again, the main problem is how Reason's pregnancy is presented in this novel. She is not afraid, or apprehensive. She has little reaction at all. The repercussions of her pregnancy (granted she's just found out) just aren't there and it feels like a sort of "oh isn't that cool" attitude that disturbs me. I don't see Reason's pregnancy as realistic or inevitable from the previous events of the story. If the pregnancy had been dealt with differently, if the reasons for it had been different I think it would have been less jarring. Overall, however, the ending just really soured the series for me. I may or may not be reading the third book. Still undecided.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Sylviaanne

    (part 1 of review)"Magic Lessons" by Justine Larbalestier is a 275 paged book. The main character in the book is Reason, Tom, and Jay-Tee. They are back in Sydeny after going through a magic door that goes to New York City. But, the door starts to shake and some odd shaped creature comes out of the door and attack Reason and every one else. After that, Esmeralda (Reason's grandmother) gives them their first magic lesson. Then at night in Sydeny the kids watch the door and when Tom and Jay-Tee ar (part 1 of review)"Magic Lessons" by Justine Larbalestier is a 275 paged book. The main character in the book is Reason, Tom, and Jay-Tee. They are back in Sydeny after going through a magic door that goes to New York City. But, the door starts to shake and some odd shaped creature comes out of the door and attack Reason and every one else. After that, Esmeralda (Reason's grandmother) gives them their first magic lesson. Then at night in Sydeny the kids watch the door and when Tom and Jay-Tee are asleep the door shakes again and gets Reason, and then Tom and Jay-Tee wake up. Reason is back in New York and is helped by Danny (Jay-Tee's brother). But no one is sure who got Reason through the door without opening it. (part 2 of review) "Magic Lessons" by Justine Larbalestier is a 275 paged book. The main character in the book is Reason, Tom, Jay-Tee,and Esmeralda(Reason's grandmother). Right after Reason was saved by Danny, they went to his condo. Danny was suprized that Reason never watched T.V. or knew how a cell phone worked. After, Danny bought Reason some clothes to wear and it was night Reason could not sleep. She went in to Danny's room and then they had xxx. But in Sydeny Jay-Tee almost died so she ask Tom for his magic to stay alive. Then Jay-Tee found out that Esmeralda was dieing too. So they thought they could go through the door but when Mere (nickname for Esmeralda) touched the door something odd happened. When Reason was ready to open the door her Grandfather was following her. But Reason got in to the door in time. She found out how she went through the door. Her old ancestor wanted to get in to Sydeny and die there with his family. And in the end of the story Esmeralda finds out that Reason is pregnant.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

    Having recently gobbled up Magic or Madness , I am now plotting how I can get the third book from this trilogy, Magic's Child , before I go mad... which is to say, as soon as possible. Magic Lessons has the same roaring pace of Larbalestier's first book, but it further explores the troubling contradictions magic brings out in people. Namely: can you deal with other magic-wielders honestly when you know that some day your magic will wear out, and your only hope for survival is taking theirs? T Having recently gobbled up Magic or Madness , I am now plotting how I can get the third book from this trilogy, Magic's Child , before I go mad... which is to say, as soon as possible. Magic Lessons has the same roaring pace of Larbalestier's first book, but it further explores the troubling contradictions magic brings out in people. Namely: can you deal with other magic-wielders honestly when you know that some day your magic will wear out, and your only hope for survival is taking theirs? There's a hint, though, that all that may change now that Reason's in the know and richer than ever in magic. Although this second book covers a span of only a few days and follows directly on the heels of the events in Book I, the reader feels that Reason, Tom, and Jay-Tee have gained years of maturity. Maybe that's how steep the learning curve is for magic people for whom 40 is an exceptionally old age. Highly recommended, both to fantasy fans and to skeptical types. Delicious!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Res

    Sequel to Magic or Madness. The one where Reason gets sucked through the magic door from Australia to New York by a mysterious old man who has incredibly strong magic and never speaks. Man, this was a mess. Critical facts (such as the old man's relationship to Reason and Esmerelda) would be revealed by someone "just knowing." But other important things were beaten into the ground; we'd see something happen to Reason in New York, and then we'd have an entire chapter of Reason recounting it for T Sequel to Magic or Madness. The one where Reason gets sucked through the magic door from Australia to New York by a mysterious old man who has incredibly strong magic and never speaks. Man, this was a mess. Critical facts (such as the old man's relationship to Reason and Esmerelda) would be revealed by someone "just knowing." But other important things were beaten into the ground; we'd see something happen to Reason in New York, and then we'd have an entire chapter of Reason recounting it for Tom back in Australia, and Tom telling JayTee. Also, alas, all ambiguity has now been removed from Reason's relationship with Esmerelda. I won't be seeking out book 3. (Locus poll 2007: #3 YA SFF novel.)

  19. 4 out of 5

    Natlyn

    Not to my liking. That said, I think it would work well for its intended audience. The setting (Australia and New York City) and the magic are different enough to be intriguing and the pace and language are good. But the characters spent too much time not knowing anything and doubting what and whom they thought they knew for me to really get into the story. Part of this may be because Magic Lessons is the second book of a trilogy of which I did not read the first. But based on this book, I'm sur Not to my liking. That said, I think it would work well for its intended audience. The setting (Australia and New York City) and the magic are different enough to be intriguing and the pace and language are good. But the characters spent too much time not knowing anything and doubting what and whom they thought they knew for me to really get into the story. Part of this may be because Magic Lessons is the second book of a trilogy of which I did not read the first. But based on this book, I'm sure Reason, the main character, will find a way to fix the "my peeps are dying" problem; however, I don't care if she does and am not curious as to how. On a side note, it's an interesting choice to show generations of teen pregnancies without heavy-handed commentary about how awful it is. There certainly are themes to that effect, but it's never in the forefront.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Anne Kat

    Wow. There's so little that can be said about the book without spoilers... Still, it was fantastic. Magic Lessons continues the story of Reason, Jay-Tee and Tom, keeping the same fast pace as the last novel and further exploring the rules of magic. The trio have only just begun to learn more from Esmerelda when a strange phenomenon occurs with the door that none of them can explain. Soon, they're questioning the fundamentals of magic they'd just begun to except, namely the choice of magic-weilder Wow. There's so little that can be said about the book without spoilers... Still, it was fantastic. Magic Lessons continues the story of Reason, Jay-Tee and Tom, keeping the same fast pace as the last novel and further exploring the rules of magic. The trio have only just begun to learn more from Esmerelda when a strange phenomenon occurs with the door that none of them can explain. Soon, they're questioning the fundamentals of magic they'd just begun to except, namely the choice of magic-weilders: die young or go insane. My only problem with this one is probably the same as my problem with the first (which I haven't read in a while): descriptions can go a bit haywire, leaving the reader struggling to work out exactly what's going on. Still, Magic Lessons is well-worth the read.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Shelley

    The second installment in the Magic or Madness series is just as good as the first. I can't wait to finish the series. Reason gets more answers to her heritage but many of the answers lead to more questions. After just escaping New York, Reason is sucked back through the door but her new found friends are left behind. She also discovers a mysterious force on the other side of the door which might answer her questions about a way to avoid death or magic at an early age. She seeks out Danny, Jay-T' The second installment in the Magic or Madness series is just as good as the first. I can't wait to finish the series. Reason gets more answers to her heritage but many of the answers lead to more questions. After just escaping New York, Reason is sucked back through the door but her new found friends are left behind. She also discovers a mysterious force on the other side of the door which might answer her questions about a way to avoid death or magic at an early age. She seeks out Danny, Jay-T's brother and together they try to figure out the force that drew her back through the door. But her grandfather is also on the other side of the door, and he wants Reason's magic for himself, and he no longer has to ask permission to take it. Rating: 14 and up for sexual content,and some language.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Shara

    I'm enjoying this trilogy so far. Certainly, Larbalestier has a way of stringing out the answers, and one of the reasons you keep turning the pages is to simply find out what's really happening. I hope all the major loose ends are tied up by the end of the third book, and I look forward to seeing what happens to each of the characters by the end. Everyone has something at stake, and that's the beauty of these people. [return][return]If you enjoyed the first volume, you'll definitely enjoy this. I'm enjoying this trilogy so far. Certainly, Larbalestier has a way of stringing out the answers, and one of the reasons you keep turning the pages is to simply find out what's really happening. I hope all the major loose ends are tied up by the end of the third book, and I look forward to seeing what happens to each of the characters by the end. Everyone has something at stake, and that's the beauty of these people. [return][return]If you enjoyed the first volume, you'll definitely enjoy this. This book is a wee bit more adult in my mind concerning some of the material, but I don't consider any of the material inappropriate for YA. It's good stuff, and I can't wait to see what how it all plays out in the end.[return][return]For a full review, which DOES INCLUDE SPOILERS, please click here: http://calico-reaction.livejournal.co...

  23. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    The first book was amazing! I was so thrilled to finally get the next installment....but that thrill quickly wore off. Some of the writing in this book was plain bad, like for example, when Tom was on the phone, there was a loud beeping noise. He observed: I wonder if monkeys were behind this, cause it sounded like a monkey's burp' Passages like these served no purpose and were nonsensical filler. Also, at the very beginning, they start a paragraph 'We met with the three old ladies at the meetin The first book was amazing! I was so thrilled to finally get the next installment....but that thrill quickly wore off. Some of the writing in this book was plain bad, like for example, when Tom was on the phone, there was a loud beeping noise. He observed: I wonder if monkeys were behind this, cause it sounded like a monkey's burp' Passages like these served no purpose and were nonsensical filler. Also, at the very beginning, they start a paragraph 'We met with the three old ladies at the meeting place' What meeting place? What was the role of these women, how did Reason come to contact with them? The author made scenarios really hard to imagine with this sloppy writing. Plot wise: first half was slow, second half got more interesting...but not enough to compensate for this terrible quality of writing! Overall, Not feeling it.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Beckie

    i read a very favourable review of this trilogy somewhere, but i didn't like it that much. the story is split between sydney and new york city, which could have been interesting, but i found the gratuitous use of slang to distinguish the american and australian characters annoying, especially because the characters were all so dumb. one of the australians had the excuse of living in small towns her whole life and never getting to know anyone but her mother, but are there really americans who wou i read a very favourable review of this trilogy somewhere, but i didn't like it that much. the story is split between sydney and new york city, which could have been interesting, but i found the gratuitous use of slang to distinguish the american and australian characters annoying, especially because the characters were all so dumb. one of the australians had the excuse of living in small towns her whole life and never getting to know anyone but her mother, but are there really americans who wouldn't understand "my grandmother and i don't get on", for example? maybe if i hadn't been so irritated i would have liked the book better... i didn't dislike it enough to not read the rest of the trilogy, though, especially since it's ya and therefore easy to read quickly.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Lucy

    i read a very favourable review of this trilogy somewhere, but i didn't like it that much. the story is split between sydney and new york city, which could have been interesting, but i found the gratuitous use of slang to distinguish the american and australian characters annoying, especially because the characters were all so dumb. one of the australians had the excuse of living in small towns her whole life and never getting to know anyone but her mother, but are there really americans who wou i read a very favourable review of this trilogy somewhere, but i didn't like it that much. the story is split between sydney and new york city, which could have been interesting, but i found the gratuitous use of slang to distinguish the american and australian characters annoying, especially because the characters were all so dumb. one of the australians had the excuse of living in small towns her whole life and never getting to know anyone but her mother, but are there really americans who wouldn't understand "my grandmother and i don't get on", for example? maybe if i hadn't been so irritated i would have liked the book better... i didn't dislike it enough to not read the rest of the trilogy, though, especially since it's ya and therefore easy to read quickly.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Pamela

    The continuing story of Reason Cansino, who has recently discovered that she is "magic," and that she can either use her magic (and die young) or not (and go mad). Her mother Sarafina has warned her all her life about her grandmother Esmeralda, a powerful witch who has managed to live to her mid-forties by conserving her magic . . . and taking that of others. In this novel (soon to be followed by the third and final book, "Magic's Child"), Reason learns more about her ancestors and how to help h The continuing story of Reason Cansino, who has recently discovered that she is "magic," and that she can either use her magic (and die young) or not (and go mad). Her mother Sarafina has warned her all her life about her grandmother Esmeralda, a powerful witch who has managed to live to her mid-forties by conserving her magic . . . and taking that of others. In this novel (soon to be followed by the third and final book, "Magic's Child"), Reason learns more about her ancestors and how to help her new friends Jay-Tee (Julieta) and Tom, both of whom are also magic. Reason's magic is with numbers and math, while her friends have other gifts. The reader learns that almost everyone has some magic in them--some of us just don't use it. A good, quick YA read. >^..^<

  27. 5 out of 5

    Barbara ★

    The world building is unique - those with magic must use a little bit once a week or go insane but if you use too much you die. Talk about a catch-22. This one starts slowly but around page 60 takes off and keeps you turning pages. Reason Cansino is a 15 year old girl living in Sydney Australia with a mad crush on an 18 year old boy living in New York City whom she met by going through her grandmothers back door. This door is a magic doorway between NYC and Sydney. When Reason is yanked through The world building is unique - those with magic must use a little bit once a week or go insane but if you use too much you die. Talk about a catch-22. This one starts slowly but around page 60 takes off and keeps you turning pages. Reason Cansino is a 15 year old girl living in Sydney Australia with a mad crush on an 18 year old boy living in New York City whom she met by going through her grandmothers back door. This door is a magic doorway between NYC and Sydney. When Reason is yanked through the doorway by some weird golem, Danny is there to rescue her. The trick to returning is getting past the golem who is very strong and determined to keep Reason in NYC. I enjoyed this book and will definitely be reading the conclusion.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Brenda

    As this second book in the Magic trilogy begins, Reason, Jay-Tee, and their friend Tom are on the Australia side of the magic door, having decided to trust Reason's grandmother Esmeralda and learn whatever she can teach them about magic. But the evil Jason Blake, still on the NYC side, won't let them escape so easily. When something evil seeps through the door and attacks Reason, they assume it's from him, but she instinctively knows it's something more mysterious. So, empowered with a new, weir As this second book in the Magic trilogy begins, Reason, Jay-Tee, and their friend Tom are on the Australia side of the magic door, having decided to trust Reason's grandmother Esmeralda and learn whatever she can teach them about magic. But the evil Jason Blake, still on the NYC side, won't let them escape so easily. When something evil seeps through the door and attacks Reason, they assume it's from him, but she instinctively knows it's something more mysterious. So, empowered with a new, weird magic, she sets off through the door in search of answers - and finds way more than she bargained for. Meanwhile, Jay-Tee's magic is almost used up and her time is short. Is there any way to get around their curse? Oh and I did NOT see the ending coming, although I probably should have!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jess

    When the portal door between Sydney and New York City begins to shake and a creature flies out, Reason, Tom, and Jay-Tee find themselves dealing with much more than the price magic has placed on their lives. Not as good as the first but a strong enough sequel for me to be ready to read the third soon. This one flirts more with the sophie's choice (magic / death / crazy) raised in the first. Readers are given some answers about magic but just as many new questions are raised. Please let them be an When the portal door between Sydney and New York City begins to shake and a creature flies out, Reason, Tom, and Jay-Tee find themselves dealing with much more than the price magic has placed on their lives. Not as good as the first but a strong enough sequel for me to be ready to read the third soon. This one flirts more with the sophie's choice (magic / death / crazy) raised in the first. Readers are given some answers about magic but just as many new questions are raised. Please let them be answered in the final volume. I like Danny. Slang still pushed more than necessary - are Americans really that confused by Australian phrases?

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jen

    Second in the Magic series and a good follow up to the first novel. Reason and her friends are still learning about their magic powers when they are threatened by something from beyond the door at Esmerelda's. This force finally sucks Reason back to New York, where she has to find and confront the remains of one of her ancestors. Meanwhile, JayTee nearly dies as her magic becomes very low, as does Esmerelda, who's magic is nearly gone. Only Tom's generosity saves Jay Tee and the mysterious new m Second in the Magic series and a good follow up to the first novel. Reason and her friends are still learning about their magic powers when they are threatened by something from beyond the door at Esmerelda's. This force finally sucks Reason back to New York, where she has to find and confront the remains of one of her ancestors. Meanwhile, JayTee nearly dies as her magic becomes very low, as does Esmerelda, who's magic is nearly gone. Only Tom's generosity saves Jay Tee and the mysterious new magic helps Esmerelda. The novel ends with Reason finding out that she is pregnant, but with still many unanswered questions about how to confront her wicked Grandfather in New York.

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