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It’s pretty humiliating to admit, but I’ve never flown in a plane before today. So wouldn’t you think that I’d be feeling pretty jazzed right now? Instead I keep grabbing onto these armrests as I ask myself why on earth I ever agreed to come on this frightening trip.… Affectionately teased as a “country bumpkin,” nineteen year-old Maddie has never been one to explore ne It’s pretty humiliating to admit, but I’ve never flown in a plane before today. So wouldn’t you think that I’d be feeling pretty jazzed right now? Instead I keep grabbing onto these armrests as I ask myself why on earth I ever agreed to come on this frightening trip.… Affectionately teased as a “country bumpkin,” nineteen year-old Maddie has never been one to explore new territory. Her first trip outside of the country with her Aunt Sid and Sid’s godson, Ryan, promises an exhilarating adventure. Northern Ireland is more captivating than she even imagined–and Ryan is offering plenty of intrigue himself. As Aunt Sid researches peace camps, Maddie and Ryan explore Ireland’s rich landscape. During the journey, Maddie begins to discover more about what she wants from life, while developing a deeper friendship with her irresistible traveling companion. When Maddie and Ryan dig for the truth about the IRA car bomb that killed Ryan’s father years ago, questions about the past accumulate. Unable to let go of growing suspicions in this mysterious country, Maddie finds herself on a dangerous journey, a journey that will lead her to the greatest discovery of all. From the Trade Paperback edition.


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It’s pretty humiliating to admit, but I’ve never flown in a plane before today. So wouldn’t you think that I’d be feeling pretty jazzed right now? Instead I keep grabbing onto these armrests as I ask myself why on earth I ever agreed to come on this frightening trip.… Affectionately teased as a “country bumpkin,” nineteen year-old Maddie has never been one to explore ne It’s pretty humiliating to admit, but I’ve never flown in a plane before today. So wouldn’t you think that I’d be feeling pretty jazzed right now? Instead I keep grabbing onto these armrests as I ask myself why on earth I ever agreed to come on this frightening trip.… Affectionately teased as a “country bumpkin,” nineteen year-old Maddie has never been one to explore new territory. Her first trip outside of the country with her Aunt Sid and Sid’s godson, Ryan, promises an exhilarating adventure. Northern Ireland is more captivating than she even imagined–and Ryan is offering plenty of intrigue himself. As Aunt Sid researches peace camps, Maddie and Ryan explore Ireland’s rich landscape. During the journey, Maddie begins to discover more about what she wants from life, while developing a deeper friendship with her irresistible traveling companion. When Maddie and Ryan dig for the truth about the IRA car bomb that killed Ryan’s father years ago, questions about the past accumulate. Unable to let go of growing suspicions in this mysterious country, Maddie finds herself on a dangerous journey, a journey that will lead her to the greatest discovery of all. From the Trade Paperback edition.

30 review for Ireland

  1. 5 out of 5

    Lindsey (Books for Christian Girls)

    This is a mini ‘Books For Christian Girls’ review. It is not a full content review and will not receive one. These mini-reviews are years old and just for clarity on the rating the book received on Goodreads. 7/7/2013- “Not a bad book, but also not the best by this author.” *Main Content- Maddie thinks that an older man might be a sex offender (he's not); Mentions of drinking. This is a mini ‘Books For Christian Girls’ review. It is not a full content review and will not receive one. These mini-reviews are years old and just for clarity on the rating the book received on Goodreads. 7/7/2013- “Not a bad book, but also not the best by this author.” *Main Content- Maddie thinks that an older man might be a sex offender (he's not); Mentions of drinking.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Lindsey

    This was tough to get through. Luckily, it's super short. The Irish countryside descriptions were nice, but it really painted Ireland to be a bad place and that's just not true. This was tough to get through. Luckily, it's super short. The Irish countryside descriptions were nice, but it really painted Ireland to be a bad place and that's just not true.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Alex

    This is one of the few Melody Carlson series I’ve never read, and I’m really glad to finally be reading it now. This was super cute! I loved Maddie and I loved the Irish setting, but unfortunately the story itself was just a little lackluster. I’m still looking forward to the next book, though!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jill Williamson

    Review by Jill Williamson Farm girl Maddie Chase has never gone anywhere. That’s why she jumps at the chance to travel to Ireland with her aunt Sid and Aunt Sid’s godson, Ryan. Aunt Sid worked at the peace camps in Ireland back when she was in college and is working on an article about where some of those kids she counseled years ago are today. Ryan’s mother—Aunt Sid’s best friend—recently passed away. Ryan’s father was from Ireland and he’s hoping to piece together some clues to his past. Maddie Review by Jill Williamson Farm girl Maddie Chase has never gone anywhere. That’s why she jumps at the chance to travel to Ireland with her aunt Sid and Aunt Sid’s godson, Ryan. Aunt Sid worked at the peace camps in Ireland back when she was in college and is working on an article about where some of those kids she counseled years ago are today. Ryan’s mother—Aunt Sid’s best friend—recently passed away. Ryan’s father was from Ireland and he’s hoping to piece together some clues to his past. Maddie helps her new friend look into the IRA car bomb that killed his dad. This was a fun book. I liked the idea of traveling to a new place only to find out how truly small our world is. Maddie and Ryan find his distant relatives, and Maddie stumbles onto a secret about Aunt Sid’s past. The mystery of it was exciting, the history and current issues with the IRA was fascinating, and the characters were fun. Maddie also comes to discover that sometimes Christians judge people without even realizing that’s what they’re doing. I highly recommend this book.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    This was awful. It was a waste of time, but I did complete it. The mini-tour of Ireland, a gorgeous and friendly country I have had the pleasure to visit, that Carlson provides was the only redeeming quality. Other than that, she is an awful author. Someone please explain to me how she's become a big name in Christian fiction. Her main character was very shallow and judgmental, yet presented by Carlson as the epitome of a teenage "Christian." If there was a plot, it was thin and lost my attentio This was awful. It was a waste of time, but I did complete it. The mini-tour of Ireland, a gorgeous and friendly country I have had the pleasure to visit, that Carlson provides was the only redeeming quality. Other than that, she is an awful author. Someone please explain to me how she's become a big name in Christian fiction. Her main character was very shallow and judgmental, yet presented by Carlson as the epitome of a teenage "Christian." If there was a plot, it was thin and lost my attention quickly and easily. I'm concerned that there is a publisher out there who gave the green light for this character and story line to continue in a series of books. I generally dislike repeating myself but I must say it again: This. Was. Awful.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Tessa Hall

    What I liked: I liked how the story took place in Ireland, and it was about a girl who has always lived mostly a sheltered life. I thought the characters were well developed. I also liked the suspense in this novel. What I disliked: It wasn't exactly about God or anything, which is fine, but when a novel is under Christian fiction I usually assume that it's a story that contains a Christian message. It's just a clean story. Other comments: I would recommend, especially if you're someone that like What I liked: I liked how the story took place in Ireland, and it was about a girl who has always lived mostly a sheltered life. I thought the characters were well developed. I also liked the suspense in this novel. What I disliked: It wasn't exactly about God or anything, which is fine, but when a novel is under Christian fiction I usually assume that it's a story that contains a Christian message. It's just a clean story. Other comments: I would recommend, especially if you're someone that likes to travel.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Abigail Weh

    I LOVED this book when I was younger. It is really the book that gave me a desire to travel and see the world. I loved the vibe and the story. Now rereading it as a 19 year old who has read ALOT of other books, I have a few problems. The writing is rough. I’m supposed to believe that a young woman (the MC) of 19 years of age writes like a 13 year old? That she seriously doesn’t understand some of the deeper issues of life already? I don’t know, it was just a bit too much as far as the ignorance, I LOVED this book when I was younger. It is really the book that gave me a desire to travel and see the world. I loved the vibe and the story. Now rereading it as a 19 year old who has read ALOT of other books, I have a few problems. The writing is rough. I’m supposed to believe that a young woman (the MC) of 19 years of age writes like a 13 year old? That she seriously doesn’t understand some of the deeper issues of life already? I don’t know, it was just a bit too much as far as the ignorance, naivety and arrogance for me. Yes I said arrogance. Our MC was having a real hard time with feeling like she knew better than everyone else. And hey, it’s a relatable flaw and there was some good character development there, but it was hard to swallow coming from a young woman who tended to have the thought processes of a young teen. I just struggled. I struggled so much that I decided about halfway through to scan the rest to remind myself of what happens (instead of reading it) so that I could move on to other books. I will always suggest this book to young people because it is really good. There are a lot of teachable moments without it feeling like you are choking on it, as well as inspiration to try seeing and doing new things. Good book, just for a younger audience.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Ruth Jessen

    Ireland First of all, I adore Ireland...so reading this book was extra fun. It gave the history of pain and suffering of the people there as well as a lovely view of the hospitality and countryside it's known for. Fun for adults and young adults, this is a great book! Ireland First of all, I adore Ireland...so reading this book was extra fun. It gave the history of pain and suffering of the people there as well as a lovely view of the hospitality and countryside it's known for. Fun for adults and young adults, this is a great book!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sammy Fee

    Interesting book, my only fault was that the main character was insufferable at some points. Also sad that Ryan doesn't appear to go on the next adventure. I really enjoyed their relationship. Interesting book, my only fault was that the main character was insufferable at some points. Also sad that Ryan doesn't appear to go on the next adventure. I really enjoyed their relationship.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Suzannah Seerden

    Such a great read.

  11. 4 out of 5

    April

    This is a fun, young adult book, that shows traveling to other countries is more than just fun tourist attractions. There are some great messages in this book and it was an easy, quick read.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Emily Ouillette

    Note From a Spinning Planet: Ireland. I just finished Melody Carlson’s book, and to be very honest, it was not my cup of tea. It was not my biscuit of choice. It was not anything but a mistake. It felt like my brain cells died at every sentence, word, and letter in that book. And I’m not even really exaggerating this. I honest to God have never disliked a book so intensely in my life. Now, I know that I’m sounding overly cruel about this whole thing, and I’m sorry for that. I’m not coming in her Note From a Spinning Planet: Ireland. I just finished Melody Carlson’s book, and to be very honest, it was not my cup of tea. It was not my biscuit of choice. It was not anything but a mistake. It felt like my brain cells died at every sentence, word, and letter in that book. And I’m not even really exaggerating this. I honest to God have never disliked a book so intensely in my life. Now, I know that I’m sounding overly cruel about this whole thing, and I’m sorry for that. I’m not coming in here trying to kill the authors drive (I say: keep writing, Carlson! Work to become better!) but brace yourself for all the thoughts I can barely say with any semblance of order. So the main character, Maddy. Oh boy. Now, the development of this character was good. From the beginning to the end Maddy was constantly growing, and that impressed me—but the character herself… well, she wasn’t exactly leading character material. Our MC wasn’t a very strong character. I get having her have flaws and waver is an important step to making her more relatable, but she should have something going for her, no? Basically, Maddy wasn’t at all captivating. She was a very stereo-typed Christian farm girl and that is what made this the most agonizing of all! Now, I’m also a Christian, so I’m not hating on her religion; but the precise horrible way she presents it is terrible. I’m sorry Maddy, that you felt so uncomfortable having people drink a beer or two around you, but are you actually going to tell them to stop for your sake? If you don’t like it, leave! They’re of legal age in Ireland (a concept you don’t seem to understand!) so just leave them be for goodness sakes! (Guys, I have to stop talking about her or I just won’t stop.) The side characters were far more likeable than the MC! That’s just a big no-no. And even though they were so much more enjoyable than Maddy, they were still pretty weak characters. I just can’t even talking about the people in the book. I mean… the biggest plot point being the fact that Ian is a good guy and her Aunt makes out with him makes me want to die a little. The writing in the book felt very… lax. Now I get that developing writing style is important, but Carlson has published a shit-ton of material. I expect more from an author who has managed to publish so many books. Her writing just wasn’t very good in the book. In the end I didn’t like any of her characters, much less have any emotional ties to any of them. I would be lying if I said this book had no potential to go anywhere. In fact, this book has a lot of potential! If was completely torn apart and basically written again using almost no material from its current copy, I may even give it another shot. The bare-bone idea of the book was good, the execution… it felt like an untrained butcher tried doing his job with dull knives. (if you’re not picking up on the vibe from that last sentence: it was not executed well at all.) So the characters? Not a fan of. The writing? Not a fan of. If I could withdraw this book from every library in existence, oh… I would. I hope that others can have a more pleasurable experience with this book. God knows I didn’t. What I liked: finally finishing this book after two long agonizing hours. What I disliked: the two long agonizing hours I wasted reading this book.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Julia

    Another one from the bookshelf archives. My grandmother got me this book for Christmas a few years ago because she knows how much I love Ireland, but I am not sure if she knew this was a Young Adult book when she gave it to me (probably not, because I was at least 23 at the time). YA is not my favorite genre, but I like some books that fall into the category, so I figured I'd keep an open mind and be worth a quick read. I wish I had not wasted my time, because this book is terrible. It took me a Another one from the bookshelf archives. My grandmother got me this book for Christmas a few years ago because she knows how much I love Ireland, but I am not sure if she knew this was a Young Adult book when she gave it to me (probably not, because I was at least 23 at the time). YA is not my favorite genre, but I like some books that fall into the category, so I figured I'd keep an open mind and be worth a quick read. I wish I had not wasted my time, because this book is terrible. It took me a while to realize that the narrator was supposed to be 19 years old, and not 14, because that's the way she acted. My first red flag went up when her 20-year-old traveling companion ordered a Guinness, to which she was morally opposed. What kind of 20 year old is shocked by someone drinking a SINGLE BEER? Then the truth came out: This is a stealth Christian book. (I double-checked; there is no mention of Christianity anywhere on the back cover or the front matter, except for in the CIP data.) The reason she was so opposed to drinking is because she is a "Christian", and she doesn't think Christians should drink. To which I responded, "YOU ARE IN IRELAND, TAKE A LOOK AROUND YOU" and threw the book down in disgust. Her opposition to drinking resurfaced about 3 more times, and I did appreciate how she eventually came to open her mind about it, and by the end of the book she was waking up in a puddle of her own vomit next to a strange Irish man. That is a major exaggeration, but in the end, Maddie realizes that Christians should all get along, be they Catholics and Protestants or pro-booze Christians and anti-booze Christians. I also think this book is propagating some misinformation about the IRA and the "British" people who live in Northern Ireland, but I also don't think it's a very popular book so I am not too concerned about this information reaching young people.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Emilie

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. In the book Ireland(from the series Notes from a Spinning Planet), by Melody Carlson, Maddie is going on a trip to Ireland with her aunt Sid and Sid’s godson Ryan. This is not only Maddie’s first time going out of the country, but, it is her first time flying! When they arrive in Ireland, after a nerve-wrecking flight for Maddie, Maddie expects to do some sightseeing, buy some souvenirs, and maybe to have some fun. But what she doesn’t expect is to have a big and fun-filled adventure, to uncover In the book Ireland(from the series Notes from a Spinning Planet), by Melody Carlson, Maddie is going on a trip to Ireland with her aunt Sid and Sid’s godson Ryan. This is not only Maddie’s first time going out of the country, but, it is her first time flying! When they arrive in Ireland, after a nerve-wrecking flight for Maddie, Maddie expects to do some sightseeing, buy some souvenirs, and maybe to have some fun. But what she doesn’t expect is to have a big and fun-filled adventure, to uncover secrets from the past, and make some new friends. I really liked how Ms. Carlson showed us that, while visiting a new country(and flying there) can be a bit scary and nerve-wrecking, at first, it can also be a great adventure! I was also really pleased with the way Ms. Carlson incorporated facts about Ireland into the book without making it feel like reading a book about Ireland. I really didn’t feel like I was reading a history lesson although I learned some things about Ireland, it’s people, and it’s history. I would definitely recommend reading the book Ireland by Melody Carlson. I really liked how Maddie overcame her fear of flying and visiting new places at the end of the book. The only part I really didn’t like about the book was that the main characters(Ryan, Sid, and Maddie) drank beer at one time or another. Although Maddie was opposed to drinking it, at first, she gave in and tried some at the end. Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book and the other books in the series: Notes from a Spinning Planet. I would rate it ★★★★✩(four out of five stars) and ages 12+. So what are you waiting for? Go read this book!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This series, the Notes from a Spinning Planet, caught my eye because I enjoy traveling and reading about foreign places. Plus, I have read Melody Carlson before and enjoyed her work. The protagonist, Maddie Chase, is a naive girl--"fresh off the farm" is used to describe her a few times--who travels to Ireland with her journalist aunt. Maddie is pretty likeable, but really clueless about major aspects of Irish history, like the IRA, the "troubles", and the emergence of the RIRA. Granted I'm a fe This series, the Notes from a Spinning Planet, caught my eye because I enjoy traveling and reading about foreign places. Plus, I have read Melody Carlson before and enjoyed her work. The protagonist, Maddie Chase, is a naive girl--"fresh off the farm" is used to describe her a few times--who travels to Ireland with her journalist aunt. Maddie is pretty likeable, but really clueless about major aspects of Irish history, like the IRA, the "troubles", and the emergence of the RIRA. Granted I'm a few years older than Maddie, but when I was 20 I had at least a basic knowledge of what the IRA and the "troubles" were (and I had not traveled internationally yet either). But perhaps most American 20-year-olds haven't a clue about many world events? Anyhow, despite Maddie's blank slate knowledge of Ireland, she is a fun girl who reconnects with God and--spoiler alert--somewhat improabably manages to reunite her aunt with her lost love in the two weeks they are in the country. All in all, an enjoyable Christian fiction/young adult/chick-lit book!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Marty

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This is the first Melody Carlson book I picked up. Why this one? It was sitting on a shelf at the library and it said Ireland on it, so I was curious. I personally didn't like it, and if this is a good example of Carlsons work, I won't be reading anymore. Her characters are much too weak. I'm a firm believer in the fact that if you can't remember the name of the main character a couple of days later, then obviously the character didn't embed in your mind as an individual. I can't remember the g This is the first Melody Carlson book I picked up. Why this one? It was sitting on a shelf at the library and it said Ireland on it, so I was curious. I personally didn't like it, and if this is a good example of Carlsons work, I won't be reading anymore. Her characters are much too weak. I'm a firm believer in the fact that if you can't remember the name of the main character a couple of days later, then obviously the character didn't embed in your mind as an individual. I can't remember the girls name at all... nor her aunts name nor her future boyfriends name. Also, being from Washington and being a farm girl myself, that is no excuse for her stupidity. In the story, she dislikes the fact that [insert future boyfriends name here] drinks a Guinness once in a while. She doesn't know why she doesn't like it. At the end, guess what, she drinks a Guinness. No reason. Was the author trying to shove a 'this character will try new things' sign into my face? I will probably file this away in my 'books full of fluff' category. Maybe I have too high standards for YA fiction?

  17. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Rosenberger

    This was a good choice for my first foray into Christian teen fiction, since I'm a fan of travel writing. Maddie, a 19-year old farm girl who has never left her home state, decides to accompany her journalist aunt on a trip to Ireland. While her aunt is busy researching a story on Peace Camps, an Irish institution that tried to ease tensions between Catholics and Protestants by having their kids play together, Maddie and her traveling companion Ryan spend their time exploring the country and try This was a good choice for my first foray into Christian teen fiction, since I'm a fan of travel writing. Maddie, a 19-year old farm girl who has never left her home state, decides to accompany her journalist aunt on a trip to Ireland. While her aunt is busy researching a story on Peace Camps, an Irish institution that tried to ease tensions between Catholics and Protestants by having their kids play together, Maddie and her traveling companion Ryan spend their time exploring the country and trying to uncover what really happened to Ryan's father, an IRA member who was killed in a car bombing. Some of the histori-political background was dry, there wasn't much in the way of character development, and it occasionally had the feel of sitting down to read Fodor's Guide to Ireland, but I ended up liking it more than I would have thought. The plot kept me interested and it was much less preachy than I feared - probably because the theme was tolerance, with a special nod to 'judge not lest ye be judged'.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Cynthia Heinrichs

    I didn't realize when I picked this book up that it was a Christian book, so I was a little thrown when the protagonist had such a huge issue with people drinking beer and how the other characters reacted to her. Everyone was so nice to each other that there was very little tension. Once I got used to the idea that this was a very unworldly Christian girl who was going to learn something on the trip and in the book I read with that in mind. The book is aimed at a particular audience, one which m I didn't realize when I picked this book up that it was a Christian book, so I was a little thrown when the protagonist had such a huge issue with people drinking beer and how the other characters reacted to her. Everyone was so nice to each other that there was very little tension. Once I got used to the idea that this was a very unworldly Christian girl who was going to learn something on the trip and in the book I read with that in mind. The book is aimed at a particular audience, one which might have such an attitude or one similar to it. I could see what the author was doing, but perhaps it would have been better if we'd been given an idea as to why beer was bad in Maddie's eyes. The book is a pleasant enough read and I do applaud the author giving young readers a taste of travel and Ireland and the Troubles. I just wish there had been a little more oomph, some danger, some real conundrum that someone had to face.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Krista

    August 29-31 2017 I changed my rating of this book because while I still really enjoyed the book, it wasn't 5 star book anymore. I realized that I actually don't like the main character anymore. Last time I read this series was almost 5 years ago, so i was I guess just not caring about the character more about the scenery of Ireland. Now while I still love reading about Ireland , makes me want to go even more, and learning some history, I also paid more attention to the main character Maddie, who August 29-31 2017 I changed my rating of this book because while I still really enjoyed the book, it wasn't 5 star book anymore. I realized that I actually don't like the main character anymore. Last time I read this series was almost 5 years ago, so i was I guess just not caring about the character more about the scenery of Ireland. Now while I still love reading about Ireland , makes me want to go even more, and learning some history, I also paid more attention to the main character Maddie, who was very judgemental over Ryan and Sid about drinking. Honestly, the more she talked about her religion and about how it was wrong for Ryan to drink the more I got annoyed. Maddie even stated that she had alcohol before in the states where it is illegal but then she was constantly judging Ryan for drinking while it was legal for him to. Honestly, Sid was a great character though, way better. 4/5

  20. 4 out of 5

    Ray

    This book certainly wasn't what I thought it would be. I expected a fun travel story with a sweet romance and a Christian twist. This certainly wasn't what I got! This story have SO MUCH information on Ireland it was crazy! I loved learning about the culture and the lives of the people. I felt that the IRA aspect was good, but I felt it's role in the plot was a slight over-kill. I adored the characters of this book and though they were well rounded. My heart just broke for Ryan and how much he h This book certainly wasn't what I thought it would be. I expected a fun travel story with a sweet romance and a Christian twist. This certainly wasn't what I got! This story have SO MUCH information on Ireland it was crazy! I loved learning about the culture and the lives of the people. I felt that the IRA aspect was good, but I felt it's role in the plot was a slight over-kill. I adored the characters of this book and though they were well rounded. My heart just broke for Ryan and how much he had lost I wanted things to be better for him. I was really disappointed more didn't happen between him & Maddie, and I at least wish Melody would have included their goodbye. That's definitely something I would have done differently. I thought the God aspect was good in this book even though I didn't agree with some of the characters morals. Overall this was a pretty a good read, and I'm looking forward to reading the sequel.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    Melody Carlson was wildly popular at the high school where I used to be librarian, because the town had very active churches and youth groups. I pretty much stocked all of her YA books so that I could recommend Christian YA titles to the teens. This title was about Ireland, so I wanted to read it, and I figured I hadn't read a YA Christian fiction in awhile so I thought I would give it a try. There were a few cheesy moments, but it wasn't too bad. This is the first of a series, in which 19-year- Melody Carlson was wildly popular at the high school where I used to be librarian, because the town had very active churches and youth groups. I pretty much stocked all of her YA books so that I could recommend Christian YA titles to the teens. This title was about Ireland, so I wanted to read it, and I figured I hadn't read a YA Christian fiction in awhile so I thought I would give it a try. There were a few cheesy moments, but it wasn't too bad. This is the first of a series, in which 19-year-old Maddie begins to travel with her 50-year-old cool aunt around the world. Maddie is pretty naive--she doesn't like to sit in a pub in Ireland to eat, and is uncomfortable with people drinking around her, even if they aren't drunk. She grows up a lot in this book, though, and learns a bit about the IRA and RIRA and the troubles. I thought it was funny that one theme of the book is that it's okay for Christians to drink a little--hey, even Jesus drank wine! :)

  22. 5 out of 5

    $hanel

    Finally Melody Carlson has written a book about Ireland! Notes from a Spinning Planet is about 18 year old Maddie who goes on vacation to Ireland with her Aunt Sid and Sid`s godson Ryan. The book describes Ireland as a beautiful place and boy do I wish I could visit there. In Ireland Maddie visits many cute Ireland shops and Ryan discovers that the drinking age in Ireland is 18 and up. Blah is what Maddie thinks! While Maddie and Ryan are discovering Ireland they both do seem to get closer and c Finally Melody Carlson has written a book about Ireland! Notes from a Spinning Planet is about 18 year old Maddie who goes on vacation to Ireland with her Aunt Sid and Sid`s godson Ryan. The book describes Ireland as a beautiful place and boy do I wish I could visit there. In Ireland Maddie visits many cute Ireland shops and Ryan discovers that the drinking age in Ireland is 18 and up. Blah is what Maddie thinks! While Maddie and Ryan are discovering Ireland they both do seem to get closer and closer throughout the book and that really excites me but they never hook up sadly. Aunt Sid is always out doing something that has to do with her job whole Maddie and Ryan explore Ireland and it`s features. This novel really does interest me in Ireland and I really want to visit so bad. This novel is another must read!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Elora

    This was a fun read. Nothing too adventurous about it. Wasn't boring, but wasn't what I thought it'd be. This is a kind of book you read when you've just finished a whole bunch of really great books and can't find anything better at the moment...so you read this one. Don't get me wrong, I liked it. Just not what I expected. A few things that really bothered me at first was that Maddie kept getting completely bothered by people drinking. I understand some Christians aren't into drinking alcohol This was a fun read. Nothing too adventurous about it. Wasn't boring, but wasn't what I thought it'd be. This is a kind of book you read when you've just finished a whole bunch of really great books and can't find anything better at the moment...so you read this one. Don't get me wrong, I liked it. Just not what I expected. A few things that really bothered me at first was that Maddie kept getting completely bothered by people drinking. I understand some Christians aren't into drinking alcohol. Which is fine if they aren't. That's with them and God. But I absolutely get annoyed when they think they having an alcoholic drink every now and then is a sin. But anyways, she gets over it eventually. Besides that it's a pretty easy read and nice story line. I'll probably read the second one... lol

  24. 4 out of 5

    Victoria

    I actually thought this was going to be a romantic Christian tale, but instead it was surprisingly not, and was interesting (in a good way). Maddie is going on a trip to Ireland with her aunt and her aunt's God-son. Her aunt is a journalist and the God-son is tracing his family links, as his father was born in Ireland and he never knew him. She wants to help out both of them as she also tries to renew her faith in God. At the start of the book I couldn't take Maddie's character but she did develo I actually thought this was going to be a romantic Christian tale, but instead it was surprisingly not, and was interesting (in a good way). Maddie is going on a trip to Ireland with her aunt and her aunt's God-son. Her aunt is a journalist and the God-son is tracing his family links, as his father was born in Ireland and he never knew him. She wants to help out both of them as she also tries to renew her faith in God. At the start of the book I couldn't take Maddie's character but she did develop really well and just wanted to help figure things out as she started to learn about the IRA and RIRA in Ireland's political struggles as well as religious struggles. The story was actually pretty interesting and well done.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth Rose

    Things I liked: The discussion about faith and respecting other's in their worship/feelings about being Christian, the attention to the complexity of Irish history without delving too deeply into rooting for either side (there's a definite anti-violence thing here but there's no real pro-British Rule or pro-unification either). Things I didn't like: Constantly calling herself a bumpkin in the 2000s. People would say hick or hillbilly. Constantly pointing out that she thinks of herself as a Christ Things I liked: The discussion about faith and respecting other's in their worship/feelings about being Christian, the attention to the complexity of Irish history without delving too deeply into rooting for either side (there's a definite anti-violence thing here but there's no real pro-British Rule or pro-unification either). Things I didn't like: Constantly calling herself a bumpkin in the 2000s. People would say hick or hillbilly. Constantly pointing out that she thinks of herself as a Christian more often than showing her praying or discerning things through God. A lot of the prose is very simple and dumbed down, as is the resolution of the plot. This is a book I would recommend to a younger girl, maybe around middle-school age, but is not complex enough for older readers.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Books and Literature for Teens

    This Diary of a Teenage Girl was different from the Kim or the Chloe series (haven't read the Caitlin series yet). It was still good, but pretty edgy. Sure, lots of girls have Maya's problem (in fact I know one), but I hear about it so much that I don't like to keep reading stuff about it. Anyways, Maya's mother is an drug addict,her father's away on tour, and Maya wants to live on her own. But in doing so, she gotta learn the art of being humble. It was a bit slow at times, but finishable (can I m This Diary of a Teenage Girl was different from the Kim or the Chloe series (haven't read the Caitlin series yet). It was still good, but pretty edgy. Sure, lots of girls have Maya's problem (in fact I know one), but I hear about it so much that I don't like to keep reading stuff about it. Anyways, Maya's mother is an drug addict,her father's away on tour, and Maya wants to live on her own. But in doing so, she gotta learn the art of being humble. It was a bit slow at times, but finishable (can I make-up that word?). Hopefully the second one, It's a Green Thing will be better. REVIEW BY MORGAN

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kirsten

    I picked up this book because of it being St. Patty's day. And I enjoy reading fictional traveling memoirs. I am also a fan of Melody Carlson, but this wasn't my of her's. It's a light, "inspirational read", aimed at teens. I didn't find the book too suspenseful--it was easy for me to see where it was headed--but it was well written and fun. I had a hard time believing Carlson was not younger; she, like always, perfect's a young person's thoughts and mannerisms. FYI: My favorite Melody Carlson nov I picked up this book because of it being St. Patty's day. And I enjoy reading fictional traveling memoirs. I am also a fan of Melody Carlson, but this wasn't my of her's. It's a light, "inspirational read", aimed at teens. I didn't find the book too suspenseful--it was easy for me to see where it was headed--but it was well written and fun. I had a hard time believing Carlson was not younger; she, like always, perfect's a young person's thoughts and mannerisms. FYI: My favorite Melody Carlson novel is "Finding Alice" LOVE IT If you enjoy this novel try: "The Jerk Theory" By Melody Carlson or "There You'll Find Me" By: Jenny Jones

  28. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

    It wasn't that I didn't like it, it's that I didn't care. I thought it was going to be fun, but there were issues that were looked at, and the narrator was just there as a mechanism to get the issues out in a fiction setting. The history IRA stuff was interesting, but I would rather read a nonfiction thing about it, more informative. I got Maddie, I understood the way she reacted to situations. It's not that she wasn't relatable, it was that she wasn't interesting. Could have been much better. B It wasn't that I didn't like it, it's that I didn't care. I thought it was going to be fun, but there were issues that were looked at, and the narrator was just there as a mechanism to get the issues out in a fiction setting. The history IRA stuff was interesting, but I would rather read a nonfiction thing about it, more informative. I got Maddie, I understood the way she reacted to situations. It's not that she wasn't relatable, it was that she wasn't interesting. Could have been much better. But really, once I saw that the author had written "over 100 books" I became worried. There's something to be said for quality and quantity, I mean really.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Theresa

    While I enjoyed this book, it wasn't quite what I expected. I would have liked for their to be a little more excitement and adventure, when in reality not a whole lot happened. It was very informative though. I learned a lot more about Ireland and their culture particularly the troubles they had (especially in the '70s) between the Protestants and the Catholics that I didn't know much about at all. Overall this book was interesting, but I had just hoped for more danger and intrigue involving the While I enjoyed this book, it wasn't quite what I expected. I would have liked for their to be a little more excitement and adventure, when in reality not a whole lot happened. It was very informative though. I learned a lot more about Ireland and their culture particularly the troubles they had (especially in the '70s) between the Protestants and the Catholics that I didn't know much about at all. Overall this book was interesting, but I had just hoped for more danger and intrigue involving the mystery about Ryan's dad, Ian, and Sid.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jenne

    Fine vehicle for young adults to learn about the complexity of the history of the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, and the rest of the UK. Protagonist has never flown or been out of the US before, and she's also rather irritatingly self-righteous about being a "Christian." But, she comes to some reasonable conclusions by book's end, and has her eyes opened to the world a little bit. Sturdy and informative story. Fine vehicle for young adults to learn about the complexity of the history of the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, and the rest of the UK. Protagonist has never flown or been out of the US before, and she's also rather irritatingly self-righteous about being a "Christian." But, she comes to some reasonable conclusions by book's end, and has her eyes opened to the world a little bit. Sturdy and informative story.

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