This week for Teen Book Talk, our reviewer shares a review of an adult novel, The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho.
Teen reviewers select which titles and movies they’d like to review, and opinions are their own. **Teens use a scale of 1-5 stars, with one star being poor and five stars being excellent, for their reviews**
Neha H., Teen Reviewer
Author: Paulo Coelho
Book Format: Book
Year of Publication: 1988
Likely Appeals to: Ages 14+
Rating: 4 stars
“To realize one’s destiny is a person’s only obligation.”
― from The Alchemist
Brazilian author Paulo Coelho weaves together an enchanting and compelling tale in The Alchemist, first published in Portuguese in 1988 and later translated in over 67 languages after becoming an international bestseller. The novella chronicles the physical, mental, and spiritual journey of Santiago, a young Andalusian shepherd, as he leaves his homeland in Spain to travel to the Egyptian desert in pursuit of an unknown treasure. Along the way, he encounters several symbolic figures who offer him counsel during his journey ‐ including an aged Gypsy woman, the biblical king of Salem, and the titular alchemist.
Coehlo’s writing is simple yet evocative; he expertly conveys Santiago’s conflicted emotions as he embarks upon a quest to fulfill his destiny. The Alchemist is no ordinary coming‐of‐age tale: it is an uplifting fable with a poignant message of fulfilling our so‐called “Personal Legends” ‐ following our dreams and listening to our hearts. As a protagonist, Santiago’s incredible courage, self‐righteousness, and knowledge of the world is the perfect fit for a novella filled with this type of inspirational wisdom.