‘The Dead House’ by Dawn Kurtagich

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When you find a book on iBooks that’s only $3, it can only mean one of two things: one, it hasn’t been discovered by the mainstream yet, and therefore can’t make much profit, or two, it’s terrible and technically shouldn’t cost any money for its atrocity.

Fortunately, The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich is of the former, and I’m actually kind of surprised that readers (especially YA readers) aren’t talking about this book more.

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The Dead House is about one girl with two personalities: the authorities know her as Carly Johnson, but nobody likes to talk about the ‘alter’ Kaitlyn, who becomes the main character after strange events began to occur at her boarding school Elmbridge High. The book also talks about a fictional religion called Mala, which is, as I understand it, a mix between witchcraft, voodoo, and Christianity (religious studies people, you would have a hayday with that one!). The opposite of Mala is Grúndi, which is the dark side of all things voodoo and magical.

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Even though the story is laced with horror and magic, there are some major questions asked between the pages and events of the novel. The biggest question deals with where the fine line is between science and the supernatural (or if there is a line to begin with). Can there be twin souls in one body, one soul possessing the day, and another soul owning the night? Or is there a deeper psychological meaning behind it all? The author was wise not to give a direct answer, instead leaving readers to figure it out for themselves.

In addition, the book deals with the kind of romance that all YA readers love to read about – but with a certain twist. I won’t give away what happens in that department, but I will say that I got a more logically satisfying ending when it comes to teenage love.

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So, overall, what do I think? I actually really enjoy this book. Though sometimes the details make me space out a little bit from time to time, I won’t say that this was a terrible book. It was well worth my $3, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who isn’t scared (or is scared) of turning the page.

 

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The Thursday Chronicle – Issue III

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SOURCE: JohnLennonAgain

On this day in 1960, the Beatles performed publicly for the first time ever in Hamburg at the Kaiserkeller.

 

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The original club is now called Indra, which you can still visit if you’re anywhere near Hamburg.

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SOURCE: beatles-seite.de

The Beatles are famous for numerous reasons: they are the very first “boy band” ever, their songs are popular to this day, and they’ve become the major icon of the 60’s. They’ve influenced so much of our popular culture that there is nobody in this world who would not know at least a fraction of who the Beatles were.

In addition to Germany, the Beatles have also performed in the UK, Ireland, America, Sweden, the United States, Canada, Japan, and the Phillipines. They have won 22 awards; mostly consisting of Grammy awards (11 to be exact).

What’s really remarkable is that this is a place that isn’t some expensive theatre or luxurious hall, instead it’s a reminder that even the biggest stars get their start from somewhere.

Kaiserkeller remains to be one of the top ten clubs in Hamburg, and is a definite must if you’re ever travelling through Germany.

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The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

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If you kept seeing that same cute dress every time you walk through a shop, would you buy it? Or if your buddies keep rooting for the same football team, would you root for that team as well? Statistically and scientifically speaking, yes you would. The more often you experience those kinds of instances, the more likely you are to buy the dress or root for the same team as your buddies.

But what about dreams? If you had the same dream over and over, would you actually follow the advice of the dream? Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist answers that question as it takes you from Spain to Egypt and then back again, like a happy little hobbit.

 

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Now this book isn’t nearly as old as the LOTR books, but it’s been published for about 25 years, and its author Paulo Coelho has also published 26 other books, including The Pilgrimage and Veronika Decides to Die. What makes The Alchemist unique, though, is not just the fact that it’s a story, but a story done in which Coelho has done his homework.

According to livescience.com, alchemy is “…an ancient practice shrouded in mystery and secrecy. Its practitioners mainly sought to turn lead into gold…however, the goals of alchemy went far beyond simply creating some golden nuggets.”

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The book not only exemplifies that idea, but takes it to the next level by weaving it into the personal journey of the hero, a boy named Santiago. As he decides to listen to the signs in his dream and travel to Egypt and adapt to new situations, he realizes that even though he hasn’t studied alchemy vigorously as others might have, there’s a proficiency that he’s developed naturally just by determination alone.

Along the way, Santiago (or “the boy”) encounters new characters who not only teach him lessons, but also convey how he teaches them, which is rare compared to a lot of the other books I’ve read throughout my life. From love to business to old kings and alchemists, The Alchemist is a masterpiece when it comes to new and different characters.

This is a book that has completely changed my life. I’ll admit, I haven’t been in an easy spot lately, and there will be tons of challenges that will be waiting for me for the rest of my college career and beyond. However, this book has not only given me patience that I didn’t know I had, but also given me a new perspective on my anxiety and depression.

If you haven’t read it yet, go check it out. You won’t regret it. And remember, if you keep seeing that dress, maybe you should consider trying it on at least.

What’s a good book to you that’s more than meets the eye?

 

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