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Journey Between Worlds by Sylvia Engdahl
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Journey Between Worlds

by Sylvia Engdahl

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Reviewed by Lynn Crow for TeensReadToo.com

Melinda doesn't want to go to Mars. Why leave Earth when everything humans are meant to enjoy is there? But when her father, whom she's only seen sporadically over the last ten years, asks her to join him on a business trip to one of the Mars colonies after she graduates from high school, she can't bring herself to refuse him. Little does she know her months on Mars will change the way she thinks about life, love, and humanity.

With JOURNEY BETWEEN WORLDS, Sylvia Louise Engdahl has written a science-fiction story that will appeal to a variety of teens. Melinda faces many of the same problems today's young adults do, only in an otherworldly location. The first person narrative puts readers right inside Melinda's head and allows them to see through her eyes. Her struggle to overcome her fear of change and to examine her feelings and beliefs honestly should resonate with anyone uncertain of exactly who they are and want to be.

The story, of course, is not only about Melinda, but also Mars. The descriptions of Mars and its colonies are fascinating in their detail and realism, providing an exciting setting for Melinda's personal conflicts. The colonists, with their pride and passion, will make readers wonder if they, too, would have the pioneer spirit.

I would recommend JOURNEY BETWEEN WORLDS to any teen looking for a thought-provoking read. Unlike many science-fiction novels, this is not a story of action and technology, but rather of wonder. I'll admit, at times I wished there was more excitement, but overall it was a satisfying read. Both Melinda's problems and the issues raised by the colonization of another planet will give readers much to ponder long after they've finished reading. ( )
  GeniusJen | Oct 11, 2009 |
"The book feels as fresh and interesting as any near-future novel I have read. . . . A very accessible story for readers who are interested in space colonization as well as readers who enjoy stories about personal growth and relationships."
added by SylviaE | editBlogcritics, Anna Creech (Aug 18, 2007)
 
"Journey Between Worlds is an exploration novel of self and place. Melinda starts out thinking she understands the universe and her place within it. But new concepts, locations, and people have a way of kicking over our conceptual sand castles."
added by SylviaE | editSFRevu (Aug 1, 2006)
 
"Readers are instantly drawn to Melinda, who is portrayed realistically ... we can all sympathize with her. If you’ve been trying to get your daughters to read [science fiction] to no avail, try this for a little lighter reading. You may be surprised how much they like it."
added by SylviaE | editBookLoons, Anise Hollingshead (Apr 1, 2006)
 
"An exciting space fiction novel. Young adults will find not only adventure here in good measure but a satisfying love story as well."
added by SylviaE | editCatholic Library World (Apr 1, 1971)
 
"Deftly blending scientific possibility, suspense, and youthful emotion in the first-person narrative, the author has projected a plausible picture of the post-twentieth-century world--a world where pioneers on Mars and envisioned as a continuation of the endless chain of settlers who have been moving to new frontiers even since the human race began."
added by SylviaE | editHorn Book (Oct 1, 1970)
 

» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Sylvia Engdahlprimary authorall editionscalculated
Phillips, CraigCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Book description
Melinda Ashley has a plan for her life, and a trip to Mars isn't part of it. When she receives a spaceliner ticket as a high

school graduation gift from her dad, she is dismayed, but reluctantly agrees to go with him--in part because she's

infuriated by her fiance's high-handed declaration that she can't. Her outlook begins to change when she meets Alex

Preston, a second-generation Martian colonist who is going home after college on Earth. Alex believes settling Mars is

important. He's looking forward to the role he expects to play in the colony's future. Melinda finds this hard to understand,

yet she is more and more drawn to him and, while on Mars, to his family. Torn between what she has always wanted and

upsetting new feelings, she wonders if she can ever again be content. It takes tragedy and a terrifying experience to

make her aware of what really matters to her.

Although this novel is set on Mars, it's not about technology or exotic adventure. It's mainly a story about human

aspirations and human love, and is usually enjoyed more by readers who like romance than by avid science fiction fans.

In the 2015 ebook edition there has been some minor updating of wording involving mobile devices, beyond the significant revision done in

the 2006 hardcover edition.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0399245324, Hardcover)

Eighteen-year-old Melinda Ashley never wanted to go to Mars. She had her life all planned out—marry Ross, become a teacher, and inherit the beloved family home. But when her estranged father convinces her to take a trip with him to the remote colony on Mars, she finds herself tempted to leave her comfortable existence on Earth behind. Mars proves to be quite different than she had imagined and when she meets Alex Preston, a second generation Martian colonist, she finds herself on a surprising new path.

This timeless novel of a young woman’s journey between two worlds has stirred readers’ imaginations for generations.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:32 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

To prove her independence to her boyfriend, Melinda decides to go to Mars on a pleasure trip--an impromptu decision that changes her entire way of life.

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Sylvia Engdahl is a LibraryThing Author, an author who lists their personal library on LibraryThing.

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