Monday, March 17, 2008


The Hostel
Liana Metal, ISBN: 978-1-4092-2574-4
167 pages, 6" x 9", paperback, perfect binding

Download €1.25

Fiction/ Romance/Lifestyle/ Young Adults

Reviewed by Maria Gouna

Very Highly Recommended

Liana Metal is an EFL teacher, writer, reviewer and artist from Corfu, Greece . She has written many children's stories and non-fiction books as well as ELT books for classroom use and a lot of articles. Among her books are: Flowers for women, Writing Basics, Bedtime Stories, The Internet in the EFL Classroom. Visit her at

The story takes place in London in the 70's. Nina is a Greek student staying at a nuns' hostel where she meets many new friends. Some of them are Isabel, Nina's best friend, Zara, Collette and Marie. Of course, many other girls come and go each one for their own reasons and problems. The girls do their best to help each other and to adapt to their new way of life but they are not always successful. However, as Nina is a friendly person she quickly becomes close friends with Maria, a girl of her age who works as a cashier at the supermarket near the hostel and whose mother has died. Whenever Maria has a day off they meet and have fun together; so it happens that on one of Nina's visits to Maria's place, she gets to know her father Phil who is an artist and offers to give her drawing lessons. Nina falls immediately in love with him but it is the first time she feels that way and Phil apart from being her friend's father is much older than her, too. She faces a very serious dilemma but soon things even more complicated when Henry, a young man is decided to do whatever it takes in order to be with Nina. Will she be able to cope with the unexpected events happening in her life? Will she follow her heart? Will her stay at the hostel change her life for ever?

The story is divided into 20 chapters. It is written in a simple and clear way without fictional exaggerations so that it can be read by everyone. It caters not only to young adults but to everybody interested in romance as well. The characters are everyday people and the readers will not find it hard to identify with them. Moreover, there are a lot of dialogues throughout the novel that make it more appealing and stimulate the reader's interest. Finally, both the characters and the places are described in such a vivid and detailed way that brings the plot to life. Young adults will certainly love it.

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Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Robert Louis Stevenson
Planet PDF (e-version)
pp. 118, free
Fiction/ Adventure/ Mystery

Reviewed by Maria Gouna

Very Highly recommended

Robert Louis Stevenson was born in Edinburgh in 1850. He studied at Edinburgh University and he liked traveling in Europe. He died in 1894. Among his well-known books are “Treasure Island”, “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde”, “Kidnapped” and “The Black Arrow”.

The story is about Dr. Jekyll, a physician who devotes himself to a series of experiments in his laboratory. Mr. Utterson, a lawyer and Dr. Lanyon are his friends but they begin to worry about him and what will happen to him when he writes a will where he states that if he dies or disappears all his possessions will pass into the hands of Edward Hyde. This is a condition that makes them suspicious because Mr. Hyde has a bad reputation of living an abnormal life and is also accused of the murder of Sir Carew Danvers. Is Dr. Jekyll helping him to get away with the murder and why? Things get even more complicated when he receives a letter of confession from Dr. Lanyon telling him that he doesn’t want to see nor hear from Dr. Jekyll anymore. In addition, Dr. Jekyll’s servants are worried about their master and ask Mr. Utterson for help. What will they find out in his laboratory? Who is really Dr. Jekyll, and who Mr. Hyde? Will Mr. Utterson find out the truth?

Divided into 10 chapters and being written in a simple style this novel is easy to read by everyone interested in classic literature. As the story unfolds, some questions remain unanswered and make the book more interesting and captivating. It is a well-constructed plot with unexpected turns and a lot of vivid descriptions either of places or human behavior. Lovers of mystery will not lose their interest because the story is full of clues and incidents that have to be solved. It is an absolutely amazing book.

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