Magic Lessons (Magic or Madness Trilogy Series #2)

Magic Lessons (Magic or Madness Trilogy Series #2)

by Justine Larbalestier

Paperback(Reprint)

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Overview

Fifteen-year-old Reason Cansino has learned the painful truth that she—like her mother, grandmother, and new friends Tom and Jay-Tee—must face a choice between using the magic that lives in her blood and dying young, or refusing to use the magic and losing her mind. Now a new threat leaves Reason stranded alone in New York City, struggling to control a power she barely understands. But could the danger she faces also hold the key to saving her life?

Magic Lessons is a stunning follow-up to Larbalestier's debut novel, Magic or Madness, which earned multiple starred reviews and a spot on the Locus 2005 Recommended Reading List, along with being named a Best Book of the Year by School Library Journal and the Young Adult Round Table of the TLA.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781595141248
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 02/01/2007
Series: Magic or Madness Trilogy Series , #2
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 5.22(w) x 8.26(h) x 0.89(d)
Age Range: 13 - 18 Years

About the Author

Justine Larbalestier lives in Sydney, Australia, and New York City.

Table of Contents

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From the Publisher

"[Readers] who enjoyed the first installment will race through this second one and wait anxiously for the propose end of the trilogy." —Kirkus Reviews

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Magic Lessons 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 29 reviews.
mandochild on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I love the originality of the Magic or madness trilogy. The concept and use of magic really is different and genuinely creates an impression that much of the "mysterious everyday" could actually be attributed to our own, uniquely individual relationships with magic and the universe. The characters are very sympathetically drawn and I particularly love the character of Tom, with his quirky combination of self-confident "difference" and self-doubt. The novel may be about magic, but it is also about the passions of the individual characters, such as mathematics, fashion, food and athletics.Language also becomes a fascinating part of the story and provides its own rhythms and music, even if some of the Australianisms are probably a bit outdated now, at least for use by young Sydney-siders. But it's wonderfully nostalgic to be reminded of words and phrases I haven't heard for years - I am thrown back to the 70s and early 80s, before our language became more "American" in flavour.Only one more title left in the trilogy - I hope Justine Larbalestier has some other great books waiting for me!
Sorrel on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
While the first book in Justine Larbalestier¿s Magic or Madness trilogy was slightly sinister, the second two books (Magic Lessons and Magic's Child) were more along the lines of slightly tedious. The first book had set up a consistent and intriguing account of magic use and consequences, which I found fascinating enough to want to explore more. I read all the way to the end of the series, but was not sufficiently impressed to be recommending this series to other people. Unfortunately, instead of developing her ideas with the same degree of rigour and originality that seemed indicated with their introduction, Larbalestier continued with inconsistencies and implausibilities. Even the plot twist at the very end was unsupported by what had gone before. On the up side, while the first two books made laboured, self-conscious use of Australian slang, the language in the final book seemed more natural.
francescadefreitas on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Having picked the devil-you-know-slightly-more-than-the-other-devil, Reason has returned to Sydney to take magic lessons form her grandmother. Before they can start, however, something strange tries to break through the magical door in the kitchen, and it will take the combined efforts of Reason, Tom, Jay-Tee, and Esmerelda to stop it.This is a solid follow up to the first book, with its interesting magic system. And how the family manages to reproduce when most of the girls die before they make it to their twenties is made a little clearer. There is an instance of under-age sex that made me uncomfortable, but it was essential to the story - and especially to the third book.Again, the heavy handed pointing at differences between New York and Sydney slang was a little annoying.I'd give this to fans of the first.
MeganAndJustin on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Usually the middle book of the trilogy is the slow one, but this book picked up the minute the last one ended and was a roller-coaster till the end. I liked the first better, but because it was new.
stephmo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The second book in the Magic or Madness series picks up nearly where the first book leaves off and with very little resolved as far as trust goes between Esmerelda (Mere) and Reason, Tom and Jay-Tee. As Reason, Tom and Jay-Tee learned in the first volume, an older, magic-wielding adult is older through the theft of magic from their younger counterparts that will ultimately kill them, as magic is something that is finite. Larbalestier sets up a tricky universe for her characters because the simple solution - never use your magic - leads to insanity and a life of institutionalization. Damned if you do, damned if you don't.In theory, this volume should have started with Mere teaching our merry trio magic lessons - how to use the smallest amounts to prolong life and stay sane - but a golem slipping through the door that connects Syndey, Australia and New York, New New York has different plans. When the magic coming through decides to pull Reason through the door and prevent anyone else from crossing through, we'll learn more about the family linage and what magic means, what not being magic means and how being magic does not preclude you from the drama of being fifteen years old. The unique storyline saves some uneven action and a plot that takes a bit to get moving. I will read the final book in the trilogy because Larbalestier has given me good cause to care for the characters, it's just not one of those volumes where I feel the need to read it right this second.
dotarvi on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Usually the middle book of the trilogy is the slow one, but this book picked up the minute the last one ended and was a roller-coaster till the end. I liked the first better, but because it was new.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So far.im only 101 pages in.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Grace Leonard More than 1 year ago
As good as it was, magic lessons has a LOT of adult content and anyone under the age of twelve should not read it. However, you should in no way consider this an adult book because it is centered around teenagers. Do read the first book in the series, magic or madness, so that you will understand what is going on. Justine Larbalestier creates a riveting and fanciful world with realistic characters that will leave you breathless. Meet Tom, Reason, Jay-Tee and Esmeralda in their journey to figure out magic and solve the perpetual problems using it (or not using it) causes.
SundiyaFirebird More than 1 year ago
I have read Magic or Madness and Magic Lessons and I thought that they were really good. I have not read the third book yet, but I can still understand the emotional turmoil that the teenagers in this book are going through. Reason has to deal with the fact that her magic can kill her or drive her insane just like her mother and Tom's mother. Now trapped in New York, with Danny as her only companion at the time, Reason must learn to adapt to the world around her to fight her Grandfather Jason Blake.
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phylfun1 More than 1 year ago
I loved the first to the series, and loved this one even more! I can't wait to get my hands on the next books in the series!
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TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
MAGIC LESSONS is the second book in Justine Larbalestier's trilogy, and it's just as wonderful and gripping as MAGIC OR MADNESS! In this book, there are just as many questions as in the first, as every answer Reason finds only leads to more questions. For everything that's resolved, there are five more things that I was anxious to find out as I read on! There is plenty of suspense in this book.

Reason, Tom, and Jay-Tee have all stepped through Esmeralda's magic door into Sydney, leaving behind Reason's evil grandfather, Jason Blake, as well as Jay-Tee's older brother, Danny, in New York. They're being taught magic by Esmeralda, even Reason and Jay-Tee, though they're still not sure they trust her the way Tom does. They've had some bad experiences with magic, but they know now that they have to use it, or else they'll go crazy, like their parents. However, every time they use magic, they lose a little time being alive. Magic is not the blessing it is in other books; in the world Justine Larbalestier has created, it's more of a curse.

The door between Sydney and New York is acting strangely. At first, they think it's because of Jason Blake, but it turns out to be something much more frightening and mysterious. They're not sure what it is, but Reason knows something about whatever it is that the rest of them don't: It's a Cansino. She and Esmeralda are related to it. One more thing: it's old. As in, centuries old. Reason isn't sure what to make of this information, but she doesn't trust Esmeralda, so she's not telling anyone.

Then she loses her chance to share it. She is sucked through the door into New York. Reason's not as lost as she was the first time; after escaping the scary, stinking old man-like creature standing in front of the door, she finds Jay-Tee's brother Danny, and stays with him. She can't go back to Sydney; the old man, the Cansino, is guarding the door. She could always buy a plane ticket home (or, rather, Danny could buy her one; money is nothing to him, and she has none), but there are a few things keeping her in New York. One, she wants to find out more about the man guarding the door, and maybe do something to get rid of him if Esmeralda figures out what he is. Two, there's Danny...

Sequels often don't live up to the high expectations set by the previous books, but MAGIC LESSONS sure does! It's just as great as MAGIC OR MADNESS. One thing that I like about these books is Justine Larbalestier's magic system; it's very original, and it seems more realistic that, if magic existed, it would have a price. That makes this much darker than a lot of books about kids who find out they have magical powers, and also adds some extra awesomeness to an already great book.

The number of questions being far more than the number of answers also adds something to this novel. Even though I usually think that a book is made less wonderful by a cliff-hanger ending, I don't think that's the case in these books. First of all, the main conflict of the book is resolved, but, as all answers do in Justine Larbalestier's books, those resolutions bring new questions to be answered in the following story. Nothing here has been what it has seemed to be so far, but everything also makes perfect sense. Add this to great writing, wonderful characters, and brilliant ideas, and you've got an amazing trilogy! I absolutely cannot wait for book number three.
Guest More than 1 year ago
In this book it brings reality in, so you understand what's it like to live in reason's world. At first it's a little boring but then it hooks you in! Like at first u think that reason and tom have something going on then it just takes a 360 degree turn with Danny! At the end you want to immediately want to go to the store and buy the 3rd installment. There is so many questions solved....and brought back up, it's terrific. Like when will Danny know Reason's secret? 0r Will the baby be majic? This book is great! Hope you read it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
MAGIC LESSONS is the second book in Justine Larbalestier¿s trilogy, and it¿s just as wonderful and gripping as MAGIC OR MADNESS! In this book, there are just as many questions as in the first, as every answer Reason finds only leads to more questions. For everything that¿s resolved, there are five more things that I was anxious to find out as I read on! There is plenty of suspense in this book. Reason, Tom, and Jay-Tee have all stepped through Esmeralda¿s magic door into Sydney, leaving behind Reason¿s evil grandfather, Jason Blake, as well as Jay-Tee¿s older brother, Danny, in New York. They¿re being taught magic by Esmeralda, even Reason and Jay-Tee, though they¿re still not sure they trust her the way Tom does. They¿ve had some bad experiences with magic, but they know now that they have to use it, or else they¿ll go crazy, like their parents. However, every time they use magic, they lose a little time being alive. Magic is not the blessing it is in other books in the world Justine Larbalestier has created, it¿s more of a curse. The door between Sydney and New York is acting strangely. At first, they think it¿s because of Jason Blake, but it turns out to be something much more frightening and mysterious. They¿re not sure what it is, but Reason knows something about whatever it is that the rest of them don¿t: It¿s a Cansino. She and Esmeralda are related to it. One more thing: it¿s old. As in, centuries old. Reason isn¿t sure what to make of this information, but she doesn¿t trust Esmeralda, so she¿s not telling anyone. Then she loses her chance to share it. She is sucked through the door into New York. Reason¿s not as lost as she was the first time after escaping the scary, stinking old man-like creature standing in front of the door, she finds Jay-Tee¿s brother Danny, and stays with him. She can¿t go back to Sydney the old man, the Cansino, is guarding the door. She could always buy a plane ticket home (or, rather, Danny could buy her one money is nothing to him, and she has none), but there are a few things keeping her in New York. One, she wants to find out more about the man guarding the door, and maybe do something to get rid of him if Esmeralda figures out what he is. Two, there¿s Danny¿ Sequels often don¿t live up to the high expectations set by the previous books, but MAGIC LESSONS sure does! It¿s just as great as MAGIC OR MADNESS. One thing that I like about these books is Justine Larbalestier¿s magic system it¿s very original, and it seems more realistic that, if magic existed, it would have a price. That makes this much darker than a lot of books about kids who find out they have magical powers, and also adds some extra awesomeness to an already great book. The number of questions being far more than the number of answers also adds something to this novel. Even though I usually think that a book is made less wonderful by a cliff-hanger ending, I don¿t think that¿s the case in these books. First of all, the main conflict of the book is resolved, but, as all answers do in Justine Larbalestier¿s books, those resolutions bring new questions to be answered in the following story. Nothing here has been what it has seemed to be so far, but everything also makes perfect sense. Add this to great writing, wonderful characters, and brilliant ideas, and you¿ve got an amazing trilogy! I absolutely cannot wait for book number three. **Reviewed by: Jocelyn Pearce
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was one of the most amazing books I've ever read. It was so detailed and I adored the Australian slang! Both my mom and I LOVED both of the books, and reccomend it to everyone. I CAN'T wait until March when 'Magic's Child' comes out! Too bad it's only a trilogy :(