Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Review: Life After Genius by M. Ann Jacoby (plus GIVEAWAY!)

What could drive a brilliant young man to leave college eight days before graduation, without his degree, and return to his hometown to work in the family Mortuary business?



Being a genius is a difficult thing. For Theodore Mead Fegley, it has brought him nothing but grief. He started high school at the age of twelve, finished in three years, and started college at the age of fifteen. He has always been younger and smaller than everyone else. And, of course, the victim of taunts, ridicule and pranks for his entire school career. He is thrilled to go to college, where he thinks he will be among equals, learned individuals who will value his intellect. Poor kid, how wrong he is.

To facilitate the brand new start Theodore feels he is getting with college, he starts to go by his middle name, Mead. Unfortunately, the very first day he is reminded, yet again, that he is different from everyone else and does not fit in. Girls are too old for him, he is too young for drinking and partying, he has little in common with other young men on campus. His life is lonely and friendless. His only real friend, his cousin Percy, is off pursuing his dream of baseball glory. Percy sends a constant stream of postcards to Mead, letting him know what is going on in his life. But since Mead has no friends he doesn't really know how to BE one, so he never responds to Percy's postcards.

Mead excels at mathematics and spends his college career working on solving the Riemann Hypothesis, a 150 year old mathematical theory. When Herman, a wealthy and attractive fellow math student, befriends Mead it seems a little strange to him that this guy would want to spend time with him. But Herman offers to help Mead on the Riemann Hypothesis so, against his better judgement, Mead allows himself to go along with Herman's schemes. The results will force Mead to change, come to some important realizations about life and to see his parents and family through new eyes.

With Life After Genius, M. Ann Jacoby has written a wonderful story about the process of growing up. It is not enough to be smart, maturity lies in the ability to put aside your selfish concerns and do what is better for others, both people you love and people you may not like very much. She reminds us all about the discomforts of our school days when all we wanted was to be included, be liked, be part of the "in" crowd. You will fall in love with Mead Fegley, a sweet and awkward boy who learns the most important part of being a man.

If you would like to win a copy of Life After Genius, please leave a comment here with a short note about why you would like to read this book. You will receive two additional entries if you blog about this contest and link back here. One winner will be drawn at random. Contest will run through 11:59 pm eastern time on November 8. Winner must have a mailing address in the US or Canada (no PO Boxes). Make sure you leave an email address if you do not have an ID that contains contact information!

Many, many thanks to Miriam Parker at Hachette Book Group for including me in the Early Birds Blog Tour for this book and for providing the copy for the giveaway!!

Visit M. Ann Jacoby's website here.

Order Life After Genius from Amazon

68 comments:

Anonymous said...

I would like to read it because when I first saw it in my sister's reading pile, I wanted to read it. So I want to read 'cause I wanted to read it!

*giggle*

Thanks!
-Adayla
emaildayla(at)yahoo(dot)com

Ruby (Mouth) said...

I think this book looks like a very interesting read. I love books that are heart warming and about family life.

angelleslament @ gmail.com

Serena said...

This was a great book, though the ending fell a bit flat for me. I wanted more insight into Mead's next move.

No need to enter me, I'm a stop on the tour as well and hosting a giveaway.

Angela said...

This sounds like a very interesting book. I'd love to win a copy!

I've posted an entry on my blog about this contest as well.
Library Girl Reads

Toni said...

Great review. No need to enter me.

I think that is a good way to put it. No matter what our circumstances in life... we can't bypass growing up.

Jacoby does a great job of showing us in this story.

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

No need to enter me; I'm just dropping in to say thanks for the e-mail. You're posted at Win a Book.

Did I mention publicly how much I like your review? I really do; you made me feel for Mead!

Sara said...

Please enter me, from your description I can see Mead is in for trouble, and would like to see how it all pans out.

Thanks.
Sararush at hotmail dot com

bermudaonion said...

Don't enter me - I have the book. I just loved Mead, too!

.Books by TJ Baff said...

Great Review!
Tamara

darbyscloset said...

I'd like to be entered, I love reading books where you fall in love with the character(s) and you can relate to them....sounds very heart warming!
Thank you
Darby
darbyscloset at yahoo dot com

The Tome Traveller said...

It is true that the ending does not tie everything up completely. But the author shows us how a single event, a single descision, crystallizes the changes Mead has gone through in the book into this one opportunity to show that he has matured and overcome his inner obstacles, learned what is really important in life. It is an unconventional ending but satisfying too because it brings the character of Mead full circle.

Kaye said...

I'd like to read this and then pass it on to my grandson
florida982002@yahoo dot com

Luanne said...

I think we can all identify with Mead a little bit. The tour has been great - seeing what we all thought of the same book.

( no need to enter me of course)

Anna said...

No need to enter me, as I'm also part of the tour. I really enjoyed your review. I also felt bad for Mead throughout the book, and while I thought it was a great read, the ending was a bit disappointing.

--Anna
Diary of an Eccentric

ChristyJan said...

Having two sons close to the title characters age, I would like to read this book.

hawkes(at)citlink.net

Amy said...

This book seems quite interesting. I'd love to read it. Enter me in the contest, please. :)

caite said...

please enter my name.
why? well, it was the mortuary reference that had me. I have always dreamed of working in a serice industry job wher the customer can't talk back. ;-)

Ann said...

I'd love to win this. As a kid I went to a new school every 3 years and was always reinventing myself (never really worked though -- you are who you are). I'm interested in how this is explored in this book.

I've added your giveaway to my blog sidebar.

stacey @ bookthirty said...

Hello! Is it too shallow to admit that I'd like to read the book because of its title and cover art? :) Seriously, I'm a sucker for good book design. I also like books about seemingly eccentric characters. Thanks!
Stacey @ book:thirty
stacey.bookthirty@gmail.com

windycindy said...

I would love to read this book because Mead sounds unusual for being a child prodigy! His decisions on life would make for an interesting read. Many thanks, Cindi
jchoppes[at]hotmail[dot]com

Carol said...

I have twin grandsons who are 14 and in all the advanced math classes. I would like to read this and then pass it on to them!
Carol M
mittens0831 AT aol.com

Debbie said...

I have 3 teenagers - two heading to college next year. A novel about growing up seems apropos.

Janna said...

This looks so fun!

ryanx6 at msn dot com

Nicole said...

I want to know why he left college without a degree...

Sandy said...

after reading all these reviews for this book I now want to read it and see what happens..mrs.mommyyatgmaildotcom

Cynthia said...

Would love to read this book. Thanks for entering my name!

sito50 said...

The synopsese and reviews have made me put this on my gotta-read list. Winning it would be marvelous. Thanks for the giveaway.

Wanda said...

Well...I want to know....why did he leave college just 8 days short of graduation!
So...I have to read this book, now!

Rebecca said...

This looks like an interesting book to read. My email address is rmsacks at hotmail dot com.

Dixie said...

After seeing all the reviews I'd love to read this one.
Thanks for the entry.


southrngal(at)gmail(dot)com

robin_titan said...

I would like to read this book because it sounds like it's really interesting! I have read quite a few reviews about it and people love it which means it must be goood! thanks for the opportunity! :D

Jacqueline in Atlanta said...

Looks like a good read for a winter snow-in.

Thanks for having the giveaway!

Mom of 5 Boys said...

I'd love to read this. Please enter me in the contest!

Sunny said...

My heart goes out to the "under dog" the one who doesnt fit in or gets picked on or singled out or left out. Sounds like an interesting read. I'd love to be entered. Thanks!

sj3girls AT hotmail DOT com

Amber said...

Please enter me - thank you for the giveaway! I would love to read this book because I was a bit of a math nerd myself and I am very interested in his story.

tatertot374 said...

thank you for having this! THis looks and sounds like an excellent read. I like family life novels. Thank you!
tatertot374@sbcglobal.net

Tammy said...

This book intrigues me, my son is in advanced classes and I find what he and his friends go through very interesting. I've also posted about the giveaway here.

missporkchop AT yahoo DOT com

Kathleen said...

Thank you for a great giveaway

Mo said...

Please enter me in your contest; I had come to your review via Semicolon's review carnival; had not even heard of the book until reading a few positive reviews from the Saturday carnival. Sounds like a captivating read!

Shelly said...

I love books set in colleges - this one sounds great

Becky said...

I want to read this because well let's face it I'm a book hooch and am running out of books to read..seriously..

sweetsue said...

I would like to read this book because I like the cover!

smchester at gmail dot com

blueviolet said...

I've always enjoyed books about odd ducks. I wasn't one but I've always had a soft spot for those who were. I'd love this book.
doot65{at}comcast[dot]net
Elizabeth

Belladonna1975 said...

I would love to read this book because I will read pretty much anything!

Book Lover Lisa said...

I would like to read this book because it is about something that I can relate to, though on not so grand a level as a genius. After so many years focussed on education, life seems alien.

Katie Stacey said...

I have heard so much good about this book and would love to see what it is all about!

Sue A. said...

Count me in too! I've heard alot about this one.

toohotforturtle said...

Have to love a good coming of age book

Melissa said...

I love characters you can really fall in love with.

Molly C. said...

I would love to win this, because it sounds like a great read!

Becca said...

I have a soft spot for books about math or mathematicians. I guess that’s the geek in me coming out. Maybe I shouldn’t have admitted that. I also know what it’s like to feel you don’t belong, unfortunately it isn’t because I’m a genius. So I would love to read this. Thanks
rebecca.bradeen(at)verizon(dot)net

Wendy aka Misswendiki said...

I love books about people taking an unpredictable route in life. I'd love to win!

fbartlett said...

I can relate to this book, because I am too a genious (ha ha)! But really--I have heard a lot about this book and would really love to read it. Thanks!

Jodi said...

I am not a genius, but I play one of tv, ok not really, but I still would like to read this book.

purehrt555(at)yahoo(doT)com

Princess Golden Hair said...

i'm glad i stumbled across your blog. what an excellent book recommendation. Thanks so much for this great giveaway

teechbiz at yahoo dot com

angie said...

This sounds like an interesting read. Everyone can probably relate in some way to the main character. I'd like to see what happens in the book.

Ginny said...

I have two daughters, so it would be interesting to read a book about a boy growing up!

Deb said...

To be honest, I love reading so much that I'll read just about anything!

Tammy OHagan said...


Pick Me! Pick Me! I would love to win a book.

This book sounds like an awesome read! My husbands favorite author is Stephen King. I have two favorites: James Patterson and Mary Higgins Clark.

I am currently reading WHAT YOUR 1ST GRADER NEEDS TO KNOW by E.D. HIRSCH



It's very kind of you to offer such a great giveaway, its rare that I see giveaways for people like us (avid readers).




Thanks
Tammy OHagan
tammyohagan ~~~ AT ~~~ westco ~~~ DOT ~~~ net

Jinxy and Me said...

This sounds good. I like "coming of age" novels. Thanks for the giveaway!

tashiana said...

the cover art and title= to die for
the story= to die for
definetely TBR
ur reviews are getting better and better!
this is what my parents worried would happen to me if i skipped too many grades so i ended up only skipping kindergarted lol

Pam said...

I had a friend who was in law school by 18 or 19 and he had similar difficulties. It's hard enough to fit in without being so much younger than everyone else. Sounds like a great read!

melacan at hotmail dto com

Chad Sayban said...

I really can identify with this character. Great review!

holdenj said...

I wonder how his name change to Mead maybe helps result in this leaving school to perhaps find himself. It looks like a great book!

Joannie said...

I am married to a person who went though a similar experience. I would love to read this book!!!!!
hi_joan_elliott at hotmail dot com

Amy said...

I haven't even read this book yet and already my heart goes out to this poor guy. Loneliness especially in college isn't fun. I think part of the college experience is the socializing and the friendships you make but it doesn't sound like that's going to be part of Mead's college life.

Your reviewed makes me want to run out and get this book now! I want to know Mead is okay but I also want to know what made him leave!

Thank you!

Aimala127@gmail.com

CherylS22 said...

Thank you for the wonderful review. I want to read this book because I often wondered how child prodigy's do it. Their talent places them further along the learning curve than others of their age, but what about the social ramifications of being so far ahead?

Thanks ~ megalon22{at}yahoo{dot}com

Gianna said...

That sounds like an interesting read :)

Thank you!!

Thank you to Beth at Beth Fish Reads and to The Blogger Guide for helping me to customize my template and to Andrea at The Little Bookworm for improving my header!!

About Me

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New Hampshire, United States
Bibliophile, Anglophile, Traveller... I have been an avid reader all of my life, since I took the Dr. Seuss Dictionary away from my Mom when I was less than a year old because I wanted to read it myself. In college, where I earned my degree in English Literature, I was often asked "What are you going to do with it?" Now I finally have the answer to that question!!! Being employed as a Flight Attendant for twenty years has given me a lot of life experience and, better still, a lot of time to read. I love to travel for fun, too.