A blog especially designed for NA1students at EOI

April 24, 2017

Book Review

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Now that you've read the book, write your review and share your opinion with the rest!!!

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  1. Book Review: "Journey"

    "Journey", by Stephen Mateo is an amazing book based on a true story that takes place during Franco's facist regime in the 40's. This excellent book is about a young man, father of the author, who makes a decision that changes his life and those around him.

    The journey begins in the Canary Islands with Tomas leaving everything behind. In search of freedom and a better future among his friends, he is brave enough to cross over the Atlantic ocean on a boat. Despite the obstacles that Tomas and his friends find on his way, he reaches his goal but not as he had planned.

    The Story is quite scheming and it represents the inner struggle which the author suffered in another way. Intense and emotional situations take place in the whole adventure since Tomas has such a strong will and he has got a quite strong determinate character.

    Angel's opinion: I really enjoyed this book, That's why I would strongly recommend this book to anyone, especially to young people who has an interest in contemporary Spanish history. In this book everybody can learn very useful tips about how to fight against an adverse situation. To me the most interesting things in it are that the main character needs to improve his situation in a real and hard life.

    Cristian's opinion: It seems to me that this book is pretty impressive. I really enjoyed the plot and how the main character gets through extremely hard situations, which is a good example of how he has overcome his fears, like leaving his family behind. In fact, I would highly recommend this book to anyone, even if they are not bibliophile, they will for sure enjoy this story.

    Luis' opinion: I thoroughly recommend The Journey. the story is beautiful, nostalgic and very well written. The end could be better but despite that it is very good book.

    Best regards

    By Luis Luz, Cristian Suárez y Ángel Marchatne

  2. Anonymous4/25/2017

    “ JOURNEY”

    “Journey” is a biography written by the Canadian author Stephen Mateo. It’s a true story based on his own father’s real life. The plot is set both in Gran Canaria in 1945 and in Canada in the recent days.

    The beginning of the story takes place in Toronto, Canada, when the author discovers a huge secret about his father that would change his entire life and he shares with the readers this amazing moment when Tomas Castellano decides, after more than 50 years of silence, that the time to tell his true story to his son has finally come. From then on, the main story focuses on a teenage boy living in Gran Canaria in 1945, who decides to escape from dictatorship and struggle for his freedom. From then on, a new life begins and the first decision he has to make is to leave behind all the world he knows (country, family, friends…) and stealing a ten-meter boat to sail across the Atlantic Ocean. The trip is full of dangers, fears and regrets, but also of wishes, dreams and hope.

    This is the sort of book that grabs your attention from the first few lines and you can’t put it down till the end. The gripping story is beautifully written and full of exciting moments; on the other hand, the dialogues are very realistic and this makes it easy to be inside the story.

    If you are one of those who believes that dreams can be fulfilled, you’ll definitely enjoy reading it; but even if this is not your case, you won’t be disappointed as this moving story will captivate you from the beginning to the end.

    It’s really worth reading it!!

    Manuel Martín
    Chen Chen
    Cristina Diepa
    Masole de Armas


    The book which are going to review is "Journey". Journey is the stoy of Tomas Mateo Castellano and his amazing life during Franco's fascist Spain, written by his son, Stephen Mateo.

    The story begins when Mike discovered a mysterious box from his father about the Canary Islands. Mike was told by Tomas the story of his life when he was 17 years old and lived on Gran Canria during the Civil War. The tyranny from those years made Tomas leave his family and everything he knew and loved. Tomas escaped with some friends on a sailboat in the middle of the night across the Atlantic to América. THe only thing Tomas dreamed about to be free. Tomas spent his life living extraordinary adventures but always thinking about his family and the day to return.

    The book is a beautiful story full of adventure moments, memories and emotions, and it helps to understand the protagonist as well as his fear of being alone in the jorney of his life.

    We strongly recommend the book because it is a real story and helps to understand the emigration movement in Franco's time. It is an emotional clase story.

    Carolina Arencibia Montesdeoca
    Yazmina Brito Ruiz
    Ariadna V. García Pérez
    Desiré Santana Castellano

  4. Anonymous4/26/2017

    Journey was written by Stephen Mateo and is inspired by an incredible true story. It is about the author's father biography, Tomas Mateo Castellano, and it takes place in Franco's fascist's regime in the Canary Islands in 1940's. This book tells us the story of an amazing journey from Gran Canaria to America in search of freedom, but it was not the way it was supposed to be.
    The story begins when Tomas is only a teenager under Franco's bloody regime and he sees how civilian and innocent people are killed because they do not agree with the dictatorship. In this context, Tomas starts to think about leaving the Island, but this important decision changes not only his life but also the life of his loved ones forever. Tomas and his best friend steal a sailboat without telling anything to anyone from his family. Although, they risk their lives, fight against ferocious storms and face plenty of problems, he becomes a man during his journey. The story also narrates the suffering and the desperation of a family who does not know whether their son is alive or dead.
    It is beautifully written as the author creates an atmosphere of adventure, friendship, romance and overcoming. The main character mature and grow up finding his purpose in his life.
    We highly recommend Journey because it is gripping and moving. It is really easy to read too. From our view, the end happens very fast and does not live up to our expectations. If you like adventure stories you cannot miss this book. It is well worth reading.

    Keisy Medina Guerra
    Francisco Abel Suárez Marrero
    Rita del Pino Rodríguez Lorenzo


    “Journey”, by Stephen Mateo is an incredible book that starts in the Canary Islands and finishes in Canada, after sailing across the whole Atlantic Ocean. This is the exciting story of Tomas Castellano written by his son. It tells how the protagonist decided to leave his life in the fascist Spain to follow his dream at the other side of the ocean.
    The novel begins when Mike discovered his father’s secret, who reveals to his son the important decision which changed completely not only his life, but the life of the others around him as well. Tomas lived in Gran Canaria with his family under an oppressive system where freedom didn’t exist. Because his military instruction was very close, he decided to scape. In a few months, he planned the getaway with his friends Pedro and Antonio. After several months struggling on the sea, he could arrive in Canada, where his adventure would continue.
    This is an adventurous story that transports you to the difficult moment in the history that Tomas Catellano lived. In spite of that, the descriptions give a slow rhythm in some chapters.
    We highly recommend “Journey” since it is a mix of adventures, emotions and, above all, this is the evidence that you never should give your dreams up!

    NA1-3: Sergio Jerez Falcón, Magali Santana Suárez, Coralia Hernández Reyes

  6. Anonymous4/28/2017


    Journey, written by Stephen Mateo, tells Tomas’ true story which took place in Gran Canaria and in Canada. This amazing adventure is about Tomas Mateo Castellano, who looks for a life in freedom.

    Tomas and his friends planned to leave Gran Canaria due to government toughness and the lack of freedom during Spain’s Civil War and while General Franco ruled the country. The adventure begins when Tomas and his friends steal a sailing boat from `El Club Náutico’, in order to reach the coast of America. Their decision broke into problems their relatives and friends.

    Apart from that, all family members do not share the same feelings about the desertion, while the main characters father is so embarrassed and thinks his son is a coward, his mother is utterly devastated and hopes he comes back home soon.

    The plot hooks you from the front page to the exciting journey that Tomas live in a small sailing boat through the Atlantic Ocean and his new life in an unknown country, which gave him the opportunity to work, to create a family and ultimately to be happy. However, at the same time, you will feel the pain and the restlessness that the protagonist feels for having abandoned his friends and family.

    I strongly recommend this book which is easy to read and it is easy to follow, although it takes place at two different times. Once you start to read it you will not be able to stop till you know how this unforgettable story ends.
    Fernando Santana
    Taysa Hernández
    Jezabel Rivero
    Juana Teresa Benítez
    NA1 – Grupo 2

  7. corina4/28/2017

    Journey, by Stephen Mateo, is a book based on a true story that takes place in the Canary Islands and Canada. The intriguing book tells the story of a young man, Tomas Mateo Castellano, and the secret he has kept from his family during his life.

    The plot begins when a brave young man has to choose between his freedom far away from his family or living in a despotic country. Then Tomas takes the most difficult and important decision in his life, He tries to find his place in the world. Tomas starts his journey with a stolen sailboat across the Atlantic Ocean to America full of great and desperate adventures. The experience turns him into a man who has to live with the heart-breaking guilt of having chosen the future over the past and the consequences of that decision.

    This book is full of adventurous and tense moments as the author recreates the desperate decision of the main character of escaping from his dictatorial country. He felt like a bird in a cage. It has a tragic plot, where the author manages to engage the readers in the story of his life.

    We highly recommend "Journey" for anyone who loves a good adventure novel. It is an easy read, and once you start, you can not to put it down from cover to cover.


  8. Anonymous4/29/2017

    JOURNEY, based on a true story, is the name of the book that tells the story of Tomas Mateo Castellano through the hands of his own son Stephen Mateo.
    Canary Islands,Spain. It is 1946, a difficult historic moment after the end of the civil war. Tomas is 17 years old and he dreams with a different future so far away from Franco´s fascist regime. His eager for freedom and his deep convictions about a new life without reprisals makes him take the most difficult decision in his life. He must leave his family and friends behind for the begining of a new life.
    With his friend Pedro, Tomas plans his escape in the middle of the night, stealing a sailboat without another thought in his mind: He must cross the Atlantic Ocean until arriving in America. The suffering of his family, the retilations of the civil guard and not knowing if the young boy was alive or dead, are some of the main feelings that you can discover in its pages.
    JOURNEY,a beautiful song to freedom, a book that has been able to take me away. Since the first word until the last page, I have been inside.Stephen Mateo made me understand the reasons why a person takes the decision to leave everything behind.

    By Carmen Maroto, NA1 mañana


    By Pedro Vega

    This adventure book, based on a real history, was written by the Canadian author, Stephen Mateo. It is mainly set in Gran Canaria Island in 1945, a few years after the Spanish Civil War.

    It tells us the story of Tomas, a young man who left his life in Gran Canaria in order to live his dreams far away the dictatorship that Spain was in and how his son, Mike, discovers all the amazing things his father went through to get to Toronto, Canada, their current home.

    The main part of the novel tells us Tomas Castellano’s real story, a Spanish young man from Gran Canaria, who escaped from the island in 1945, in a small stolen boat, leaving his family and friends there.

    During his epic getaway Thomas, who was eighteen in that year, crossed the Atlantic Ocean without navigational knowledge with a mate, Antonio, who disappeared during a storm in the middle of the ocean, when a huge wave dragged him from the boat.

    Moreover it also tells us Tomas’ relative relations.

    Even though it is not written in a very beautiful way, the book is kind of catchy and makes you wonder how all is going to end. It has really got some dramatic moments that put the reader in posture, as other day by day things which helps us to feel identified with the main characters.

    In summary I have l fairly enjoyed reading Journey because, in my opinion there is some lack of rhythm in the history. However, if you are fond of adventurous novels and also not very worried about the writing style, I would recommend you to read it, although it is obviously very far away from being a masterpiece of adventure novels.