Book Review: The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo

The Alchemist has been sitting on my bookshelf unopened by me for three years. Yet, when I finally decided to read it, I couldn’t put it down. I devoured it in one sitting. This book is one that I will re-read again and again, discovering more about myself with each turn of the page.

Coehlo’s simplistic tale of a young Andalusian shepherd boy chasing his Personal Legend captivates the reader and calls to one’s heart, helping them rekindle the ember of passion for chasing their own dreams. The boy, after having a recurrent dream, seeks out a Gypsy woman. The woman sends him to find his treasure at the pyramids of Egypt. From there, the boy encounters people and circumstances, that, though not always pleasant, helps him fulfill his Personal Legend and achieve happiness.

I think the best way to capture how much this book spoke to my soul is through sharing some of my favorite lines from the novel:

  • “And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you achieve it.”
  • “. . .and when each day is the same as the next, it’s because people fail to recognize the good things that happen in their lives every day that the sun rises.”
  • “The closer one gets to realizing his Personal Legend, the more that Personal Legend becomes his true reason for being.”
  • “We are afraid of losing what we have, whether it’s our life or our possessions and property. But this fear evaporates when we understand that our life stories and the history of the world were written by the same hand.”
  • “Because I don’t live in either my past of my future. I’m interested in only the present. If you can concentrate always on the present, you’ll be a happy man.”
  • “If he pushed forward impulsively, he would fail to see the signs and omens left by God along his path.”
  • “You must understand that love never keeps a man from pursuing his Personal Legend. If he abandons that pursuit, it’s because it wasn’t true love. . .”
  • “One is loved because one is loved. No reason is needed for loving.”
  • “Listen to your heart.”
  • “Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second’s encounter with God and with eternity.”
  • “Anyone who interferes with the Personal Legend of another thing never will discover his own.”
  • “When you are loved, there’s no need at all to understand what’s happening, because everything happens within you. . .”
  • “Because when we love, we always strive to become better than we are.”
  • “No matter what he does, every person on earth plays a central role in the history of the world. And normally he doesn’t know it.”

The ultimate lesson? Always follow your dreams. AND I shouldn’t let books sit so long without reading them — I’ll never know what I am missing. You can order your own copy of The Alchemist here. This story of adventure, determination, and self-realization will not disappoint.


Published by Kayla E. Green

Kayla E. Green is a school librarian, speculative fiction author, and poet. When she isn’t writing, reading, or going on adventures with her husband, she loves singing loudly and off-key to KLove Radio, snuggling her dogs, and pretending she’s a unicorn. Her award-winning YA fantasy novella, Aivan: The One Truth, and her inspirational poetry collection, Metamorphosis, are now available through book retailers. Kayla also has stories and poems featured in various anthologies. Follow The Unicorn Writer's blog for book reviews, author interviews, writing advice, and more bookish fun!

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