Read The Last Girls of Pompeii by Kathryn Lasky Online


In Pompeii, in the summer of A.D. 79, Julia and Sura appear to lead opposite lives. Julia is the daughter of a wealthy ship-builder; Sura is an orphan. Julia bears the Curse of Venus a withered arm; Sura s beauty turns heads. Julia is free; Sura is her slave. Then Julia learns that her parents are planning to put her in the service of the Temple of Damia, the center of a cIn Pompeii, in the summer of A.D. 79, Julia and Sura appear to lead opposite lives. Julia is the daughter of a wealthy ship-builder; Sura is an orphan. Julia bears the Curse of Venus a withered arm; Sura s beauty turns heads. Julia is free; Sura is her slave. Then Julia learns that her parents are planning to put her in the service of the Temple of Damia, the center of a cultish new religion, and Sura will be sold to an awful man who plans to make her his concubine.But when Mt. Vesuvius erupts, Julia s and Sura s fates are forever altered, forcing them both to face the true meaning of freedom."...

Title : The Last Girls of Pompeii
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780670061969
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 184 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Last Girls of Pompeii Reviews

  • Phair
    2018-11-15 22:23

    A quick read - not quite as good as some of Lasky's others. I would put this in young adult rather than children's fiction as the themes are a bit mature (lecherous advances, marriage concerns, adultery). The Pompeii and eruption in this book are not quite as exciting and descriptive as in Caroline Lawrence's juvenile book Pirates of Pompeii nor is this city as 'real' as the Pompeii of Falco's pre-eruption visit in Lindsey Davis's Shadows in Bronze. Still a good story about the two girls coming to terms with what life has dealt them with good descriptions of the society of the period.

  • Olivia
    2018-11-05 16:56

    I LOVED this book! It was just for me. One of the reasons I liked it was because it was set in Pompeii and about the eruption! I'm learning latin right now and I love to study it. I'm so glad I picked this book.

  • ★ℕłℂØℓҾ★ (Nix)
    2018-10-31 01:18

    I've always had a fascination with Pompeii, and usually when I know a book is about something, that's all I can focus on until it happens. Pompeii. A volcano erupts and lots of people are killed. 25 hours and a city is completely buried in the remnants of a volcanic explosion. That's kind of a big deal! And yet, I found myself completely forgetting about this imminent doom as I was reading. I would see the word "Pompeii" and think, "Oh, yeah!" I was so lost in the story of Julia and her slave Sura that I wasn't hyper focused on the main event.This was a great little book!

  • Bethany
    2018-10-25 01:10

    I've always been fascinated by Pompeii. A city covered by ash, lost and forgotten to be unearthed thousands of years later, frozen in time. This is a book about two girls, living in Pompeii at the time of Vesuvius's eruption. Julia is the daughter of a wealthy and important man. Sura is her slave. They're more like sisters than that power differential implies, though; Julia has no other friends, her oldest sister is cruel to her because of the small, useless arm Julia was born with, and Sura is the closest person to her. Julia and Sura have noticed strange things going on in Pompeii--a rotten egg smell, fountains that stop running in the night, but they have more important concerns. Julia's parents have been treating her strangely, Sura believes that she's soon to be sold, and then there's the seer in the cave who tells Julia that, when the snow falls in the summer, she has to leave.Thsi book has so much potential, and while it's definitely an enjoyable and intruiging read, it doesn't quite live up to it. There's a strange twist at the end that isn't fleshed out, a romantic relationship that falls short of heart-hammering, and deaths that just...aren't mournable, because you don't know the characters well enough.

  • Annie/Soul
    2018-10-27 19:18

    THIS IS A HORRIBLE BOOK!!!!! THERE IS HARSH LANGUAGE, RUDE BEHAVIOR, AND A TRAUMATIZING.... *decides not to continue* And to top it all off, they gave all of the corpses, the REAL actual corpses found in pompei, names in the ending. Lasky described which characters they were, what they had been doing when they got caught in the volcano, and who had been discovered or not. That had gave me shivers that lasted for three days. It's educantional and a good idea to do, but frightening to some readers. (Like m'ua) HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE!! You can trust me when I say I am never going to pick this book up again. >:( Okay, Kathryn Lasky is a good writer. Good, as in GREAT. I'm a great fan of Guardians of Ga'Hoole (great as in addicted), so it's not enough for me to start ignoring her books. I read this three years ago, so it would have probably been better for me to read it now then it would have then. *sighs* Oh well. I (probably) still would have disliked it.

  • Val
    2018-11-15 16:58

    Well anything about Pompeii is fun to explore. This young adult novel has been well researched by Lasky. I feel this book is basically geared for young women aged around 13 and up. There are some slight references to sex that might either be lost on the younger set or be too mature. There is lots of imagery as well as great descriptive writing how the characters dressed and what they ate, as well as the jewelry they wore and their hairstyles. This is another reason I feel this book will appeal to females as opposed to most young adult males. So for the teenage girl with a passion for history, I would highly recommend this book. It flows well; I did not put it down until I completed the entire novel--and learned some things along the way. For example, there were no tomatoes or pasta discovered from this era of Italy...which I found very interesting. Pre-tomato/pasta Italy. So there is much to be learned in this tale.

  • Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
    2018-10-24 21:54

    My local library catalogued this as J, but I think it's young adult. I couldn't put this one down--life in Pompeii was so vividly drawn. Made me want to read more novels set in Roman times. I wasn't entirely happy with the ending, however. Lasky described the sea as drawing back, which should have meant a tsunami, and when Cara and Sura went into the sibyl's cave, they should have been drowned. Instead the sibyl tells them to walk toward the sea, and you get the impression that they caught a ship out there and escaped. No, I think they should have been swept away by a tsunami. It spoiled what was up until that point an excellent story.

  • Kara
    2018-10-21 17:08

    It’s a solid middle school level presentation of Pompeii’s last days and hours, but the writing style is one of trying to cram in as many facts as possible in a short amount of space. There’s a lot of “as you know Bob” to the book as characters chatter to each other about the art, architecture, custom and culture of the 1st century as Vesuvius sends out ignored warning signs that it’s about to blow its top. The main character and her family are very relatable as the parents worry about money and politics and the sisters squabble about everything and anything - after all: times change, people don't.

  • Gwen the Librarian
    2018-11-14 22:55

    In the ancient Roman city of Pompeii, Julia is a wealthy crippled girl and Sura is her beautiful slave. While they lead totally opposite lives, they are best friends. During a couple of eventful weeks, the girls' world completely changes as they are forced to grow-up and see where their paths will split and what the future will hold. Looming over all of these events is the volcanic Mt. Vesuvius and the earthquakes that are becoming more and more frequent. What does Fate have in store for these two girls?

  • DustBunniesAndBooks
    2018-11-14 01:12

    I did not get very far into the book before I quit. When the main character was at the public baths and the talk turned to male genitals, I quit reading. Seriously, did the conversation have to turn to that? We know that the public baths were a place of gossip...couldn't a book geared toward 9 to 12yo's have been gossip of a non-sex nature??? As a homeschooling mom, I have a hard time finding good historical fiction. Looks like for Pompeii, we will be reading the picture book, Escape from Pompeii by Christina Balit. Sad!

  • Virginia
    2018-11-10 18:09

    Once again, Lasky has written a simple story set in Pompeii during the time of Vesuvius's volcanic eruption. Of course, that backdrop sets up the dramatic irony for the story. Everything is heightened because we know that Vesuvius is going to erupt while the citizens do not. Lasky includes many Roman details (such as eating dormice and religious ceremonies) that bring this story to life.

  • Rachel
    2018-11-09 17:20

    Such a great book! I recommend teens read this book, because there are some hard to understand words. The book really draws you in, because it is very descriptive. I think the author did a great job of setting the story in the time is was supposed to be in! Great book!

  • B.
    2018-11-14 23:01

    Reread an old favorite!

  • Katie Fitzgerald
    2018-10-16 20:22

    This review also appears on my blog, Read-at-Home Mom.Julia has a withered arm, which makes her an outcast in a society which believes physical imperfections are a result of the curse of Venus. Her sister, a very vain young woman, is disgusted by Julia’s appearance and selfishly determined to hold her wedding on the date she prefers - August 24 - despite the fact that many local augurs do not see the date as favorable. The wedding is a bittersweet experience for Julia - and it becomes even more so when she learns that her parents plan to send her away after the ceremony, thus separating her from her slave, Sura, who is her best friend, and her favorite cousin, Marcus, for whom she has secret romantic feelings. All the while, natural signs emerge that foretell the eruption of Mount Vesuvius and the end of life in Pompeii. This book starts out really strong, providing lots of great intimate details about the life and culture of Pompeii. There is lots of really rich vocabulary, describing everything from the clothing planned for the wedding, to the strange delicacies enjoyed by ancient Romans, and the superstitious religious beliefs that govern every decision made by Julia’s family. The knowledge on the part of the reader of what happens historically on August 24, the date of the wedding, gives everything an ominous overtone and a strong sense of suspense. Readers become even more attached to Julia as they realize she may die in the destruction of her city. Unfortunately, as the story nears its conclusion it takes a strange turn toward the romantic and loses its focus on historical detail. The first three-quarters of the book seemed like they could appeal to either gender and to almost any reader, but when it devolves into more of a love story, it loses that wider appeal. Thankfully, an author’s note after the story does return to a more informative approach, sharing the author’s experiences researching and traveling to Pompeii. This book probably would not make a great text for teaching about Pompeii, but it would make perfect pleasure reading for middle school girls who have fallen in love with the subject matter and want to read a story set in that time and place. Kathryn Lasky’s way with words is a treat unto itself, and readers will appreciate the way she tells the story, even when the ending takes a turn toward the mundane and coincidental.

  • Nix
    2018-10-25 19:12

    Title: The Last Girls of PompeiiAuthor: Kathryn LaskySummary: In Pompeii, Julia's two older sisters are getting married. But while her parents are planning joy for her siblings, they are plotting something different for Julia, with her withered arm, and her slave Sura, who is very beautiful. Sura will be sold as a concubine to a nasty fuller and Julia will be sent as a priestess to a cult. Marcus, Julia's cousin, will help Julia run away. But then Mount Vesuvius erupts and everything is changed. Julia and Sura run away, but Marcus and all their friends and family are buried. Stars: 4Violence: 3, because some squabbling sisters hit each other. Julia pricks the fuller with a hairpin and draws blood. Gladiators fight in an arena and one is hurt in the arm. Perhaps Mount Vesuvius erupting may be thought of as violence. Romance: 5 for when the fuller and a porter try to kiss Sura. The fuller is married. In the baths, girls step on the private parts of Mercury in a fresco. Language: 0, though I know this isn't on a 1-10 scale. There were no bad words at all. Appropriate for: Young adults. Other: I noticed quite a few errors. Was this a first draft or something? Lasky spelled sibyl both "sibyl" and "sybil". One part, at the end of Cornelia's wedding, was missing a period and may also have been missing part of the writing. I can't see how this got past an editor and to the publisher.

  • Kit
    2018-10-17 18:56

    This is a well written version of what I consider the fairly standard historical novel for girls, which mixes some period detail with the OMB revelation that in (insert time period) girls couldn't pick their own husbands. I always find the plucky heroines of these books to be more or less completely interchangable. (They can read, for some reason! They aren't into clothes! They want to pick their own husbands!) It has the standard historical novel for girls ending, which I won't mention in case you can't already see it coming. The best parts about this book are the historical details about Pompeii, but for the same info I'd rather read the way more interesting (PG-13 rated) webcomic SPQR Blues.

  • Whitney
    2018-10-28 00:05

    I thought this book was really good. I thought it had it's ups and downs but it was still a really good book. My favorite part was when she found out her aunt also had a limp arm. I felt so bad for her aunt because she was hid away because of her limp arm. I'm so glad the Sura, Julia, and her aunt all got out of Pompeii alive and lived happily ever after. I wish Marcus would have gotten out too, and Bryzos, but I guess not everyone can have happy endings. I wish Julia would have gotten to marry Marcus. I think Cornelia deserved to have her wedding destroyed because she was so mean to Julia during the preperations of the wedding. I think the explosion was scary! But the book was a really good book:)

  • Madeleine C
    2018-10-17 21:05

    I actually really likeed this book. The plot was very interesting, and I like how it adds a lot of Greek culture into the story. I also like there are kind of two plots to the story. One about Julia and one about Sura. There were a lot of details in this book I also like. The author is so descriptive ans well spoken. The only thing I don't love about the book is that I wish they could explain I few things a little more. I know I said that there was a lot of detail, but that was for different parts of the book. One more thing, I absolutly love how the author puts little hints throughout the book about the eruption, like the smell of the water and all the vibrations. Over all it was a pretty good story.

  • Jackie
    2018-11-14 01:05

    In 79 A.D., Julia, daughter of a rich Pompeii official and her slave, Sura are more like sisters. They've grown up together in the magistrate's household. Julia, who has a deformed arm is unmarriageable because of it and her parents committ her to a house of a mysterious new cult. Sura is to be sold to a disgusting, lecherous old man to live as his concubine. This fortunately will not happen until after the wedding of Julia's cruel older sister, Cornelia. Both Julia and Sura get wind of their new lives, unbeknownst to one another. Marcus, Julia's cousin devises a plan to help both girls, but their actions are interrupted by the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius.

  • Sara
    2018-10-24 18:59

    I loved this book. Some impatient readers might get a little frustrated by some of the character development and slow buildup in the very beginning, but there was immediately geological hints and clues planted by the author to show that the disaster was coming, and that helped the suspense. I recently saw a Pompeii exhibit at a museum, so I loved all the Details this book had. I gave it a PG-13 rating because there is one swear word and a lot of sexual innuendo, although nothing inappropriate actually happens.

  • Kaylynn
    2018-11-15 00:01

    Julia, a young girl living in an ancient world, has a limp arm. Any imperfection can destroy her future, and send her away to a place for girls like her. And only girls like her. As her parents, rich and powerful, try to re-build a temple to save their daughter, Julia finds solace in her slave Sura. But she doesn't really think of Sura as a slave, but as her best friend. When she starts to fall in love with her cousin Marcus, and he she, will Julia leave Sura and run away, or stay for her sister's wedding when Hell's doors open?

  • Sandybear76
    2018-10-22 23:07

    Of course you know the volcano is about to blow but the girls in the story don't know it yet. Julia is of a wealthy family. One siter has just gotten married and the other is getting married. Julia is sick of weddings. Julia has a deformed arm and her parents are making different plans for her. Sura is Julia's slave but best friend too. Julia wishes she could free Sura but Julia's father really owns Sura not Julia. Sura's brother is a gladiator/slave.

  • Emily
    2018-11-11 23:24

    I did not like the Last Girls of Pompeii. I didnt like it because I was waiting for the volcano to erupt the whole time. The rest of the book was dragged on. I didnt not get the beginning of the book at all. I felt like the volcano eruption should have happened in the middle of the book and after the eruption should be the rest of the book. Next, the author should have told more about Julia and her Aunt after the eruption. Overall, I really didnt like the book because it dragged on too far.

  • Sarah
    2018-11-01 19:15

    I really enjoyed this book. It really opened my eyes to how terrible it was for women in Ancient Rome. It was very well written and thought provoking. It was a beautiful story of friendship, even the parts that were messy and complicated. I especially liked it when Julia stabbed the Creeper McCreep with her hairpin

  • Heather
    2018-10-16 19:06

    I'll admit I have a soft spot for historical fiction, but I really really liked this book. First of all, it's Katryn Lasky, so you know it's going to be good. Secondly, I've not read anything set in Pompeii before. This was so realistic, I could picture it all in my mind. In a sense it was like watching "Titanic," you know there is a tragedy at the end, but you need to see how it turns out.

  • Robyn
    2018-10-25 20:54

    Excellent historical fiction from Kathryn Lasky of two girls whose lives are intertwined from almost beginning to end. One is a priveleged upper class maiden with a disability, a withered arm, and the other is her slave. They share a bond that is strong until tragedy looms from evil family plotting and a destructive volcano.

  • Mrs. Roy
    2018-11-12 23:00

    One of the best books I've read this year!In a terse style, this author does not apologize for the cruelty of the Roman Empire. The story of a handicapped girl who lives in Pompeii during the last month before the 79 AD eruption of Mount Vesuvius, the characters jump off the page and grab at your heartstrings.Don't miss this one!

  • Brenley
    2018-11-02 20:59

    I personally did not like this book. I think it had no point and it got really boring. The beginning of the book gave away the end, so the whole time I wanted the volcano to erupt. I also thought it was very confusing. I didn't understand why she was being taken to the Temple of Damia or whatever is it. It confused me. I also didn't under the first about 8 chapters. They all confused me a lot.

  • Jenny
    2018-10-16 22:19

    I didn't really like this book because it was really confusing. My friends that are reading this book take Latin so they understand it better because of Ancient Rome and tablets stuff like that. And I take spanish. What I liked about this book is the bond between to people and the intense part of the volcanic eruption.

  • Alex
    2018-10-26 22:59

    I think this was pretty good but im doing a project and i need to know if the Curse of Venus was real and it probably was but i need proof so could anyone give me a good website or something? I already tried looking it up, all that comes up is some book with that title!