by Michael Scott
Youth Quotes in The Alchemyst
How we cite our quotes: (Chapter.Paragraph)
Josh always said that their parents lived five million years in the past and were only happy when they were up to their ankles in mud. The twins knew that they were loved unconditionally, but they also knew that their parents simply didn't understand them […] or much else about modern life. (8.24)
Even though, in many ways, Josh and Sophie seem quite young (after all, they're only fifteen), in many ways, they're mature beyond their years. Because their parents are always busy with their noses in the dirt, digging for dino bones, Sophie and Josh have had to fend for themselves. They even got themselves jobs to pay for their own car. That's pretty impressive.
The twins looked at one another, suddenly uncertain. This was just a little too weird, and there was something in Scathach's lack of expression that was frightening. Sophie's eyes suddenly widened in shock. "I just realized that both of those people, Joan of Arc and Tutankhamen, died young."
"Very young," Josh said, sobering, recalling his history. "They both died when they were nineteen."
"Yes, they did, didn't they?" Scathach agreed, turning away to look at Nicholas Flamel and the Goddess of the Three Faces. (14.72-74)
Uh oh. We hope this is not foreshadowing for Sophie and Josh's sake.
"Is he always like this?" Scatty asked.
"Like what?" Sophie asked.
"Foolish, ill-advised, reckless...? Shall I go on?"
"No need. And yes, he's usually like this. Sometimes worse." When they were growing up, she used to tease Josh that he got all the "doing" genes, whereas she got all the "thinking" genes. (22.5-8)
Foolish? Ill-advised? Reckless? Sounds familiar, right? These words are often used to describe teens, and whether or not they're accurate is for another discussion. What we're interested in here is how this passage subtly points out the (small) difference in age between the twins. Sophie, the older sister, seems level-headed and cool-tempered. Josh, who's a whopping twenty-eight seconds younger than his sister, is impulsive, to say the least. Their different personalities are an exaggeration of their different ages.