"Or have I inherited something else from my forebears
--not magic, but madness?
There's a word for people who hear voices and see things,
and it's scizophrenia.
--Maya Gold, Spellbinding
Genre: YA Paranormal
Publisher: Scholastic Point, 272 pages
Publication Date: April 1st, 2013
Source: eARC provided by publisher via NetGalley
I've been looking for a good witch story for awhile now and when I saw this on NetGalley it sounded pretty good, kinda right on track with what I was looking for...and it was good. Not fantastic and drop everything right now but right in the middle. The book was fast-paced and definitely kept my attention. It was a quick read and I liked how the story moved and evolved and twisted.
Abby's character was very much like any other normal teenage girl just trying to find her place in the large scheme of things. She feels awkward and insecure and it doesn't help she has a longtime crush on her childhood friend, Travis, who is the hottest boy in school. Also enter his girlfriend aka Regina George and queen of the Plastics who has it out for Abby. I'm gonna get this out of the way now because it is my only real issue with this book. First, while Abby is head over heels for Travis and she thinks he is like, the bee's knees. The kid is dating somebody who is beyond mean and vicious. I can't get behind this infatuation because of this. If he's dating the mean girl and he is too stupid and blind to see who she really is, he is NOT worth your time. Sorry not sorry. AND my blood was literally (but actually figuratively) boiling reading about the bullying in this book. Megan (the girlfriend) and her sidekicks are not only verbally mean, they get physical. And NOTHING is done about it. Abby just takes it. What the eff?! As somebody who was picked on most of her childhood and teenage years (while it NEVER got physical) I just couldn't stand this. I mean, these girls were legit insane the stuff they did. I just couldn't take this part of the story. It seemed like the physical aspect was just too much. I didn't like it. And it is not because I don't believe this kind of bullying happens, unfortunately I know it does, but it just didn't seem to fit in linearly with the rest of the story. It was too deep of an issue that was never resolved while the rest of the story was more of a lighthearted affair.
BESIDES, that I really did enjoy the story. I liked that Abby was a normal girl. Wanting to fit in, using her new magic powers to get the boy she likes to like her back. That all seemed very legit and real. Her problems were honest and I liked seeing her mature and work through not only her magical issues but her non-magical ones as well. Along her journey she meets Rem, a boy she is drawn to and she thinks can hear inside her head. I liked Rem. He was a solid character and you never really knew where his intentions were until the end. I liked the easygoing dynamic he and Abby had.
The magical portion of the story centered around the Salem witch trials because Abby finds out she is an ancestor of a woman accused and killed during the trials. We get some details about the history of what went on but not a lot. I would have liked a little more witch lore but the story focused mostly on Abby and her reactions to what was happening to her.
I liked the story overall. It was a quick and easy read. Doesn't focus too much on magic so if you aren't into heavy paranormal this might be a good stepping stone. Fun read, I'd recommend if you're into a little more younger YA or MG mood.