Saturday, April 27, 2013

Spellbinding (review)


Title: Spellbinding
Author: Maya Gold
  Scholastic Point 
Buy it or View on Goodreads

Summary:  "It is during a routine school project that Abby Silva--sixteen and nearly friendless--makes a startling discovery: She is descended from women who were accused of witchcraft back in 1600s Salem. And when Abby visits nearby Salem, strange, inexplicable events start to unfold. Objects move when she wills them to. Candles burst into sudden flame. And an ancient spellbook somehow winds up in her possession.

Trying to harness her newfound power, Abby concocts a love potion to win over her longtime crush--and exact revenge upon his cruel, bullying girlfriend. But old magic is not to be trifled with. Soon, Abby is thrust headlong into a world of hexes, secrets, and danger. And then there's Rem Anders, the beautiful, mysterious Salem boy who seems to know more about Abby than he first lets on.

A reckoning is coming, and Abby will have to make sense of her history--and her heart--before she can face the powerful truth."
Review:  The book is written in first person perspective of a teenage girl named Abby. She is just your average high school student for the most part, except lacking in friends. She only has one at a time, which I found kind of odd since she wasn't the some major introvert either. Naturally, like so many stories before this one, she likes the most popular guy in school. Likewise, his girlfriend is the nastiest piece of work in the school.

A school assignment sends her to Salem to learn of her family tree. She learns she is related to one of the 'witches' that was hung. While there she meets a guy named Rem whom she finds herself drawn toward, gets a job at a New Age shop and finds herself back home with a potion/spellbook. The whole trip was uncanny, right down to her moving a cone using...magic!?

So...surprise, surprise she finds some love and attraction spells and uses them on the popular boy, Travis. Soon he is trailing her like a puppy. Very cliche. Yet off to the side is the mysterious Rem who seems to breath hot and cold with her. This leaves us with a very standard love triangle.

As Abby delves deeper into magic, she begins to learn she is an elemental witch and that there are other witches is Salem as well.

Enough of the plot though. That is more than enough to get you started. Overall, the book was a fun read. Yet very predictable. I finished the book with a "Been there, Done that" feeling.

The pace was nicely done but I would have preferred the story to slow just a tad so I could get more into the characters. One thing I was curious on is that her employer tells her that Travis likes her yet even after the spell, I was wondering if that was true and maybe she should have asserted herself naturally first. But she didn't even try. I would have like to know more about the real witches in Salem but we don't get too much besides her and Rem. There was one part of the book I thought she was going to have a 'Carrie' moment (from the Stephen King book). Alas, I was denied that.

So while it was enjoyable to read, it brought nothing new to me as an older reader. This books may be perfect for someone reading their first teen witch book, however. It is appropriate enough for younger teens to read. No foul language which was nice, and while there was romance it was more chick-lit in style. Only 2 kisses in the whole book! So parents can rest assured of a good, clean book. For more experienced readers this can still be a fun read on a day off but don't expect many surprises or unique twists.

Note about the cover:  for some reason, when read the book, that is not how I envisioned Abby's hair.  She keeps describing it as 'wild.'  I don'e see it as wild.  Of course, since its currently being blown around but 'wind-swept' or 'lightly waved' might have been better for a visual idea.
Thank you to the publishers at Scholastic for giving me the opportunity to read and review this novel.

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