Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Spellbinding by Maya Gold

Abby is invisible, or so it seems.  She only has one friend, and the guy she has had a crush on forever barely knows who she is.  She also suffers from horrible headaches, and reoccurring nightmares about drowning in a past life.  The only good thing about these dreams is the guy she keeps seeing, the guy she knows she is connected to, the buy with the blue slash through his green eyes.

Then, during a history project, Abby learns that she is related to one of the women convicted of Witchcraft during the Salem Witch Trials, and after further investigation she starts to wonder if she herself has witchy powers.  And, when she meets the boy with the blue glint in his eye while researching in Salem...things start to change rapidly.

It's hard to describe this book, because a lot went on without that much happening.  There were times were Abby was not a very likable main character, and some of the descriptions in the book were awkward.  One girl is described as looking like a ham in a dress, but I am not sure if that was supposed to be a good or a bad thing.  Also, the sense of time in the book is off.   The school Abby attends doesn't have prom until the end of June, and she says in August that she hopes she will "get a tan over the summer".  That said, I enjoyed the first 2/3 of this book as a fun and breezy beach read with a touch of history, but by the end I was really frustrated.  Teens may well sympathize with Abby more than I did though, and if a library has a large supernatural following this would be a clean addition to those that want magic with romance.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

A Corner of White: Bk 1 of the Colors of Madeline by Jaclyn Moriarty

Madeline and her mother have run away from her father.  They now live in England, where her mother is a seamstress who dreams of making it big on quiz shows.  During the day Madeline and two other students learn through a homeschooling set up that Madeline's mother worked out with a group of adults.  Madeline lives in our world.

Eliot's father is missing, and he is on a mission to find him.  There are rumors that Eliot's took off with a local Physics teacher, and killed his own brother, but Eliot is sure this is not true.  Eliot is searching his world (the kingdom of Cello) to find his father.

Then,through a crack in the worlds that has not appeared for a long long time, Eliot and Madeline begin to communicate.

Right around the time Eliot and Madeline began to communicate is about where I totally lost interest.  I was pretty interested in Eliot's side of the story, but Madeline was just such a bland character.  The two worlds didn't seem to meld together very well, and while I like to think I'd go back and finish this book one day, I just couldn't hold off reading something I'd enjoy more.

I received an e-ARC of this book from Netgalley.

Monday, April 22, 2013

The Rose Throne by Mette Ivie Harrison

This is the story of two princesses, two kingdoms, and the magic that divides them, but could also bring them together.  Ailsbet is a tall red headed princess whose father is manipulative and who relies only on the masculine magic to rule his kingdom.  Her father has all but exiled the feminine magic that helps plants grow and encourages the calm and living aspect of nature.

Marissa is from a kingdom completely unlike Ailsbet.  Marissa's father encourages Marissa's feminine magic, and the kingdom is full and in bloom, although it lacks the masculine strength that Ailsbet's kingdom has in abundance.

These two princesses both want to serve their kingdoms, be who they are, and be loved for their individual selves.  And can either of them make the prophecy come true and reunite these two feuding kingdoms?

This description is a bit vague, and that's because the book's plot itself is kind of muddled.  Honestly, the description of the book and what really happens in the book are rather different.  Apparently Ailsbet is on the cover of the book, although the story certainly holds Marissa up as the "better" princess.  The world created by Harrison is beautiful, if claustrophobic (it seems like the two kingdoms are at the center of the world with very few others around them), but the story was a jumble.  I honestly thought for awhile this was going to be an LGBT story because it didn't seem like the princesses were really in love with anyone in particular that they wanted to marry, so I figured maybe men weren't really what they were interested in.

There isn't much resolution, which makes me wonder if there are supposed to be more books in this series, or if this is just the end and we are supposed to decide what happens next.  I've really enjoyed some of Harrison's other work, but this one was just OK for me.  I did want to find out what happened, but once I got to the end I was kind of left feeling "meh".

This review is based off an e-ARC I was allowed to read.