Reading level: Young Adult
eBook: 235 pages
Publisher: Self published
Release date: February 26, 2013
Reviewed by: Stéphanie
Source: Book tour ARC
Adam and Christy have been best friends since kindergarten. Always the perpetual outsiders in their small town in Texas, they’ve always had to deal with nasty comments from their classmates. Adam is called “gay” while Christy is called “witch.”
On both counts the bullies are right.
Their junior year in high school seems destined to be the same old same old until Christy decides to cast a love spell for Adam at the midnight hour. The next day an alluring and mysterious new boy enrolls at school and sets hearts a flutter, including Adam’s. Meanwhile, Christy’s mad crush on the handsome Ian seems to be going nowhere fast. Struggling to capture the heart of Ian while trying to come into her full witch powers is tough enough, but when a great evil arrives in town that threatens everything they hold dear, she realizes that finding a boyfriend is the least of her and Adam’s worries.
Soon Adam, Christy, their potential love interests, and their good friends Drifter and Olivia, will have to battle a force of darkness that has killed in their town before and will again.
At heart, this is really a YA book but with some supernatural elements added to the mix. Rhiannon Frater fans like me will probably enjoy the book, but will probably agree with me when I say this isn’t Frater at her best. While I did enjoy the story, I wasn’t crazy about the immaturity of some of the characters. In my opinion, just because the book is about young adults, it doesn’t mean the characters have to be immature and that naïve (at times). But kudos to Rhiannon for trying YA. Since this is my first book of Kody Boye, I don’t really have anything to compare it too, but along with Rhiannon, Kody has gained a place on my watch list!
I really appreciated the fact that each author was writing from a different point of view. While Rhiannon was writing from Christie’s point of view, Kody was writing Adam’s. The writing styles were slightly different, enough to help differentiate the two main characters, yet not enough to cause a rift in the story. Personally, Christie felt a little too immature for me when it came to some situations but I must admit, I really enjoyed meeting her family and learning about her magical powers. Little things like a magical broom stick living in her house adds so much to the book, and the fact that this said broomstick likes to spy on Christie is so freaking original! I have a soft spot for Adam because all the things he’s going through.
Despite the paranormal elements, this is a real YA book. In my opinion, it’s a realistic representation of high school life which includes bullying, teen romance, boring classes and teen parties. The bullying in the book reminded me of the bullying in the movie MEAN GIRLS. While the mean girls in the movies were called The Plastics, in the book they were called The Barbies. I couldn’t truly identify with the characters as they were being bullied by multiple characters but I can definitively understand their feelings. Like Adam, my brother is gay, and even if he didn’t officially come out until in was in university, he was definitively bullied in high school for being gay and different.
I think one of the strong messages from this book is that bullying is still out there, even when we don’t realize it. There no reason why some teens are still being plagued by bullies today. Teen bullying can come from many different sources: other teens, parents, teachers, coaches, etc. Obviously this isn’t news so I’ll cut my rant short, but I do applaud Kody and Rhiannon for facing the issue in their book. What made the bullying in this book bearable is that both main characters had strong support systems at home. Parents that understand their child or teen’s situation makes it easier for everyone to get through hard situations. Christie’s parents are definitively a good presence, and Adam’s mom couldn’t be more understanding (or quirky, but that’s another matter).
For some unknown reason, I’m always scared when it comes to collaborations. While it’s a good way to discover new authors, it can sometimes be a failure if the book isn’t up to standards about a specific author we’ve been following. But I worried for nothing about this book. While this is not my favorite Rhiannon Frater book of her, it has definitively introduced my to a new author!