Friday, April 5, 2013

Spellbinding by Maya Gold

Book:   Spellbinding
Author:  Maya Gold
Publisher:  Scholastic Point
Date:  Available now
Source:  Publisher via Netgalley
My grade:  B

There's more than one way to be powerful . . .

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.

Initial reaction

Cover Story
I like the cover. In fact, it is one of the things that attracted me to this book.  I like the title too.  However, I think the cover is a little misleading because it makes the main character seem a lot more mature than she actually is in the book.

What’s the Story?
So, the truth is, I’ve been obsessed with the Salem witch trials since I was a little girl.  I can remember reading about them in elementary school and checking out tons of books about it.  Witches in general have always fascinated me.  Actually, I was a little upset when I read the blurb for this book, because I’ve had my own idea for a Salem witch book brewing in my brain for a couple of years.  I thought that maybe someone had beaten me to it!

Not so.  This book has a very interesting premise, but I really think this is more of tween book rather than a teen book.  I liked the story in general, but there wasn’t enough of something in it.  Depth, maybe?  I don’t know.  I just know that when I reached the end, I felt a little disappointed.  I think that I needed more background and more build up to the final scene.  If this book had been twice its size, I think I would have felt satisfied that I got all the details of the story.

I liked the characters alright, but the main character, Abby, definitely did not seem to be 16.  She seemed more like 13 or 14?  I don’t know.  And Ren definitely did not seem like a high school graduate.  I thought the setting was great and I loved all the witchy stuff, but I felt like I needed more substance.  Maybe building the characters a little more and lengthening out the events that took place before the climax of the novel. 

To me, this felt like a skeleton story that had no flesh.  Which is great for younger readers who don’t need to be overwhelmed with details or perhaps for struggling readers.  But I would hesitate to hand this to a 17 year old in my library who is an avid reader.  I think this would be great for teen readers who are not so proficient, because the witchcraft element would be a high interest with low reading level.  So this book has a place on a high school shelf, but it would probably be more at home on a middle school shelf.

So, I’ve given the book a B.  It wasn’t a bad book, it just was a little younger than what I like to read.  If you have a 12 or 13 year old who likes witches, recommend this one!


I decided to just make a fun, spooky themed soundtrack for this one.

Witch by The Cult

Burn the Witch by Queens of the Stone Age

Silent Scream by TSOL

Season of the Witch by Julie Driscoll and Brian Auger

Hunting for Witches by Bloc Party

Witch Hunt by The Church

The Final Grade
My final grade for this one is a B.  It wasn’t a bad book, it just needs to be aimed at a younger audience.  Buy this one for the youngest end of the YA spectrum.

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