Spellbinding

Title: Spellbinding
Author: Maya Gold
Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
Release Date: April 1, 2013
Netgalley E-ARC

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.

This was a pretty good book. Abby was a great character, strong-willed and most definitely a teenager. It was interesting to see her fluctuating emotions at different points through the book while struggling with her witchiness and school in general. As for the other people, I thought her relationship with her dad was unrealistic. They barely had any contact whatsoever, and I can understand not being close, but seriously, they had all of three exchanges of words – I can’t even call them conversations. The writing style and voice really made me hate her father, especially the way Danielle entered her life. Geez, the guy was heartless – he didn’t even notice his daughter until the night of the prom. And honestly, I didn’t want to like Danielle; I totally predicted the loaning-of-the-shawl thing, and was so hoping that I’d be wrong.

The characters at the school were ridiculous, too. Megan, Amber, and Sloane (really, Sloane?) were way too mean-girl for reality. The stunts they pulled out of jealousy would never really happen without some sort of consequence, witness, or something else. They were violent and cruel – and way overreacted to the situation. Travis was cute, though. I liked his persona – nice, cool, and seems to be genuinely happy with Megan, despite being oblivious to her attitude problems. And then there’s Rem. He’s very mysterious, at least in the beginning, and after he explains everything I liked him so much more. Their dilemma was certainly unique, but I loved the way they ended up solving it!

Lastly, the plot was pretty good. Unfortunately, I couldn’t enjoy it more because the writing was a little abrupt. There was less flow than most books have, and I was a little disappointed. However, the idea behind it was really good. I loved Dyami and the store where Abby ended up working. Spiral Visions was a creative, intriguing addition to the plot. It gave meaning, connotation, and background for some of Abby’s dreams/nightmares, and aided her on her journey of witchcraft. It seemed like a place that would be fun to explore. I also loved the history aspect and allusions/history of The Crucible.

All in all, I’d recommend this book for people looking for a quick, fun, magical read, and who aren’t looking to be in complete awe of the book.

~Yours Truly

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