The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson

The Year of the WitchingThe Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

**3.5-stars rounded up**

In The Year of the Witching we follow a young woman, Immanuelle Moore, who lives in a Puritanical-feeling settlement known as Bethel.

Immanuelle is an outsider amongst the group. She is accepted for the most part, but no one is really warm and fuzzy towards her.

This stems back to Immanuelle’s mother, who had an affair with an outsider, a man of a different race, the result of which was Immanuelle’s birth.

Immanuelle’s Mom’s life had a tragic ending. Because of this, and the stigma attached to her very being, Immanuelle tries her best to just get along and fly under the radar. Unfortunately, no one can do that forever.

After a mishap leads Immanuelle to the forbidden Darkwood that surrounds the settlement, she encounters the spirits of powerful witches killed years before. These spirits gift Immanuelle the journal of her dead mother.

This may sound puzzling, but trust me, in the context of the rest of story, it flows nicely.

Intrigued by the journal, Immanuelle becomes focused on discovering the truth behind her mother’s life. The more she digs, however, the more she stands apart from the rest of her society. It becomes clear that the history of Bethel isn’t as clear-cut as the leaders try to make it.

The Year of the Witching is a very solid story.

While I didn’t personally find it to be as successful as House of Hunger, I still enjoyed the eerie atmosphere and dark, vivid imagery Henderson brought to the page.

The initial build-up was strong and captivating. I liked meeting Immanuelle and learning a bit about her family history and the beliefs/traditions of Bethel.

Some of the insights into Immanuelle’s Mom made me sad. I felt for Immanuelle. She definitely was not dealt an easy hand. Reading of her overcoming and finding her power within herself was definitely satisfying though.

I did find some of the action towards the end difficult to track. There were moments where I couldn’t picture anything that was happening.

Overall though, I did really enjoy this. It’s a powerful story with some interesting themes explored. Immanuelle was a sympathetic main character; easy to get behind.

I am hoping that Henderson does end up releasing a sequel to this. I know that was sort of up in the air for a while, but I would love to see more with these characters!

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Review: The Witch in the Well by Camilla Bruce

The Witch in the WellThe Witch in the Well by Camilla Bruce
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The Witch in the Well sounds intriguing. The cover image is subtly haunting. The title makes me want to discover what is happening. Is there actually a witch?

Sadly, even after reading it, I have no idea what happened. This is one of the extremely rare cases where I get progressively more ticked off the further I get into a story.

There’s a property, I guess a castle and a well on this property, where many years ago a local woman, Ilsbeth, who the townspeople believed was a witch, drowned.

Many years later, two young girls, playing in the woods discover the well and have mystical, or spiritual, or supernatural experiences there.

These girls, Elena and Cathy, grow apart and eventually become estranged. As adults, one of the women, Elena, I think, moves back to the castle after her Uncle’s death, as I understand it, to prep it for sale.

In the meantime, both women, inspired by the events at the well during their childhood, have taken it upon themselves to write books about Ilsbeth; to tell her story. Each believes they have the right to write it and the other one should stop.

Then I’m not sure, there’s like an Adult version of a prank war, there’s a handsome repairman turned suitor, and most confusing to me was a lot of content regarding a horse, or a ghost horse, and a horse as an embodiment of a demon.

Honestly, your guess is as good as mine and there it is. That’s what I got out of this book.

Oh, wait, one more thing, I think you also get the perspective of Ilsbeth, but I could be wrong on this. I think so, but I’m not 100%. Also, don’t get me started on how confusing the presentation of events was. I could not in a million years assemble a timeline for this story.

I listened to the audiobook. The narrator was okay, but I am not lying, or exaggerating, when I tell you that I RARELY knew whose perspective I was reading from and where the events fit in time.

I could not wait for this to be over. I didn’t want to DNF because, mistakenly, I thought perhaps I would have some sort of epiphany and it would suddenly all make sense.

Alas, this story just was not for me. I know there are some positive reviews out there and I’m definitely glad those Readers had a better experience with this one than I did. Please be sure you read those reviews and take them into account as well.

There’s a book for every Reader and a Reader for every book. Only you can decide if this one is for you or not.

Thank you to the publisher, Tor, for providing me with a copy to read and review. I was excited for this one. I’m sad it didn’t work out.

On to the next!

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Review: The Witch and the Vampire by Francesca Flores

The Witch and the VampireThe Witch and the Vampire by Francesca Flores
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I feel like I should start this review with a little disclaimer.

This review is based solely upon my personal reading experience with this story. It is 100% my opinion, please take it with a grain of salt.

I am by no means an expert on anything. Further, I would recommend that anyone who finds the publisher’s synopsis intriguing, gives this book a shot.

The Witch and the Vampire follows two girls, Ava and Kaye. Ava is a witch and Kaye is a vampire. They’re enemies, but it hasn’t always been that way.

They used to be best friends, but two years ago everything changed. Kaye was turned into a vampire and Ava’s mother was killed by a vampire. Kaye, coincidentally, disappeared the very night Ava’s mother was killed.

Ava, of course, suspects Kaye, or more closely, she blames her for her mother’s death. Ava is now a vampire hunter of sorts, how perfect. On the night of a vampire attack on their town, Kaye flees her mother’s home and Ava runs into her.

Ava convinces Kaye to travel with her into the forest. She pretends she is helping her, when really her plan is to backstab Kaye and get her revenge.

Obviously, I am simplifying this a bit, but honestly, that’s really all I can tell you about the plot.

Let’s start with a few positives. The cover is gorgeous. Also, the audiobook is very well narrated. If it weren’t for the audiobook, I most likely wouldn’t have finished this one.

While this book didn’t necessarily do anything wrong, it just wasn’t for me. I felt I didn’t understand the world at all and it lacked the atmosphere I was hoping for based upon the synopsis and cover.

I also felt it had one note throughout, angst. Everything was angst. There was angst every moment of every page, even though I felt like the stakes were never high enough to justify that. Because of this it lacked the highs and lows and nuance I would normally like to see.

There were no moments of levity and it seemed like the more seriously the book took itself, the less seriously I did. Additionally, all the characters felt one dimensional. I struggled to distinguish between the two girls throughout the entire story.

This is the second book I have read from this author. The first, Diamond City, I felt to be in the good-to-really-good range. I enjoyed the world Flores developed in that one. I found it creative and intriguing.

So, while this one fell flat for me, I would be willing to give this author another shot. I definitely wouldn’t pick up another story based in this world though.

With all of this being said, as touched upon in my earlier disclaimer, just because I didn’t connect with this story doesn’t mean that you won’t. There’s a book for every Reader and a Reader for every book.

Thank you so much to the publisher, Wednesday Books and Dreamscape Media, for providing me with copies to read and review. I truly appreciate it!

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Review: Spells for Lost Things by Jenna Evans Welch

Spells for Lost ThingsSpells for Lost Things by Jenna Evans Welch
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

**4.5-stars rounded up**

Willow dreams of traveling the world. Her first big move would be a study aboard program in France for her entire Senior year, but her Mom puts a big kibosh on that idea before it even gets off the ground.

Feeling confused by her mother’s detached nature, Willow is further surprised when her Mom tells her they need to leave immediately to travel to Salem, Massachusetts, to settle the estate of an Aunt that Willow has never even heard of. Her mother had a sister!?

Yeah, Willow had no clue. Her Mom doesn’t talk a lot about her early life, but this is pushing it even for her.

Not really having an option in the matter, Willow goes along for the journey. In a way it’s what she wants, to travel. She’s intrigued by the quirky little town they discover and the people, even quirkier.

Mason has been in and out of the Boston foster care system for a while. Some placements have been okay, some have been bad, but his end goal has always remained the same. He needs to get back to his Mom. They belong together.

Mason was removed from his mother’s care because she is an addict, who has been unable to care for him. Now he is getting ready to go into a new placement. It’s a little different this time, as the woman, Emma, was once best friends with his Mom.

Emma lives with her husband and their four daughters in Salem, Massachusetts.

They’re both new in town, strangers to everyone, but when their paths randomly cross one night under the bright New England stars, it seems like Willow and Mason were fated to know one another.

The two become fast friends as he helps her try to solve a mystery involving her mother’s family. All the while she’s helping him with his own life without even realizing it.

Y’all, this book left me speechless. It’s definitely a slow burn, but man, did it creep up on me with a vengeance. The last few chapters held so many moments that brought tears to my eyes, choked me up, left me gasping with the beauty of it all.

I have read all of Jenna Evans Welch’s other novels and have enjoyed them all, giving both Love & Gelato and Love & Olives 5-stars, but this book has a power behind it that none of those had.

Those are great books, but this is a special book. It’s a heavy hitter that has the ability to open hearts and minds to perspectives that may not have been considered before. That’s some serious stuff.

Both Willow and Mason are on the cusp of adulthood and both have visions of what they want their futures to be like. Unfortunately, both of them are struggling with unresolved family issues that could put a serious damper on their abilities to thrive.

I loved how they came together at the right time and were able to both gain insight from one another that helped them with their own path.

Although their circumstances are completely different, I think they found unlikely allies with one another and that was something they both desperately needed.

In addition to the hard-hitting Contemporary story, I loved just the overall feel of this book. Due to the setting, which plays such a role in this story, it really has a great, cozy Autumn vibe.

If you are looking for an atmospheric Autumnal read, but maybe aren’t a fan of Horror, or spooky stories, this could be a great fit for you. You’ll want to grab a hot beverage, some tissues and a cozy sweater as you get swept away by this engaging tale of love, magic, family and friendship.

I definitely recommend it!!

Thank you so much to the publisher, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, for providing me with a copy to read and review.

I cannot wait to see what Jenna Evans Welch gives us next!!

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Review: Blood Like Fate (Blood Like Magic #2) by Liselle Sambury

Blood Like Fate (Blood Like Magic, #2)Blood Like Fate by Liselle Sambury
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

**4.5-stars rounded up**

When I read Blood Like Magic in 2021, I was blown away by Sambury’s writing. She drew me in from the very start and I was 100% invested in that book.

The perfect blending of SFF elements, along with phenomenal character work, easily made that novel one of my favorites of the year.

To say I have been eagerly awaiting the release of this sequel, Blood Like Fate, would be putting it extremely mildly.

This is a chunky monkey and it is so full of deep, moving, thought-provoking content, I was left in awe upon completion. Sambury left no stone unturned in the exploration of these characters and their lives.

At the start of this story, Voya’s family is still reeling from the choices she made at the end of the first book.

For Voya, those were the toughest decisions she has ever made in her life and now she is suffering the consequences. Her closest relationships have been shattered, but she must continue on.

Voya has been named the Matriarch of her witch family; their highest position. Even at such a young age, she is now the official leader of the Thomas family, but how can she be?

Voya doesn’t feel capable, she questions herself and feels like all the adults in her life are questioning her as well. Voya feels they aren’t taking her seriously. Is that true, or are Voya’s own insecurities getting the best of her?

It is an extremely uncomfortable and uncertain position for her to be in.

Making matters worse is that fact that Voya’s love interest, Luc, has completely cut her out of his life. For Voya, it feels like she is losing on all fronts.

Then she has a horrifying vision, one that if it comes to pass could mean total destruction for the witch community. It could mean the death of her entire family.

Confusing Voya is Luc’s presence in the vision. Could he be involved in some way? Is he out to get her revenge on her by punishing her family?

Calling on the ancestors and the greater witch community, Voya begins to investigate the vision. If there is a way to stop it, she must figure it out. She cannot allow that vision to become reality.

It’s my understanding that Blood Like Magic is a duology. This did end with a satisfying conclusion, but I will admit, I will be sad if this is all I ever get with these characters.

You cannot read these two books and come away feeling like you are not a part of the Thomas family. I was so impressed with how intricate Sambury got with these characters. You come away feeling like you know not only these characters, but through the ancestors, their history as well.

There is a lot of action, a very serious plot involved in both of these books, but for me, the character work definitely stole the show.

Even though this is a futuristic story, I loved how inclusive it was and how many current themes and issues were interwoven into it. It touches upon things such as gender identity, mental health, generational trauma and a whole host of familial issues.

I thought that every topic Sambury tackled, she handled with grace and skill. Nothing overshadows the overall plot of the story, but enhances it in a truly lovely way.

If I were to offer forth any critiques on this novel, I would say that for me, this one felt a little long. Not in the fact that I felt there was extra content included that could have been cut, I wouldn’t have cut anything. I just felt like it dragged on a bit too long.

I almost feel like this story could have been better served if it had been made a trilogy versus a duology. Of course, this is completely personal opinion, but I certainly wouldn’t have minded a whole other book in this series.

Overall though, I absolutely loved these two books. I cannot even express to you how impressed I am by Liselle Sambury’s work.

She blew me away with this duology full of heart, Black girl magic and a level of depth rarely obtained in the genre. I highly recommend these books!

Thank you so much to the publisher, Margaret K. McElderry, for providing me with a copy to read and review. Blood Like Fate releases tomorrow, Tuesday, August 9, 2022!!!

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Review: Our Crooked Hearts by Melissa Albert

Our Crooked HeartsOur Crooked Hearts by Melissa Albert
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

On the eve of Ivy’s summer break, while her boyfriend is driving her home from a party, a mysterious figure darts into the road in front of them causing her boyfriend to swerve in order to avoid it.

There’s a minor accident as a result and Ivy’s face gets a little banged up. More concerning to Ivy however is the figure that caused them to go off the road in the first place. What was that?

They stop and pursue the figure into the woods. It’s a young woman and she seems out of place. The whole event is very strange, leaving Ivy feeling haunted.

Nevertheless, they return to the car and her boyfriend drives her home, where she proceeds to break up with him. Not the best start to summer break.

Making matters worse, she actually gets in trouble with her parents because of the accident.

As the hits keep on coming, she’s now grounded. This is going to be a great summer.

((Insert dramatic teen eye roll here.))

Soon Ivy is going to be wishing her lack of freedom were her largest problem as she starts being plagued by a series of increasingly unsettling events. The figure in the woods isn’t done with her. She doesn’t know how she knows this, she just does. It’s all connected.

That’s our present perspective. We also get a past perspective following Ivy’s Mom, Dana.

When Dana was a teen, she and a couple of friends had a real The Craft-moment happening. I’m not going to say one of them was Nancy, but one of them had some Nancy-leanings.

If you know, you know.

As the Reader it is very easy to become immersed in both of these timelines. Equally interesting is how they are connected and watching the two of them eventually bleed into one another.

I thought Albert did a great job telling this story. There were a couple of aspects that lost me a bit, some scenes towards the end had a fever dream-type quality to them and that’s not necessarily my favorite to see in a narrative.

With this being said, overall I found this story to be intriguing as heck.

The moody, dark atmosphere was definitely a plus for me. I loved how full of magic it was. Witchy vibes for the win!

Also, I really enjoyed the relationship between Ivy and her Mom. It’s complicated for a number of different reasons and watching Dana come to accept her daughter’s strength and power was beautiful to me.

Even though I didn’t agree with quite a few of Dana’s choices as a mother, I could definitely sympathize with her. I feel like Albert built her character out enough that it was easy to understand her motivations.

This was a highly anticipated release for me and it did not disappoint. I definitely recommend it to all who enjoy a dark, magical story with a bit of a mystery.

Thank you so much to the publisher, Macmillan Audio, for providing me with a copy to read and review. The audiobook is fantastically done!

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Review: Witchlings by Claribel A. Ortega

WitchlingsWitchlings by Claribel A. Ortega
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

After reading Ghost Squad in 2020 I knew I wanted more from Ortega. I had so much fun with that book.

The characters, the relationships, the humor, the heart; it was such a fantastically pure Middle Grade story. The perfect start for future Horror Readers like myself.

In Witchlings, Ortega is able to bring a classic feel to a modern Fantasy story.

Set in a magical town called Ravenskill, we follow 12-year old Seven Salazar, who on the night of her Black Moon Ceremony gets a result she wasn’t expecting.

For context purposes you can picture the Black Moon Ceremony as a kind of sorting hat process. Young witchlings are essentially sorted into covens based on their skills and abilities.

Seven and her best friend have always dreamed of being in the same coven. They want it so much that the girls actually begin to take it as a foregone conclusion.

Unfortunately, that’s not how it works out and Seven ends up as a Spare. A witchling who doesn’t get placed into one of the five covens.

Spares, if we are being honest, are sort of looked down on by the whole town. It’s not the greatest fate and disappointing for Seven, but she’s not alone. Two other witchlings become Spares during that ceremony, Thorn and Valley.

Making matters worse, when the three witchlings try to seal their circle, forging their bond as sisters, it doesn’t work. Now they’ll be doomed to a life without magic, except there’s a catch and Seven knows it.

She invokes their right to perform an impossible task. If they are able to complete it, their coven will be sealed and they will be able to gain full power.

If they fail they risk being turned into toads. No pressure.

Thus the three witchlings, who initially believed they had nothing in common, learn to work together and rely on one another to accomplish their goals. Friendship truly is magic.

Witchlings is so engaging from the very start. Seven, as well as Thorn and Valley, are all very well fleshed out and super relatable.

I love how pure their friendship is and the evolution of their relationship is so natural. I am sure young readers will be able to see a bit of themselves in at least one of these main characters.

The witchlings uncover a bit of a mystery involving their town during the course of their impossible task and even in the face of dangerous odds, they forge ahead to reveal the truth.

I loved that bit of mystery and intrigue. It was surprising and fun. You can tell that Ortega poured her whole heart into this one and I would definitely recommend reading the Author’s Note at the end.

Hearing a bit of Ortega’s inspiration behind this story really helped me to appreciate all she brought to the page.

I cannot recommend this one highly enough to both Middle Grade Readers and Fantasy Readers in general. Additionally, the audiobook is superb.

I am super stoked for the sequel to this. Yes, there is one coming and I cannot wait!!!

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Review: When the Crow’s Away (Evenfall Witches B&B #2) by Auralee Wallace

When the Crow's Away (Evenfall Witches B&B Mystery #2)When the Crow’s Away by Auralee Wallace
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When the Crow’s Away is the second book in Auralee Wallace’s bewitching Cozy Mystery series, Evenfall Witches B&B.

The first book, In the Company of Witches, was a great series starter and definitely left me wanting more.

These books follow Brynn Warren, who after the death of her husband, moves back into the B&B run by her Aunts, Nora and Izzy. The stated purpose is to help them run the place, but everyone quietly acknowledges that Brynn needs some time to heal surrounded by loved ones.

The Warren family have been a part of Evenfall for hundreds of years. There are whisperings around town, of course, that they are witches, but the Warrens do try hard to hide their true powers from the general public.

Brynn’s powers faded after she lost her husband, but have slowly been coming back to her. Brynn’s special power is that she can converse with the dead.

In this installment, Brynn is visited by the recently departed soul of local chocolatier, Mortimer Sweete. Mortimer insists he was murdered and he wants Brynn to find out who did it and help bring them to justice.

Mort has a suspect in mind, but as Brynn digs in, she discovers even more potential suspects. It appears Evenfall’s business community isn’t as quaint and peaceful as it first appears.

Auralee Wallace definitely knows how to write a Cozy. This was so fun, intriguing and cute. I loved getting to know more about Brynn’s family in this one. I am even more attached to this cast of characters now.

I absolutely love an amateur sleuth trope and this one is well done. Having Brynn’s Aunts help her out definitely added the perfect amount of light humor to this murder mystery.

The ending was so intriguing, setting us up perfectly for another installment. I sense a romance on the horizon. I can’t wait for the next book!

Thank you so much to the publisher, Berkley Books, for providing me with a copy to read and review.

I am completely hooked on this series and plan to read any that are published!!

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Review: The Shadow House by Anna Downes

The Shadow HouseThe Shadow House by Anna Downes
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Fleeing a toxic relationship, Alex, a single-mother of two, moves with her children, teenage-son, Ollie and infant-daughter, Kara, to the remote eco-village of Pine Ridge.

Alex dreams of a fresh start for them. Things had gotten pretty bad in their old life, with Ollie even having been expelled from school due to of a bit a scandal involving some classmates.

Determined to make it work, Alex signs on to a 3-month commitment at Pine Ridge. They need this. They have to give it a fair shot.

Once arriving, Alex begins meeting current residents of the village, who try to clue her in to the ways of the community. This includes Kit, their charming and charismatic leader.

As much as she wants to fit in, however, there’s something about the place that makes Alex feel unsettled. It’s not just the rumors of the witch who lives in the woods and steals children, but things start to happen to them as well.

Mysterious, ominous packages, strange drawings; it’s all a bit overwhelming. Add to this Ollie’s temperamental and moody behavior, Alex finds herself close to the end of her rope.

Alex has always had a hard time accepting help, but as one of her neighbors reminds her, sometimes it takes a village. Slowly, she begins to lean into the experience, growing closer to some of the others.

It’s unclear who she can trust though. Soon people Alex thought were friends are talking behind her back; it seems trying to push her out. Is this whole scheme some sort of sham?

In addition to Alex’s perspective, the Reader also gets the historical perspective of a woman named, Renee.

Renee once lived in a farmhouse on the grounds of which the eco-village now sits. Years earlier, Renee’s teenage-son, Gabriel, went missing. His disappearance was never solved.

As you learn more about Gabriel from Renee, you see that he has a lot of similarities to Alex’s son, Ollie. Additionally, strange things about Gabriel’s case mirror things currently happening to Alex and Ollie.

Could the two cases be related? Is Ollie in danger, as he fears? Is there a witch in the woods snatching children?

Alex begins investigating.

She needs to find answers before it’s too late, but with no clue who she can trust, the odds seem stacked against her.

The Shadow House is hard to categorize. I wouldn’t stick it in a strict Mystery, Thriller or Suspense category. I think if you go into it expecting that, you may be disappointed.

It feels Dark General Fiction, or Dark Domestic Drama to me, with a slight Mystery. Regardless, I really enjoy Downes storytelling. I was intrigued by her first book and even more with this one.

I loved learning about the eco-village; how it was run, it’s history and the lore surrounding the area. The characters were vibrant and believable.

I also really enjoyed the way Downes used the two perspectives to build the story out. It’s definitely a slow burn, but I was happy with the conclusion and the length of time it took for all of the pieces to fall into place.

I listened to the audiobook and the narrator was excellent. I felt like their accent attributed a sense of place to the overall story. It was a great listen!

There was a romance subplot that I personally could have done without, but I get it. I understand why Downes included it. I just may have enjoyed it a bit more if Alex had embraced her time finding herself and growing with her children on her own.

Overall, I had a lot of fun reading this. The atmosphere was fantastic. I loved the build and how it began to feel a bit claustrophobic.

I found certain aspects of it to be unsettling and I did start to feel a real sense of desperation towards the end. The whole is it supernatural, is it not supernatural-vibe; I thought it was very well done.

Thank you so much to the publisher, Minotaur Books and Macmillan Audio, for providing me with copies to read and review. I appreciate it so much.

This is the second book that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed from Downes. I am certainly looking forward to more!

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Review: Payback’s a Witch (The Witches of Thistle Grove #1) by Lana Harper

Payback's a Witch (The Witches of Thistle Grove #1)Payback’s a Witch by Lana Harper
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

**3.5-stars rounded up**

After she graduated from high school, Emmy Harlow, left her small town of Thistle Grove and moved to Chicago. Since that time, she really hasn’t been back.

She’s forged her own life in the city completely separate from her magical family in Thistle Grove. Perhaps, now is a good time to mention that Emmy is a witch.

During her time in Chicago, she’s felt her powers waning. Apparently, it’s important for her to remain somewhat tied to her magical roots.

With the approach of a traditional spell-casting tournament occurring in Thistle Grove, Emmy finally decides to return for an extended visit. Her parents will be so happy.

Emmy’s family normally acts as the arbiters for the competition and because of where she falls within the family line, it is her turn. She could have passed the duties on to her overzealous cousin, but Emmy feels like it is finally time for her to be involved.

Upon returning to town, it doesn’t take long for Emmy to be right back into the small town circle: gossip, run-ins with ex-boyfriends, flirting with old classmates, amongst other things.

We learn more about the reasons behind Emmy leaving town, more about her and her relationships with her family.

I love the trope of a character returning to their hometown after an extended absence. As someone who moved away from my own hometown as soon as I graduated high school, I can totally relate to those feelings.

When you go back, it’s so mixed. You’re from there, of there, but also, feel like you are out of place. Life moves on without you while you are away and it’s like learning about a whole new place once you finally do go back.

I really enjoyed that aspect of this book. Emmy being reintroduced to her roots and really reconnecting with the people she had left behind.

The tournament was interesting as well, although I could have used more of it. It’s basically like the Triwizard Tournament, but for the founding magical families of this town. I wish there would have been more of that aspect.

Unfortunately, I didn’t connect with the romance. I wanted to be interested, but I just didn’t care either way. It was fine, but I wasn’t sold on how quickly Emmy and Talia fell for one another. Also, I’m not really sure Gareth’s vices were worth the efforts the ladies went to in order to get back at him. Not to be mean but, get over it.

With all of this being said, this was a super cute story overall. I loved the town of Thistle Grove. It felt to me like an Adult version of The Babysitters Coven and I’m not mad about it. I will absolutely be continuing on with this series.

Thank you so much to the publisher, Berkley Books, for providing me with a copy to read and review.

I am looking forward to returning to this town and this great cast of characters when the second book releases in May!

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