Synopsis (From Amazon) - Can true love’s kiss save the day…?
Electrifying dark magic debut by authors and sisters, Katharine and Elizabeth Corr.
Sixteeen-year-old Meredith is fed-up with her feuding family and feeling invisible at school – not to mention the witch magic that shoots out of her fingernails when she’s stressed. Then sweet, sensitive Jack comes into her life and she falls for him hard. The only problem is that he is periodically possessed by a destructive centuries-old curse.
Meredith has lost her heart, but will she also lose her life? Or in true fairytale tradition, can true love’s kiss save the day?
(Spoilers – sorry!)
My Review – I am going to put this out there, I love witches, always have, always will. I will read any book about or containing witches. Fantasy is one of my favourite genres. Having said this, I realised recently that I haven’t read very much fantasy in the last couple of years, absolutely shocking. So I saw this in Waterstones, and so many people on Twitter were talking about it, I had to have it and read it. So I did, and instantly bought the sequel (should tell you how much I enjoyed this book). I am also a sucker for a fairy-tale, so I was very intrigued by the Sleeping Beauty retelling element of the story.
Story wise, the book felt like a modern fairy-tale, which is incredibly enjoyable to read, the way the Corr sisters weave it in with the modern setting and the use of flashbacks I thought really bulked the story and added to Jack’s character and makes the reader appreciate what he had been through, much more so than if he or any other character had just explained what had happened. It also made Gwydion a more compelling villain where otherwise he could potentially have been rather generic. I actually felt sorry for him when he was rejected by the love of his life, it was brutal.
In terms of the actual magic/fantasy element of the novel, I really liked the world the Corr sisters have created. It’s not often I come across a book that focuses solely on a witch, and I liked the way Merry had to balance her magical life with her normal life, doing all the normal teenage girl things, school, falling in love, her relationship with her brother and her mum. Speaking of, I loved Leo, he was brilliant! I liked how he was the ‘normal’ and was often the voice of reason. I also really liked how the book dealt with his sexuality, and I was absolutely heartbroken when Dan died!
As a protagonist, Merry was solid, really likeable and you really do root for her. I liked how she already knows she’s a witch from the beginning of the book, it’s rooted in her family history, so they all know. We skip the whole preamble of her discovering her powers, it was very refreshing. As a reader we could just delve straight into the story and learn about the characters without a lot setup. This also allowed for good pacing, the story wasn’t bogged down by exposition. It was also interesting that by the end of the book, Merry still wasn’t an especially good witch, she still had a lot to learn about magic, which we see much more of in the sequel.
The romance between Merry and Jack was relatively enjoyable, though I felt like there wasn’t a whole lot of depth to it, I did like them as characters separately but I am just not sure what brought them together romantically. It just happened. It was nice to read regardless, and this is no way hinders the story, it was just something that I wasn’t a fan of, I feel like it could have been better developed. Having said that, this is really the only gripe I have with the book. To be perfectly honest the romance was so… romanticised (for lack of a better word), I am still shocked that Jack actually died. I was not expecting, the type of the story that was being told, i.e fairy-tale, I was expecting a fairy-tale ending, but that is not the case.
I think it’s obvious that I highly recommend this book, if you want to just sit back and enjoy a book about witch’s and magic and evil sorcerer’s, then please give this a try!