What I'm Reading: Get Even by Gretchen McNeil

Monday, October 17, 2011

Witches of East End by Melissa de la Cruz

Seems appropriate to kick off Witch Week with Melissa de la Cruz's Witches of East End. This is billed as an adult fantasy series (took me forever to find it, cause I was looking in the YA section). I haven't read anything else by the author, but thought this one looked promising. Here's the summary from Goodreads: The three Beauchamp women--Joanna and her daughters Freya and Ingrid--live in North Hampton, out on the tip of Long Island. Their beautiful, mist-shrouded town seems almost stuck in time, and all three women lead seemingly quiet, uneventful existences. But they are harboring a mighty secret--they are powerful witches banned from using their magic. Joanna can resurrect people from the dead and heal the most serious of injuries. Ingrid, her bookish daughter, has the ability to predict the future and weave knots that can solve anything from infertility to infidelity. And finally, there's Freya, the wild child, who has a charm or a potion that can cure most any heartache.

For centuries, all three women have been forced to suppress their abilities. But then Freya, who is about to get married to the wealthy and mysterious Bran Gardiner, finds that her increasingly complicated romantic life makes it more difficult than ever to hide her secret. Soon Ingrid and Joanna confront similar dilemmas, and the Beauchamp women realize they can no longer conceal their true selves. They unearth their wands from the attic, dust off their broomsticks, and begin casting spells on the townspeople. It all seems like a bit of good-natured, innocent magic, but then mysterious, violent attacks begin to plague the town. When a young girl disappears over the Fourth of July weekend, they realize it's time to uncover who and what dark forces are working against them.

Okay, don't think that this is a re-telling of Updike's The Witches of Eastwick. There are some similarities, but this is a magical story in its own right.

What I Liked: 1) North Hampton - this little hamlet of a town was a great invention on the part of Miz de la Cruz. It was a sweet little place that was seemingly untouched by modernization. (Well, they had cars and cell phones and computers and stuff). But she managed to keep it from being all Stepford, because it definitely had the potential to go that way. 2) This is a very...girl power book. These ladies were not damsels expecting a man to swoop in and save them. Actually, the men played a rather weak role in the book, sort of there just to move the plot forward. Don't expect to fall in love in this book. 3) The Norse Gods tie-in. I guess I wasn't expecting it, but it was definitely a welcome surprise. I know very little about Norse mythology (I had to look it up), but I am looking forward to learning more about it. 4) The epilogue. Do you ever read a book where you think you're finishing it and you are completely satisfied with the ending, and then suddenly, in the last page, you are yanked back in? I don't know if all of her books are that way, but man, that was awesome. 5) I read a lot of YA books, but this was a nice change of pace. I'd consider this a great adult book for people who like YA books! It wasn't really graphic or anything, the characters are adults, but at the heart of it, the plot can match pace with any great YA book. 6) Loved the magic. The magic that the three Beauchamp women weave was great fun, and simple enough to believe.

What I Didn't Like: The only thing I'll say for this book is that I didn't find a character that I really just connected with. But that was just me. I do think that other people will find things to connect with within these characters. It's the only thing that kept me from being completely swept up in the story.

Overall thoughts: This was definitely the nice start to a new series. For a YA author jumping into the adult lit world, I think Miz de la Cruz is just dipping her toe in the water, easing her way in, but it definitely worked. For fans of myths and magic, even YA fans, this book is a fun way to spend an evening. I'm definitely curious about what's next for the Beauchamp family and plan on reading book 2 when it's released!

*side note - I both read and listened to the audiobook of Witches of East End. The audio version was enjoyable, but I liked reading the book better. The ending moves a little fast, and for myself (who multitasks with audiobooks) it required more attention than I could dedicate to the audiobook.

My rating: 4 candy corns

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  1. I had a hard connecting with the characters too, but the story was definitely interesting otherwise :)

    Great review!

  2. Oh I've been wondering about this though I've never actually read her YA series. But good to know she could also pull off a good adult book. Great review!

    Xpresso Reads

  3. I have this one sitting on my bookshelf but I've been hesitant on giving it a try. Thanks for the review!

    -Wendy from A Cupcake and a Latte: YA Reviews

  4. Great review, haven't read this, but looks good.

    Book Addict

  5. this looks interesting and you know ive never read one of her books!

  6. This was the first of her books that I've read too, and I was pretty interested. I don't think I'm going to read the Blue Bloods series, because that one just doesn't seem to interest me at all, but I stick with the Beauchamps, because I'm curious after the way the book ended!
    Thanks for coming by, y'all!


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