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  • Writer's pictureJacque Stevens

Reviews: Summer Book Trek Part 1

Staring out with my first three reviews for the summer trek! I'm posting them here and on Goodreads and I'm linking the cover photos to their Amazon pages so you can take a look. These ones are all Indie books and a lot of them are discounted for the trek, so yay!

Witch Ways: I was initially drawn to this book because I loved Sabrina the Teenage Witch growing up and it just sounded like a fun, quick read. I wasn’t disappointed. It’s clean, it’s fun, and the characters were interesting. What I especially liked here was that it took time to develop a friendship between the main character and her best gal friend. Also with her uncle and other kooky characters around the town. So many Young Adult books get so romance focused that other relationships are quickly pushed aside or completely un-addressed and it was SUCH a nice change in pace. I think I just wanted a bit more from the main character. She had tons of potential, but it often seemed to be tugged by the other characters so it was unclear what the main goal was. I know it was supposed to be about her using her magic and solving a murder (both good things), but it didn’t seem like the main character ever embraced those goals for herself, she just happened to be around while it was happening. I think that made the plot wander a bit, but we all got back on track by the end. I would be interested in reading the next books to see how things progress!

First Light: I LOVE mixed up fairytales so much! This one had elements of Sleeping Beauty mostly and a few other minor references. What I really liked about this one was that it was how it showed how much the curse on the princess effected the kingdom around her. Instead of just focusing on the royalty, we got a good feel for her life on the farm and her time in the kitchen and just got to peek into the lives of characters that don’t always have such a starring role. I loved seeing all those little details and how it brought together some of the other fairytale references! The fairies were interesting and I loved the added element of the main character's adopted sister and the evil queen’s son. One thing I would have liked to see developed more is the magic system and the main character’s talents. A lot of times, the magic would be used before it was explained or rely so much on faith/belief that it seemed a little arbitrary or convenient. If some clearer rules were set up from the beginning, I think it would have had a stronger impact overall. This was a great, quick read though and would be great for anyone who likes fairytale novels like Princess Ben or Dealing with Dragons or something by Jessica George.

Obsidian: I LOVED the idea behind this book. It’s sort of a magical-realistic feel because the dragons seem to be the only fantasy element added to the world . . . everything else is just like earth. That is SO cool. I love when people can take familiar fantasy elements and present them with a fresh, new feel. The plot line is interesting, the cover and interior elements are beautiful, it’s a very attractive package overall. It just started my imagination going where I could feel like I was out hiking the mountains and finding dragons on my own. One thing that caught me by surprise here is the level of mature content featured here—several short flashbacks of a rape, a character covering herself with sheets to come out of a romantic’s interest bedroom, other smaller innuendos . . . It isn’t graphic, but it did end up being a bit of a turn off to me. But that may just be because it went hand in hand with a heavier dose of romance than I would prefer, overwhelming the cool dragons and everything else that initially caught my attention in a few places. If you can handle that, it’s an easy read that can certainly get you thinking. :)

I am having SO much fun on the Summer Reading trek and am more than ready to dive into the next three on my list! Especially since that by recording what I read and posting reviews, I WON one of the next books so I can read it in glorious paperback. Yay!

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