Saturday, September 17, 2011

Review: Witches of East End by Melissa de la Cruz

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Publication Date: June 21st, 2011

From the author of the highly addictive and bestselling Blue Bloods series, with almost 3 million copies sold, comes a new novel, Melissa de la Cruz's first for adults, featuring a family of formidable and beguiling witches. 

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.

With a brand-new cast of characters, a fascinating and fresh world to discover, and a few surprise appearances from some of the Blue Blood fan favorites, this is a page-turning, deliciously fun, magical summer read fraught with love affairs, witchcraft, and an unforgettable battle between good and evil.
(Courtesy of Goodreads)

Over the past couple of years I have heard an lot of good things about Melissa de la Cruz's Blue Bloods series.  It pains me when I find out out about a series when it's already four or five books in because I feel so overwhelmingly behind that I never start, even though I want to.  When I heard she was coming out with a new series- a series about witches, no less- I was really excited because a.) witches are a favorite literary subject of mine, and b.) I could try out her books without having to feel like I'm playing catch-up.  What did I think?  Was the hype merited?  Hmmm...

I really liked this book.  As I mentioned, I love books about witches, so that was immediately a draw.  The cover is fabulous, and I thought the writing was very good.  I liked all the characters, even the ones I probably shouldn't have liked.  The ideas were fascinating, and although you don't realize it until toward the end, the roots are in Nordic mythology, which I knew nothing of and now feel compelled to learn more about.  This book was an intriguing page-turner; it was mysterious, unpredictable, and SEXY; like, steamy-graphic-dirty-sexy!  I loved de la Cruz's descriptions of the Northampton locale; the architecture, setting, and way of life of the residents.  I had beautiful pictures in my head, and then very sad/gruesome ones as the story unfolded.  The only thing I didn't love was the ending; it was a little too much of a cliffhanger for my taste.  I thought we had some nice closure on certain matters- enough to make the wait for book #2 bearable- and then BANG- the epilogue.  Ouch.  Overall though, I really enjoyed this quick, engaging read and thoroughly look forward to the next installment.

My Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★  

Grade Level Recommendation:  While I was reading this, I kept thinking to myself, "I wouldn't really consider this a YA novel."  None of the characters are really what I would consider young-adult protagonists.  Even the youngest, Freya, who is 19, is really like, 600 years old and lives a very adult lifestyle- works in a bar, engaged, etc.  There are some really hot sex scenes involving Freya, and she's involved in a steamy love triangle with her fiance and his brother.  This book is also full of murder and dark magic.  I would say that it is fine for a high school aged reader who tends to read more adult fiction, but if this were a movie, it would certainly have an R rating.  Ages 16+ (grades 10 and up).

1 comment:

  1. Oh goodness. I loved this book no end. The cover IS pretty epic :)



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