Tag Archives: Witches

Book Reviews
April 16, 2014 posted by Nichole

House of Ivy & Sorrow – Natalie Whipple

15728807Josephine Hemlock has spent the last 10 years hiding from the Curse that killed her mother. But when a mysterious man arrives at her ivy-covered, magic-fortified home, it’s clear her mother’s killer has finally come to destroy the rest of the Hemlock bloodline. Before Jo can even think about fighting back, she must figure out who she’s fighting in the first place. The more truth Jo uncovers, the deeper she falls into witchcraft darker than she ever imagined. Trapped and running out of time, she begins to wonder if the very Curse that killed her mother is the only way to save everyone she loves.


I am really sad that I didn’t end up liking House of Ivy and Sorrow by Natalie Whipple. Books about witches can be really hard to find, especially in the YA genre, so I was really excited to give this one a shot. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t for me.

The first problem I had with this book was the main character, Josephine. I was not a fan of hers. I decided at the very beginning of the book that I didn’t like her. She was very childish for her age, and she just had this uber hyper quality to her that I didn’t care for.

Discounting Josephine, I also didn’t care for any of the supporting characters. No one really blew my mind or made me fall in love. Everyone seemed very childish and annoying. That being said, it was hard to distinguish between all the characters, because they all just had a very similar vibe.

Another thing that I really couldn’t stand in House of Ivy and Sorrow was the romance between Jo and Winn. First, I hated Winn, not helped by the fact that I couldn’t stand Jo. Second, their childish romance was wayyyy too focused on. I would have preferred that the book focused more on witchcraft than that. Also, I found the relationships between Winn’s friends and Jo’s friends very unappealing. Too much cheesy romance was in the air.

Regarding the witchcraft itself, I thought that it could have been better executed. It seemed very childish and more geared for middle grade readers. I would have preferred more danger and suspense. I wanted the witchcraft to be more dangerous and powerful, and instead it seemed like something that I could watch on the Disney Channel. I definitely think that this book will have it’s followers, but I think that it is more geared for the younger crowd.

Overall, I didn’t really care for House of Ivy and Sorrow. I made it 50% through it before I finally gave up. I’m not rating it, because I really think that this was more about preference than dislike. Honestly, I’m shocked that it’s considered a YA book. It’s definitely an MG. So, if you’re a big fan of MG books, maybe this one is for you.

Pages: 352

Publication Date: April 15th, 2014

Publisher: Harper Teen

Rating: DNF

Book Reviews
March 4, 2014 posted by Nichole

Half Bad (Half Life Trilogy #1) – Sally Green

18079804A stunning, magical debut. An international sensation.

In modern-day England, witches live alongside humans: White witches, who are good; Black witches, who are evil; and fifteen-year-old Nathan, who is both. Nathan’s father is the world’s most powerful and cruel Black witch, and his mother is dead. He is hunted from all sides. Trapped in a cage, beaten and handcuffed, Nathan must escape before his sixteenth birthday, at which point he will receive three gifts from his father and come into his own as a witch—or else he will die. But how can Nathan find his father when his every action is tracked, when there is no one safe to trust—not even family, not even the girl he loves?

In the tradition of Patrick Ness and Markus Zusak, Half Bad is a gripping tale of alienation and the indomitable will to survive, a story that will grab hold of you and not let go until the very last page.


Half Bad is one of those books that just pops out of nowhere and slaps you in the face with how good it is. I picked this one up because it was about witches, and who doesn’t love witches? I was amazed at how raw and powerful the storyline was. I was so intrigued and mind blown over the twists and turns that Sally Green provided. I felt like I was constantly being knocked off my feet. Whenever I picked myself back up again, I was instantly knocked back down.

When I first started Half Bad, I didn’t like it. That didn’t last long; it only lasted about 20 pages. The problem was that it’s written in second person point of view for the first two chapters, and I cannot stand having the word “you” thrown around that much. My preference is first person. I can handle third person POV, but do NOT stick me with second person POV. I actually almost DNF’d it right away because of that. So if you have that same problem starting out don’t freak out. Stick with it and it WILL get better!

What I absolutely loved about Half Bad was all of the messages thrown around. I loved how Half Bad really twisted around the common definitions for black and white. White magic is often depicted as “good” while black is “bad.” This book really makes you think about those concepts since the “white” witches were very hostile, abusive, aggressive, and dangerous. The “black” witches weren’t the best witches, either, but I did see more good come from them than the white witches. I think that’s a great concept for people to think about. It’s difficult to just place people in certain categories, and I felt that Half Bad did a really great job challenging those beliefs.

While Half Bad is about witches and is obviously a paranormal read, Contemporary lovers are going to absolutely adore this one. It’s actually pretty low key on the paranormal aspects. It focuses a lot more on Nathan’s trauma and trying to work around his personal scars. My heart broke for Nathan so many times. It was difficult for me at times to watch this little boy grow up in a semi normal life and then watch three years of his life be full or torture and abuse. Once Nathan is captured, he is never the same. I thought that Half Bad did a good job of showcasing trauma, depression, and mental illness. It seems weird to me that so much could be going on in one book. I really think that this is a book that could suit lovers of all genres.

As far as romances go, Half Bad doesn’t really have any. Nathan has a crush on a girl from the very beginning of the book but that is so low key to the rest of the story. I feel like that relationship will probably grow a little more as the series continues. So people need to be aware that this is not a book to fall head over heels in love with a romance story. That aspect doesn’t really exist in this one. I actually found it a little creepy that Nathan was so hung up on his crush because he went for years without even seeing her. Seeing as they hadn’t seen each other since Nathan was 14, I felt that it was a little weird he was so hung up on her at 16 and 17.

On to a more negative note, the last 100 pages of Half Bad were very difficult to get through. It started to read more as an adult novel than a YA book. It also got reallllllly boring and weird. I obviously wasn’t going to DNF it when I had invested over 300 pages into the book, but if it had started out that way I never would have finished it. It concerns me a little bit about the second book. It’s rare that such a good book loses it’s heat toward the end….so….we’ll see.

Before I reached those last 100 pages, I was comparing Half Bad to the Harry Potter series. That’s how good it was. It obviously wasn’t AS GOOD as HP, but it’s been a long time since I’ve found such a good paranormal/witch book. However, I do wish that there would have been more magic and paranormal aspects to the book. Don’t go into this book thinking that it’s full of witches and magic. It’s not. While the majority of the characters are witches, I can’t really think of any magic that happened in the book. I can think of the “gifts” that some of the witches had, but this is not a book filled with wands, spells, and magic cauldrons.

Overall, I really enjoyed this one. It was originally a 5 star book for me, but those last 100 pages bumped it down to a 4. I would still recommend it, not only because it’s a great book but because it has also been optioned for film by Fox 2000. I will be reading the second book when it comes out, and I can’t wait to watch the movie. Fingers crossed that it happens!


Half Bad is out in stores today. Go buy your copy!


Pages: 416

Publication Date: March 4th, 2014

Publisher: Viking Juvenile

Rating: : ★★★★☆


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Blog Tour
January 15, 2014 posted by Nichole

Witch Fall Tour: Review of Witch Song and Witch Fall by Amber Argyle

unnamed (1)

10400575The Witch Hunters have come for Brusenna, for she is the last. All the others have been captured by the Dark Witch. And without their magical songs to control nature, the world is dying.

Though young and untrained, Brusenna must succeed where every other Witch has failed. Find the Dark Witch. Fight her. Defeat her. If Brusenna fails, there will be nothing left to save—for the Witches, for mankind, or for the young Guardian who has committed his life to protecting hers.


My Review:

Witch Song was a fun read from start to finish. I was hooked on it from the very beginning due to its high fantasy/mysterious type of vibe. I also really enjoyed the fact that it was about witches. I love witches. I will read anything with them. And for some reason they seem to be lacking in the YA genre. I think that this book is going to be a big hit for many readers.

I did end up thinking that Witch Song ended up reading more like a middle grade book than a YA book. The storyline and characters came across as very young. Personally, I would have enjoyed for of a mature feel to the book. However, it was a fun read. It’s definitely something that my 4th and 5th graders would absolutely love.

Overall, I did enjoy this book. I thought it was cute and had a lot of adventure. Would I continue the whole series? I’m on the fence about that because I’ve been drifting away from MG titles. But I would recommend this one!

rating: : ★★★½☆


15829923With the magic of their songs, the Witches control the seasons, the storms, even the sea. Secure in their supremacy, they have forgotten the unmatched destructiveness of mankind. For the world has begun to covet their power, seeing them as weapons to be controlled instead of rulers worthy of obeisance. 

Born of witches but raised among their enemy, Lilette searches for a way to heal the rift between mankind and the witches. But it may be too late to save either. For if there is one thing Lilette has come to know for certain, it’s that all things fall.


My Review:

Witch Fall is the prequel to Witch Song. It was like reading two completely different stories. I couldn’t even tell you that they were set in the same world. I didn’t like this one as much as Witch Song, but I did enjoy it. Again, I thought that it was a little too middle grade for my personal taste. However, I really think this book is going to be a big hit for younger teens.

My favorite part about Witch Fall was Lilette’s journey. I loved the adventure and power that this book brought to the table. These books are set in such a magical universe that it’s bound to capture a readers attention. I was a really big fan of the attention to detail and suspense.

I did have a problem with how the women were treated in this book. I understand WHY that was happening in the book, but it was very difficult for me to read at times. If anyone has any triggers about this topic, then maybe this book wouldn’t be for you. It wasn’t anything major, but it did upset me in a few spots.

Overall, I enjoyed it yet again. I liked Lilette’s character a lot more than Brusenna’s character which made this book a little easier to get through. Again, I would recommend this whole entire series to younger readers. The adventure and lovable characters are going to appeal to them.

rating: : ★★★☆☆


unnamed (1)AUTHOR BIO 
Amber Argyle is the author of Witch Song and Fairy Queen trilogies. She grew up with three brothers on a cattle ranch in the Rocky Mountains. She spent hours riding horses, roaming the mountains, and playing in her family’s creepy barn. This environment fueled her imagination for writing high fantasy. She has worked as a short order cook, janitor, and staff member in a mental institution. All of which has given her great insight into the human condition and has made for some unique characters. She received her bachelor’s degree in English and Physical Education from Utah State University. She currently resides in Utah with her husband and three small children.
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Book Reviews
January 8, 2014 posted by Nichole

A Breath of Frost (The Lovegrove Legacy #1) – Alyxandra Harvey

16059442In 1814, three cousins-Gretchen, Emma, and Penelope-discover their unknown family lineage of witchcraft. Beyond the familiar manicured gardens and ballrooms of Regency London, a dangerous, alluring new underworld visible only to those with power is now open to the cousins.
But unbeknownst to them, by claiming their power, the three cousins have inadvertently opened the gates to the Underworld.
Now the dead, ghouls, hellhounds-and the most terrifying of all: the spirits of dark witches known as the Greymalkin Sisters-are hunting and killing young debutante witches for their powers.
And, somehow, Emma is connected to the murders…because she keeps finding the bodies.
Can the cousins unravel the clues and mystery behind their heritage and power before their gifts are stripped away …or even worse, another witch is killed?


I read an early ARC of this book when it was still called Witching Season: Stormcaster. There may be changes and/or edits in the finished edition.


The first 100 pages of A Breath of Frost were absolutely amazing. I was instantly hooked to the 3 main characters, Gretchen, Emma, and Penelope and their magical ways. I thought that the beginning had a very similar feel to The Beautiful and the Cursed by Page Morgan, which is a HUGE compliment from me considering that that was one of my favorite books of the year.

I loved that A Breath of Frost was about witches. You don’t really see that a lot any more. I’m always dying to get my hands on a good witch book, so you can only imagine my excitement when this one came in the mail. For the most part, I really enjoyed the witchcraft in this book. However, I did think that it was a bit downplayed. I would have liked to see a little bit more magic, and I also would have liked the girls to have more power than they actually did.

I thought that A Breath of Frost had a few too many POV’s. It didn’t really give me a lot of time to connect with the characters and some of them honestly just confused me. I still don’t understand why Moira’s POV was even included in this book…nor did I understand why she was even a character. Moira’s character in the few parts that she actually appeared in seemed to take away from the story because it was so confusing why she was even there. She didn’t really fit in with the rest of the plot.

Another thing that was weird was that sometimes there would be large gaps between scenes or sometimes there would be an implied conversation that never appeared in the book and then all of a sudden a character who didn’t previously know something knew it. That happened quite a few times. Again, I read an early ARC of this book so that may not happen in the final printed edition.  But it was a little confusing at times to have things happen that I didn’t have a chance to read about.

There was a cute romance in this book between Emma and Cormac. It wasn’t quite as adorable as I wanted to be, but I liked how low key it was compared to the rest of the book. What I would have liked to see, though, is some side romances between some of the other characters. I feel that this was the type of book meant for a few different low key romances, and I was a little disappointed that I just had to settle for Emma and Cormac. There was a certain scene with Pen that made me thing a romance was about to happen for her…so maybe we will see that in the next book.

One of my biggest complaints with A Breath of Frost was that halfway through it started to slide out of the YA genre and reach MG ground. That’s middle grade for those of you who don’t know. It got a little boring, really cheesy, and somewhat exaggerated. I think that YA historical witch books need to be geared more for older audiences, and I was a bit disappointed with the different turn of events. While I did enjoy this book, I feel that it’s something geared more for my 5th graders. They would absolutely love it.

On a more positive note, I loved how snarky and funny this book could be at times. I laughed out loud so many times, you don’t even know. I really enjoyed how Harvey’s personality shown through at certain times, and then the characters voices covered the rest of it. I like to read books that make me feel emotion. I laughed at this one. I got angry. It made me feel stuff.

Unfortunately, I had to skim the very last 100 pages of this book because it got way too boring, cheesy, and predictable. I will see that there were some shocking turns of events, and the book went in directions I didn’t foresee, but I was just a little bored. I really loved it at first, but it just seemed to go a little downhill after that. So, while I WILL be reading more from Harvey, I don’t think this was my all time favorite witch book. But I did enjoy it, and I would recommend it!


Pages: 496

Publication Date: January 7th, 2014

Publisher: Walker Childrens

Rating: : ★★★☆☆

Blog Tour
January 3, 2014 posted by Nichole

A Breath of Frost “First Look” Blog Tour: Introducing Penelope


I am so excited to share with all of you a first look of A Breath of Frost by Alyxandra Harvey. I had the privilege of reading this one a month or so ago, and I actually really enjoyed it! One word: WITCHES! You all know how much I love witches and how desperate I get to read about them. I can hardly ever find any YA witch books. It drives me nuts! Anywho. I’m really excited to introduce Penelope from ABOF to you all today [=

Also, this seems to be an Alyxandra Harvey themed month here at YaReads. Make sure to stop by on the following days to learn more about Alyx and her books:

January 5th – Hearts at Stake Review

January 7th – Interview & Giveaway

January 8th – A Breath of Frost Review




unnamed (3)From the Publicist:


Alyxandra Harvey, popular young adult author of the Drake Chronicles, Haunting Violet, and Stolen Away, is back with a bewitching new young adult fantasy series that will take readers through the streets of magical 19th century London. A BREATH OF FROST, the first installment in The Lovegrove Legacy (published by Bloomsbury Childrens) goes on sale January 7, 2014. It’s full of witches, magic, family secrets, goblin markets, deer-people, and boys in cravats!


About the Author:

Alyxandra Harvey lives in a stone Victorian house in Ontario, Canada with a few resident ghosts who are allowed to stay as long as they keep company manners. She loves medieval dresses, used to be able to recite all of The Lady of Shalott by Tennyson, and has been accused, more than once, of being born in the wrong century. She believes this to be mostly true except for the fact that she really likes running water, women’s rights, and ice cream.

Among her favourite books are ‘The Wood Wife’ by Terri Windling, ‘Jane Eyre’ by Charlotte Bronte, and of course, ‘Pride and Prejudice’ by Jane Austen. Elizabeth Bennet is her hero because she’s smart and sassy, and Mr. Darcy is, well, yum.

Aside from the ghosts, she also lives with husband and their dogs. She likes cinnamon lattes, tattoos and books.


Connect with Alyx at her Website | Twitter | Tumblr |Facebook | Pinterest



An Introduction to Penelope from A BREATH OF FROST

Penelope Chadwick

Age: 18

Hair: black

Eyes: dark brown

Familiar: Spider

Magic: Pscychometry:  sensing the history of an object and the people who have touched it

Penelope is romantic and spoiled and kind and very talented at the pianoforte.  She’s mad for anything Shakespearean and likes to use odd random bits of Shakespearean insults. She also has a rather prickly temper when her loved ones are insulted.

Her mother is the daughter of and earl and is unconventional and artistic. She eloped with a wealthy merchant when she was young and they have bothencouraged Penelope not to be a slave to society’s strictures. They even allowed Penelope to let the stableboy take lessons with her when she was little, and she and Cedric have been fast friends ever since.

Cedric is also a witch and has always known about Penelope’s secretly bound powers. The entire household has been on guard to protect her. Penelope’s mother snuck spells into her daughter’s lullabies in order to train her to use magic before she even knew it existed.

But now that Penelope knows who she is, she will not be coddled or locked away for her own safety.

Not when her cousin Emma is in danger.

She’d take on Shakespeare himself to save her family.

Enjoy this exclusive excerpt that introduces Penelope:

Penelope’s mother was currently drinking from a pot of chocolate and reading a salacious novel full of doomed maidens and ruined castles. Or was it doomed castles and ruined maidens? Penelope was desperate to find out. She leaned against her mother with a small sigh.

       “Was it dreadful, my darling?” Bethany asked, slipping a ribbon into her book to mark the page. “Dancing debutantes and fortune hunters?”


       She raised a dark eyebrow. “Worse? Goodness, how did you manage that? I remember those horrid balls.”

       “Mr. Cohen called me fat,” she replied, wrinkling her nose. “I didn’t even know I was fat until this wretched Season.”

       “Mr. Cohen is a sad young man who does not deserve you.”

       “That’s what Emma and Gretchen said.”

       Bethany smiled her serene smile. “I assume they used rather more lurid language. But I did warn you, kitten. I don’t see why you insist on having a Season. You don’t need to marry, your father has set you up with an inheritance to rival what mine would have been.”

       “If you hadn’t married Papa.”


       “Do you regret it?”

       “Not for a moment,” she replied. “Friends who blow with the wind are not friends at all. I found a good man with a good heart. And he fills out his jacket rather nicely, if I do say so myself.” She reached for her cup. “I love your father and I’d be happy to be Mrs. Chadwick instead of Lady Bethany, if your Grandmaman wasn’t so….”


       “I was going to say violent,” she returned drily. “You know she loves my title, and your own, more than we ever shall. More than my own mother did.”

       “I know. That’s part of the reason I agreed to this Season. It makes her so happy.”

       “She wouldn’t want you to trade your happiness for hers, whatever she might have to say on earls’ sons and vouchers to Almack’s Assembly Rooms. She never had a Season. She can’t understand.”

       Penelope stole a sip of rich melted chocolate from her mother’s teacup. “I know. But I want what you and Papa have. I want love.” She gave a dreamy sigh, perfectly able to picture it: a man with wide shoulders and tousled hair, reciting Shakespeare’s sonnets as they rode through a summer storm.

Want to learn more about A BREATH OF FROST? Be sure to check out this “First Look” interview with Alyxandra Harvey!

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In 1814, three cousins—Gretchen, Emma, and Penelope—discover their unknown family lineage of witchcraft when their individual magical16059442 powers unexpectedly begin to manifest. Now, beyond the familiar manicured gardens and ballrooms of Regency London, a dangerous, alluring underworld available only to those with power is now open to the

But by claiming their power, the three cousins have accidentally opened the gates to the Underworld. Now ghouls, hellhounds—and most terrifying of all, the spirits of dark witches known as the Greymalkin Sisters—are hunting and killing young witches for their powers. And, somehow, Emma is connected to the murders … because she keeps finding the bodies. Can the cousins seal the gates before another witch is killed …or even worse, before their gifts are stripped away?

“Harvey balances a large cast with an intricate plot with flair….A successful blend of Regency and paranormal romance.” ~ Kirkus Reviews

“Filling her latest with a large cast of characters— from the society elite to the magical world’s dark underbelly—Harvey keeps up the action and clever dialogue as the protagonist, Emma, deals with high-class mean girls, familial secrets, and a confusing crush. A smashing blend of adventure, fantasy, humor, romance, and historical fiction.” ~ Booklist

Pre-order A BREATH OF FROST at Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Amazon UK | Indigo Indiebound


A BREATH OF FROST “First Look” Tour:

December 10th: The Book Faery Reviews, spotlight on The Lovegrove Legacy

December 13th: RT Book Reviews, exclusive reveal plus giveaway featuring a video chat with Alyxandra Harvey introducing readers to The Lovegrove Legacy and A BREATH OF FROST

December 16th: Night Owl Reviews, a “first look” exclusive…get the Travelers Guide to Magical London

December 17th: Hypable, exclusive reveal plus giveaway featuring a video chat with Alyxandra Harvey. Meet the characters of A BREATH OF FROST and glean an early review

December 17th: Tynga’s Reviews, exclusive look at Emma and Cormac *swoon*

December 17th: Bitten by Books, interview with Alyxandra Harvey

December 17th: Two Chicks on BooksFeeling Fictional, YA Bibliophile, and Pages From My Thoughts will introduce readers to Emma

December 18th: Fresh Fiction, exclusive reveal plus giveaway featuring a video chat with Alyxandra Harvey explaining how historical fiction & fantasy influenced A BREATH OF FROST

December 19th: Step Into Fiction, interview with Alyxandra Harvey

December 20th: Parajunkee’s ViewThe Story SirenBending The SpineBabs Book BistroRandom Jendsmidt, andFictitious Delicious will introduce readers to Cormac

December 23th: Fantasy Book Addict, interview with Alyxandra Harvey

December 26th: Fiktshun, interview with Alyxandra Harvey

December 27th: FiktshunPreternaturaShortie SaysFang-tastic BooksReader Girls,  and Cocktails and Books will introduce readers to Moira

January 2nd: Literary Escapism, sneak peek and exclusive look at the magic in The Lovegrove Legacy

January 2nd: The Paperback Princesses, early review

January 3rd: YaReadsAddicted 2 NovelsXpresso ReadsConfessions from RomaholicsUrban Girl ReaderJeanz Book Read N Review, and The Book Swarm will introduce readers to Penelope

January 3rd: The Book Swarm, a “speed date” interview with Alyx

January 6th: Paranormal Book Club , Ex LibrisEl Extraño Gato del Cuento, Dark Faerie TalesBook Passion for Life,Seeing Night ReviewsThe Book CellarLiterary Meanderings, and Book Brats will introduce readers to the magic school in The Lovegrove Legacy

adult books
December 28, 2013 posted by Nichole

The Winter Witch – Paula Brackston

15702859Fledgling witch Morgana must defend her love, her home, and her life in this enthralling tale perfect for fans of Discovery of Witches

In her small Welsh town, there is no one quite like Morgana. She has never spoken, and her silence as well as the magic she can’t quite control make her a mystery. Concerned for her safety, her mother quickly arranges a marriage with Cai Bevan, the widower from the far hills who knows nothing of the rumours that swirl around her. After their wedding, Morgana is heartbroken at leaving, but she soon falls in love with Cai’s farm and the rugged mountains that surround it, while slowly Cai himself begins to win her heart. It’s not long, however, before her strangeness begins to be remarked upon in her new village. A dark force is at work there—a person who will stop at nothing to turn the townspeople against Morgana, even at the expense of those closest to her. Forced to defend her home, her love, and herself from all comers, Morgana must learn to harness her power, or she will lose everything.

Paula Brackston’s debut novel, The Witch’s Daughter, was the little book that could—with a captivating story, remarkable heroine, and eye-catching package, it has now netted over 40,000 copies in all formats. Now Paula returns with The Winter Witch, another enchanting tale of love and magic, featuring her signature blend of gorgeous writing, a fabulous and intriguing historical backdrop, and a headstrong and relatable heroine readers will cheer for.


First things first, I want to talk about that cover. Is that not gorgeous? It looks even better when you actually have the paperback in your hand. I could see myself buying this book just for the cover. I’m such a cover whore…and oh my goodness…that one is beautiful!

The Winter Witch is not a YA book. It’s more of an adult/paranormal/historical that leans more toward historical fiction. This is not a book for people who like fast paced books or huge paranormal aspects in their books. It’s the kind of book that calls for a specific type of reader. The type of reader who loves historical fiction, sweet romances, and taking their time with a book. The Winter Witch isn’t the sort of book that you can just plow through. At least not for me. If you like a lot of action going on in your books, then this one probably isn’t for you. However, fans of classics and historical fiction are going to adore this book.

This is a little bit different of a review for me, because I’m not going to rate the book. I don’t think that that’s really fair with this one, because it’s not really my type of read. However, I can appreciate and acknowledge that Paula Brackston’s writing style is gorgeous and well executed. There was really nothing wrong with the book itself. I just don’t overly love historical fiction, and I was a little bored. I was hoping for more witchcraft and more paranormal aspects to the book. I didn’t quite get that. This one was a little more low key and soft. So again, that’s not quite for me. BUT there are going to be lots of people who adore this book.

I do have to address the one major complaint that I had with The Winter Witch. There were some big chapters, BIG paragraphs, and lots of description paragraphs with very little communication between the characters. That isn’t a new or a bad thing. There are several books like that, especially in the adult historical genre. Personally, I hate reading books like that. I need smaller paragraphs, stopping points, and lots of communication to keep myself engaged. I kind of felt that The Winter Witched droned on and on in several areas. Some people are going to like it…others won’t.

A couple other complaints were that some of the names and places were very difficult for me to pronounce. The only time I find that acceptable is with high fantasy. In any other genres it bugs the crap out of me. Also, I wasn’t the biggest fan of how Morgana didn’t say one single word until the very last page of the book. That was just a little too much for me. I was hoping that that would have been solved somewhere in the middle of the book.

In a way, The Winter Witch reminded me a lot of Pride and Prejudice. I’m not talking about the book, I’m more so referring to the movie with Keira Knightly. While they were different storylines, they had a very similar feel that I found to be engaging. As the biggest P&P movie fan, I can honestly say that The Winter Witch would make an amazing movie. While the book itself wasn’t so much for me, I think that I would fall head over heels in love with it if it was a movie. Fingers crossed!

One thing that is really going to draw in readers is the romance between Morgana and Cai. I thought that they were absolutely beautiful. I love myself a good romance. I truly think that this one is going to highly appeal to readers!

This really was a unique review to write. Normally when I get bored or what not, I usually just DNF if it and write a little bit about it. With this one, though, I feel like there’s a lot to say about it. My number one reason is probably because I feel that this really is a spectacular book! I know that there are going to be hugeeee fans! This one really just comes down to preference. Some people are going to love it and others aren’t. And that happens with every genre. But one thing is fore sure: Paula Brackston is one damn good writer.


This book is now out in stores. Go buy your copy today!


Pages: 340

Publication Date: January 29th, 2013

Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books

Rating: N/A

Born Wicked (Cahill Witch Chronicles #1) – Jessica Spotswood
August 2, 2013 posted by Nichole

Born Wicked (Cahill Witch Chronicles #1) – Jessica Spotswood

13590839A gorgeous, witchy, romantic fantasy by a debut author! Perfect for fans of Kristin Cashore and the Beautiful Creatures series!

Everybody thinks Cate Cahill and her sisters are eccentric. Too pretty, too reclusive, and far too educated for their own good. But the truth is even worse: they’re witches. And if their secret is discovered by the priests of the Brotherhood, it would mean an asylum, a prison ship–or an early grave. Then Cate finds her mother’s diary, and uncovers a secret that could spell her family’s destruction. Desperate to find alternatives to their fate, Cate starts scouring banned books and questioning rebellious new friends, all while juggling tea parties, shocking marriage proposals, and a forbidden romance with the completely unsuitable Finn Belastra. But if what her mother wrote is true, the Cahill girls aren’t safe–not even from each other.


I ended up buying Born Wicked at B&N with my birthday money. I was on the lookout for a book about witches. For some reason, witch books are really hard for me to find in the YA genre. If I want an adult paranormal witch book, then there’s absolutely no problem. Let’s be honest, most of the popular ones are about witches and vampires. But with YA? I have the biggest problem. So, I was really excited when I saw Born Wicked tucked away in a remote area of the shelf. I knew that I had to read this book. I ended up putting another book away just so I could get this book even.

When I first started reading Born Wicked, I was bored. I didn’t dislike it, but I didn’t love it. The main reason for this was because it is a historical fiction book, and I tend to not like those….pretty much because I find them very boring. About halfway through the book, though, I started to realize that I was in love with it. Yes, it’s a book that leans on the milder side, but it’s so good! There’s not a lot of action, although there is some, but…omg…I loved this book.

Another bright side about Born Wicked was that all of the characters were loveable, relatable and enjoyable. I often found myself telling Cate what she needed to do. It didn’t matter that she couldn’t hear me! It’s NOT just a book! I was placing myself in that setting and demanding that she do the right thing…well…what I wanted her to do! Didn’t so much work, but it’s always awesome when you can place yourself IN the book. That doesn’t happen with every book.

I loved loved LOVED that Born Wicked surrounds three sisters. Not only did I love the idea, but I really enjoyed the sisters. And shockingly enough, Cate isn’t my favorite sister. Actually, she’s my least favorite. I’m in love with Tess. I am seriously going to yell at Jessica Spotswood if she ever ends up killing her off. OMG and at the end of the book! Holy smokes, Tess! Way to go girl!

The romance in Born Wicked is very tame and mild. It does exists, but it’s not forced on to you. And there’s a slight love triangle…but not really. It’s not that Cate’s torn between two guys…she just has some really big decisions to make for herself and her family. Normally, I love really heavy romances, but the romance in this book worked. I think that it will be jacked up in the second book…maybe?….but I really enjoyed it.

I don’t know what else to tell you guys except that this book is awesome and you need to go read it! It is SO GOOD. I’m so excited to read Star Cursed next…OMG…LOVED IT!


Pages: 352

Publication Date: January 8th, 2013

Publisher: Speak

Rating: : ★★★★☆