Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Audrey's Guide to Witchcraft is Awesome

Audrey's Guide to Witchcraft (Audrey's Guides, #1)Title: Audrey's Guide to Witchcraft (Audrey's Guides #1)
Author: Jody Gehrman
Publisher: Magic Genie Books
Published: June 30 2012
Format: E-book/Kindle
Pages: 306
Source: Received from the author
in exchange for an honest review
Read: September 9-14 2012
In A Few Words:  Vivid, colorful, sensory experience
My Rating: 5  stars!

Goodreads Synopsis: 
Falling in Love, baking a magical cake, fighting an evil necromancer—it’s all in a day’s work for Audrey Oliver, seventeen-year-old witch-in-training. When her mother goes missing and her twenty-one-year-old witchy cousin shows up out of the blue, Audrey knows something’s gone horribly, dangerously wrong. Now it’s up to her to get her own magical powers up to speed before everyone she loves is destroyed by the sorcerer intricately connected to her mother’s secret past.

Melissa's Musings:

I absolutely LOVED this book! It was already a highly anticipated read on my list, so when Jody contacted me about reviewing it, I immediately said yes. I'm so glad I did! This book combines two of my favorite subjects to read about, witches and baking. 

Audrey is a regular girl, who has a bit of a self esteem issue (what high schoolers don't??) Her sister is the social butterfly, who always attracts all the guys. As a result, Audrey is a little down on herself, and has lower self esteem. But not when it comes to her friends. Audrey is fiercely loyal and protective of her best friend Bridget, who is teased by the queen bee of the school Dallas. I loved reading the interactions between Audrey and Dallas because I envied the boldness that Audrey had when fighting with her.  I wish that I could have stuck up for myself the way that Audrey sticks up for Bridget. The friendship between these two characters is real and fun. I love how Bridget is always coining new words and phrases. And Audrey is sarcastic at times.

I also like Audrey because she loves to bake, and she's good at it. Baking is something that I've begun doing in the last couple of years and I really love it, so it was a point that I could really identify with her on. Especially since she makes her own alterations/ additions to recipes, I do that all the time.

The romance between her and Julian is really nice. It's not insta-love, but there's a real connection between them which is quite obvious and almost literal. I don't want to give too much away, so lets just say that it's electric. The great thing about the dynamic between Julian and Audrey is that he knows that there's something going on with her, but he doesn't push, and he's not weirded out by the strange things that happen to her. He forces her (in a good way) to be as honest as she can with him, and he accepts that there are things she's not able to tell him (specifically about her magic) They even come up with a code word for when she can't tell him something, which is cute. I really appreciated the fact that Audrey's magic was dealt with directly by Julian.
"Try looking at it from my point of view, though, Audrey. I really like you. Am I going to get totally hammered here because your life is complicated and you can’t explain just how complicated? Am I always going to be an outsider looking in?"

Jody Gehrman. Audrey's Guide to Witchcraft (Kindle Locations 4027-4028). Jody Gehrman. 
A lot of times in books about witchcraft when there's a witch and a mortal involved, there's a lot of lying to cover up the fact of the magic, and it's never really addressed by the character who's having things kept from them. The fact that Julian brings it up is a really nice change from the usual here.

In the same token, there are a few classic lines that you see often in books about witchcraft too, like "Sometimes we have to risk one, for the good of the many." All in all, it's a good mix of classic and modern elements.

One thing that grated on me a little bit was the dialogue. At times it was okay, but then at other times it got totally "teenager" maybe by a bit too much. But, the fact that Bridget coined her own terms made up for this.

One really amazing thing about this book is that it's so descriptive, and involves your other senses too, making it easier to imagine the scenes. There's amazing use of color in this book. I don't know why, but when authors write vivid, descriptive scenes with colors, they always stick out as I'm reading. There are so many here, it's wonderful. Uses of color happen every few pages. You might think that it would get old, but it doesn't. The author doesn't repeat color sequences, and it's not just "oh his eyes are blue" kind of stuff. Here are a couple sections where she talks about color that really stuck out.
The sun had set, but enough light remained to stain the splotchy clouds a beautiful orange, as if a neon tangerine had been smeared across the sky carelessly.
Jody Gehrman. Audrey's Guide to Witchcraft (Kindle Locations 2405-2406). Jody Gehrman. 
I felt my skull bust open like a magnolia on speed. Colors raced inside my body—a riot of blues, purples, greens, reds and golds—all of them ricocheting off one another before gushing through the fresh opening in my head. I felt like a kaleidoscope heated up until it explodes, sending a thousand glowing shards of color spinning wildly into the air.
Jody Gehrman. Audrey's Guide to Witchcraft (Kindle Locations 2226-2228). Jody Gehrman. 
Those are just a few examples but there are lots more in the book. In addition to the colors, I like how Gerhman incorporated smell into the story too. Audrey and Sadie's magic each has it's own specific scent. The dark magic has a stench, and it's easy to imagine from the descriptive reactions that Audrey has to it. One of the battles is particularly gruesome because of Gerhman's ability to set the scenes with such vivid imagery. It definitely had me cringing.

Both Bridget and Audrey really grow into their own, which is really nice. There's one sticking point with this for me though. You can see Bridget's growth (I won't say how) in some of her actions toward the end of the book, but the impact is lessened somewhat as Audrey explains the meaning behind the actions to Sadie. It would have been more powerfully shown if there hadn't been additional explanation.

Overall, this is an absolutely amazing book, and I would recommend it to anyone who loves books about witchcraft. A little heads up for Harry Potter fans, there is an HP reference! I can't wait to see what happens next in this series.


MissKimberlyStardust said...

I got this one as a Kindle freebie not too long ago and I was so happy because it seemed like everyone was reviewing it or reading it at the time! Great review I can't wait to read the book myself!
-Kimberly @ Turning the Pages

Melissas Midnight Musings said...

I hope you enjoy it, can't wait to see what you think!

kimbacaffeinate said...

I enjoyed this one too! Lovely review and I love the cover