Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Book of Shadows by Cate Tiernan

Book of Shadows by Cate Tiernan
2007, Speak
Series: Book 1 of Sweep

Synopsis: Something is happening to me that I don't understand.

I see things, feel things in a new way. I can do things normal people can't do. Powerful things. Magical things. It scares me.

I never chose to learn witchcraft. But I'm starting to wonder if witchcraft is choosing me.

The Good: I really enjoyed how the writing was inclusive and accepting of everything, without having to make a big deal about anything. Wiccan religion, lesbian aunt, teen sexuality, whatever. All part of the story, not issues that have to be addressed and dealt with. Beyond the magick themes of the book, the mundane high school life felt accurately portrayed. It wasn't washed-clean of normal teen activities, nor overly hyped to make things more scandalous than in reality. 

The Bad: Bree, the best friend, is certifiably crazy. Like dangerous, obsessive, not a person you should associate with, crazy. Beyond angsty teen, in love with random boy issues, she's constructs a fantasy where the boy wants her back and progresses to destroy her relationship with Morgan in the process. It's dangerous to portray this type of behavior as anything other than being in desperate need of psychiatric help. Wicca was portrayed in an odd mix of by-the-book instruction and outlandish power. The author focused on making sure the details were explained well and factually, then immediately twisted the practices in an attempt to make the main character seem special. It was weird and just felt off.

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