These ‘about me’ sections, or even sections that inform you about blogs, have never been my forte. Much to my chagrin, I was never taught the unwritten rules of what you are supposed to say. The links at the side of the blog – Twitter and Goodreads, for example – are liable to tell you more than I could ever say in words.

Mostly, this will be a book blog. I read a lot, and I love to share my views on my most recent reads. I try to read a little bit of everything, but if you look closely you’ll notice I will occasionally become obsessed with one specific genre for a short period of time. Old books, new books, yet to be released books – I read them all. If you’re an author looking for advance readers or just wish for more reviews of a book you’ve already released, please feel free to contact me. There is a contact form at the side of my blog – if you scroll down below the Twitter and Goodreads sidebar you will find it – so drop me a message and I’ll be sure to get back to you in double time. After all, finding new authors is what makes the book world go around.

Thanks for taking your time to read this. With a little bit of luck, you will find my blog much more interesting than this mundane introductory section.

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Review: The Witch's Kiss

The Witch's Kiss The Witch's Kiss by Katharine Corr
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I’m a big fan of fairy-tale retellings. I was tentative about the notion to begin with, unsure whether I would be able to get into such things considering how I would know the endings beforehand, yet I have quickly found myself addicted to such books. Whenever I find out something is a fairy-tale retelling, I find myself a little bit more eager to read the story. Thus, when I found out The Witch’s Kiss was a Sleeping Beauty retelling with a twist I knew I needed to get in there.

I would have been reading the book anyway, as my sister brought it. I always take her views of books with a pinch of salt, but she said this was a good one. It wasn’t her favourite book, but she came to really enjoy it. In fact, I ended up listening to far too many exclamations of enjoyment as she worked her way through the book. I was told to read it as soon as she was done. I considered leaving it for a while, yet the whole fairy-tale thing convinced me to do as my sister asked.

It wasn’t all bad – it was an interesting story – and yet it wasn’t what I had hoped it would be.

There are a lot of the usual clichés to be seen in this story, but there is just enough variety to prevent it from being an exact replica of other young adult books in the genre. We have the usual special snowflake, we have a far from perfect family dynamic, we have the romance set out to fail, we have the historical aspect going way back when, and we have a couple of the other usual young adult checkbox necessities. Despite all of this, it did have some unique spins on these things.

The special snowflake knew about their magic, preventing the drama of ‘oh no, I’m a witch’. This time the character knows in advance and it is very refreshing. In all honesty, I don’t think I could deal with another situation where we have to deal with the shock of finding out they’re the one to save the world when they don’t even know about their powers. Yes, there was some aspects of the cliché, but it wasn’t as bad as it could have been through the main character having prior knowledge.

The family dynamic had a massive saving grace: Leo. I would gladly read a book based entirely upon his character. Truthfully, he was my favourite character of the entire book. We all want a big brother just like him. He can be annoying, but he is always there for his sister. If I’m being honest, I feel as though he was the most fleshed out character in the book. There was more depth to him than any of the other characters. My only complaint is that he wasn’t in the book enough. He was deserving of so many more scenes. Honestly, he made the book more than worth it.

The romance set out to fail wasn’t forced on us as much as it could have been. I really appreciate it. I hate it when every other line is sickeningly sweet. The romance did exist in this one, but it wasn’t blinding. I’m really grateful for this. I never came to enjoy it, and there were the usual problems to be found in these kinds of books, yet the fact it was never made the centre point of the story saved it from being really annoying.

The historical aspect going way back when was really interesting, given more time than I expected it to. The characters in the past were given almost as much attention as those in the modern world. This allowed the two time frames to weave together wonderfully. I had expected there to be the odd reference to the past here and there, whereas we were given entire chapters where things played out. It made everything much easier to understand, creating a more fleshed out story.

As I said, despite the clichés there were many decent aspects of the story. Nevertheless, I couldn’t quite bring myself to give the story four stars. I felt as though the action was rather lacking, the story was too slow at times, characters weren’t as fleshed out as they could have been, and I was left wanting more than I was given. Plus, it didn’t really feel like much of a Sleeping Beauty retelling. Not in the way I had expected, anyway.

It was an interesting tale, yet I wanted just a little bit more.

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