Thursday, April 28, 2011

YA book review: The Trouble with Spells (Of Witches and Warlocks series, book one) by Lacey Weatherford

Paperback: 246 pages
Publisher: Global Authors Publishers (March 11, 2011)

Summary: Portia Mullins had always lived the life of a normal teenager, up until her sixteenth birthday. She is then informed by her grandma that she is actually a witch who is a descendant from a long line of witches and warlocks. After overcoming her disbelief she finds that being a member of the coven comes with one great perk in the form of the school's handsome bad boy, Vance Mangum. Vance and Portia have an immediate connection as a budding romance begins, only to be threatened by turbulent skies on the horizon as Vance's checkered past rears its ugly head to haunt them. Portia is forced to use her untried powers in defense of everything she loves in a desperate attempt to hold on to the one thing that really matters in her life.

My review: When girls celebrate their Sweet Sixteen they usually have a huge celebration or go on a special trip to commemorate this milestone in their life. For Portia Mullins her beloved grandmother throws her a party. After her friends have gone home, the teen learns about her true heritage: Portia is a witch. At first she doesn't believe it but her grandmother and father soon show her just how true and real it all is. As she learns to be comfortable with her new abilities, Portia also discovers the guy she likes, the hot bad boy Vance Mangum, is part of her coven. But Vance comes with some baggage and secrets about his past, some very dangerous secrets. Happy Birthday, Portia!

I was glad Weatherford created her main heroine as a normal, down to earth girl with two parents and a loving grandmother. Her magical abilities is something she practices in secret and doesn't show off around her friends. Learning the craft and keeping Vance's dad away were big parts of this story but the really important aspect of The Trouble With Spells is the relationship between Portia and Vance. Vance is older and has not only known about Portia but has been in love with her for two years--and he hasn't said a word out of respect for her age or her family. The blossoming romance between Portia and Vance was so sweet and nicely written. I've read other reviews that have said the couple's romance felt rushed, but I disagree. I know some teens who find their first love is all consuming. They spend a lot of time with their boyfriend and when they're apart they think about them constantly. Love can make us act differently but we'll never know exactly how until we're faced with it. 

For Portia, her relationship with Vance is extremely strong and special--not only are they soul mates, but their attraction for each other displays new abilities, mostly unheard of in their coven. Their way of communicating with each other telepathically linked them in a such a way they could feel each other's emotions and know what the other was feeling. I understood just how deeply connected they were.

The scene between them in the woods during their binding ceremony and at the football field as Vance teaches Portia how to float were whimsical and romantic. Through Lacey Weatherford's writing, I truly felt for this couple and for their precarious situation with Vance's father trying to locate his son for his own evil purposes. There were times the story slowed but I'll admit, it never bothered me since I had become so sucked into their world. The pacing was fine and reminded me of a roller coaster ride with the bumps and rollicking ascent and then the story took off towards the climatic and surprising ending. The author did a commendable job conveying Portia and Vance both as individuals and as a couple.

After the first book in the series ended I really knew who these people were and wanted to continue learning about and experiencing their lives. Portia was a realistic teen, dealing with a new identity, raging hormones, a best friend with jealousy issues, and a guy to totally swoon over. I enjoyed the twists at the end and found the spin on the parents keeping the special ability a secret from their kid unique.

The Trouble with Spells was a fun, entertaining and thoroughly addicting read. I didn't want to put the book down and look forward to the next title in the series, The Demon Kiss.

Rating: I loved it.

Favorite excerpt: "I was almost to the exit when someone rounded the corner and we collided. I dropped my book bag, scattering the contents everywhere, and I scrambled about in a rush, trying to gather up my things.

"Why don't you watch where you're going?" I said, mostly under my breath, without looking up, feeling completely irritated.

"Hey now, you ran into me," a soft, sultry, male voice returned, and I froze, slowly looking over at the feet in front of me.

My gaze went up over the black laced-up boots covered by tattered Levis, and past the black belt with the silver buckle. I moved to the ever-present tightly stretched t-shirt and onto the leather jacket slung casually over the shoulder, across the pulsating veins in the neck. I paused at the soft, wide-set lips, before looking straight into the piercing blue-eyed stare of Vance Magnum.

I swallowed hard, and my entire vocabulary was suddenly reduced to only one word.

"Sorry." It came out like a whisper, and I wondered if he could even hear it.

Vance slowly squatted down to my eye level. He had a slight smirk on his lips.

"Where were you going in such a hurry?" he asked, picking up one of my books, handing it to me."

Cover comment: I like this cover so much better than the first rather uninspiring cover. This model does remind me of Portia and I like how Vance is slightly in the background.

Book source: I had already purchased this as an ebook and then I participated in the book tour and received another copy from the author for my honest review during The Trouble With Spells Book Tour sponsored by The Bookish Snob.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like an interesting series! Great review. :)