Monday, October 7, 2013

Spellbinding - Review


By: Maya Gold

Published: April 1st 2013 by Scholastic Point

272 pages

Genre: YA, Paranormal, Witches

Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thank you!!!)

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Goodreads description--There's more than one way to be powerful . . .

It is during a routine school project that Abby Silva--sixteen and nearly friendless--makes a startling discovery: She is descended from women who were accused of witchcraft back in 1600s Salem. And when Abby visits nearby Salem, strange, inexplicable events start to unfold. Objects move when she wills them to. Candles burst into sudden flame. And an ancient spellbook somehow winds up in her possession.

Trying to harness her newfound power, Abby concocts a love potion to win over her longtime crush--and exact revenge upon his cruel, bullying girlfriend. But old magic is not to be trifled with. Soon, Abby is thrust headlong into a world of hexes, secrets, and danger. And then there's Rem Anders, the beautiful, mysterious Salem boy who seems to know more about Abby than he first lets on.

A reckoning is coming, and Abby will have to make sense of her history--and her heart--before she can face the powerful truth.

Since I initially started branching out into the paranormal genre (years ago), I've slacked off on reading about witches. I mean I didn't really do it on purpose, but I just noticed that witches don't tend to make my top paranormal beings to read about anymore. So I decided to enter the Witches and Witchcraft challenge this year hosted by Melissa's Eclectic Bookshelf. I didn't set a high goal (1-5 books) and since I've already read more than 1 "witch" book this year I guess I've met my goal, but I picked up Spellbinding from NetGalley to add to my challenge this year and because of the addition of the Salem witches aspect.

Spellbinding is one that I think younger readers will enjoy. The cliches abound to an extent that I find unforgiving--even the author says something about a "pathetic cliche." And I just kept finding myself asking "why write about a giant cliche if you know that's exactly what it is???" Along with this, Spellbinding was just a bit too "pretty" for me. Everything was easy. Pieces fell into place too perfectly. The MC, Abby, accepts her abilities and magic way too readily for me to find believable. Nothing was difficult for her and she really didn't have any real challenges to overcome or conflict to resolve. Rem and his feelings for Abby were too easy and too fast as well. It was just all a bit "cookie-cutter" for my tastes.

I really don't have much else to say about Spellbinding. It was a quick read, but Spellbinding doesn't appeal to me. I like books--even paranormal--to feel as realistic as possible. Spellbinding just didn't. As I said earlier, I do think Spellbinding might appeal to a younger audience--specifically readers new to the paranormal genre or just readers not overexposed to the overused themes, concepts, and plot points of this book.

Spellbinding gets 2.5 stars from me. Have you read Spellbinding? If so, what did you think? Let me know!

This review is part of my "All Thing Halloween" 2013 series.


  1. Good review! Like you, I found this book cliched; I thought it was a bit shallow as well as predictable. It's too bad, because it could have been so much more. I reviewed it here, if you're interested.

  2. Oh yes...completely agree. Going to check out your review! Thanks for stopping by!