Thursday, September 8, 2016

Did Someone Say Purple Magic?? | Spells and Sorcery by S. Usher Evans

Have I convinced anyone to read Sush's books by now? This is only the eighth book of hers that I've read and enjoyed this year. :D

*I received an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.
You have magic.

One sentence, three words, four syllables. Enough to change my life forever. And I'm not talking about the whole spells and sorcery thing.

Lexie Carrigan thought the weirdest thing about her was she preferred watching documentaries and reading the newspaper to reality TV and Twitter. But on the eve of her fifteenth birthday, her aunt and sisters drop a bomb--she's magical.

Now the girl who never made waves is blowing up her nightstand and trying to keep from wreaking havoc on her school. When a kind stranger shows up with all the answers, Lexie hopes he'll be able to help her control her newfound powers. But Gavon may not be as kind as he seems, and soon Lexie finds out that being magical is the least weird thing about her.

Spells and Sorcery is the first YA fantasy from S. Usher Evans, author of the Razia series, the Madion War Trilogy and Empath.
*Released October 4th 2016 from Sun's Golden Ray Publishing*

Ahh, Spells and Sorcery was fun to read! It reminded me slightly of S. Usher Evans' Razia series because both have a stubborn and reckless main character (though there are still many differences between the two). I know I'm in for another series where the heroine undergoes a lot of character development and that makes me so happy!

Lexie was a BRAT. And that's huge for the story because so much of her character growth she experiences and so many of the messes she found herself in wouldn't have happened if she was well behaved and overly cautious. Lexie was an immature 15 year old who acted out against her oldest sister and aunt (Nicole and Jeanie) and anyone else who tried to control her. The fights she had...oh man. She reminded me of Marie at times, who acted mean towards her family and disobeyed the rules verrryyy often. Lexie was a smart person, but getting magic clouded her judgement and...well, she made some really stupid decisions. She was always reprimanded for acting that way, though. She was grounded. Her behavior was pointed out by her family members and Gavon (the man that shows up on her Magic's Eve and starts helping her learn about magic). So, even though she's a character that could get on your nerves, she sure suffers the consequences of having an attitude and being reckless. And she learns! Though it does take a couple slaps of cold reality to help her grow. All of that said, I really liked her.

I also really liked Lexie's relationship with her sister, Marie. Her relationships with Nicole and Jeanie were interesting too, I found myself looking forward to seeing Lexie and Marie interact much more. That's kinda funny to write because they did NOT get along. They were practically enemies! I kept watching and hoping for any sort of sign of affection between them. Whenever there's an ugly relationship between sisters, I just want to yell at them and tell them to get along already. Clearly, I don't have any sisters. I started out really disliking Marie's attitude, but as she was fleshed out more, I softened up to her. Actually, I think she's my second favorite character from this book! Huh. I wasn't expecting to say that.

This book felt refreshing to me. It's been a long time since I had read anything similar! I don't seem to read as many books with magic as I used to, or at least not the books where the "powers" are actually called magic. I was so happy that this book had a more light-hearted tone than what I usually read in paranormal books. Well, that it started out that way--the last quarter-ish has some pretty serious events. There was also zero romance. The majority of characters are adults and Lexie's family members. Instead of romance, the focus is on family relationships! Even if there's romance later in the series, I really appreciated the absence of it in this book. Sometimes it feels really good to read something like that.

The downside to the light-hearted tone is that the serious events didn't feel as intense to me. There was an obvious attempt at it, but I felt like I should've been more worried about the characters than I was. I also felt like I should've been hit harder by the climax. Another negative is that with so many fights Lexie had with Nicole and Jeanie, it was a little hard to get to know those characters more. That could've been the point, but I do wish they felt as fleshed out as Lexie and Marie.

As for the magic, I don't have that much to say... I liked learning the history of it as Lexie did because it played a big role in the story. My favorite thing was that Lexie's (and most other characters, I think) visible magic was PURPLE. PURPLE MAGIC. It's was like a dream come true for me.

Overall, Spells and Sorcery was a fun book featuring a girl learning to how control her magic--experiencing many mistakes and receiving many lectures as she does--as well as how to appreciate what she has. If you want to read something with a tone in the vein of Sabrina the Teenage Witch and possibly Hex Hall, I suggest looking into this one!

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

Discussion Prompt

This book is obviously about magic, so I'm wondering . . . 

What kind of magic do you really like seeing in books? What would you like to see more of?

Happy Reading! ~ Kaitlin ☺

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