My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Pacing: Uneven–fast & slow
POV: 3rd person
Publication Date: September 2nd 2014
Genres & Themes: YA, Fantasy, Witches, Magic, Romance, Friendship, Betrayal, Sisterhood
This world is trying to kill Lily Proctor. Her life-threatening allergies keep her from enjoying experiences that others in her hometown of Salem take for granted, which is why she is determined to enjoy her first high school party with her best friend and longtime crush, Tristan. But after a humiliating incident in front of half her graduating class, Lily wishes she could just disappear.
Suddenly, Lily is in a different Salem—one overrun with horrifying creatures and ruled by powerful women called Crucibles. Strongest and cruelest of them all is Lillian . . . Lily’s other self in this alternate universe.
What makes Lily weak at home is what makes her extraordinary in New Salem. In this confusing world, Lily is torn between responsibilities she can’t hope to shoulder alone and a love she never expected.
Let’s talk about originality—this book has it!
Nowadays, in my opinion, finding gems in new YA series featuring witches is pretty hard since they are sometimes so predictable as in a lot has already been done and we’ve pretty much seen it all. They rarely contain new secrets for you us discover.
Yet, Josephine Angelini nailed the paranormal aspects. Creativity, this story is filled with it. And imagination? The author was probably born with it as a middle name.
One interesting element was seeing how the story easily switched from banal contemporary filled with stereotyped characters to a badass and dangerous world AKA a true paranormal/fantasy one (which I secretly want to visit at least once in my life—in my dreams perhaps.)
As for our main character, Lily, she and I are not quite alike since some decisions or actions she made well I wasn’t very incline to agree with them. For example, after appearing in this new world, 1) she couldn’t believe her eyes, 2) came to realize that she isn’t dreaming and then? Ran around telling people she isn’t that despicable Lillian many are loathing. I mean, girl, obviously you and Lillian are the same person—yet not exactly—so could you stop acting carelessly and think for a second that you’re in danger by doing so?
Also, I wanted more of this from her:
She barely defended herself when threatened!
Throughout the story, I had as feeling that the writing kept getting better and better with every chapter. At first, I wasn’t impressed by how the author dealt with dialogs. Seemed to me like the writing itself was aimed for a younger audience, but then things got more serious and surprisingly the writing style followed.
Another thing that I found very good was the relationship Lily shares with her sister, Juliet. I mean, who could resist such a wonderful and convincing one? They were always there for each other when needed and their love to one another was true and nothing could break it. Sigh, I wish I had a sister.
I’m not sure about the romance. At first, in the common world, Lily was going out—if I can actually use those terms—with her best friend, Tristan. Problem is he is a player and I mean it. (Things happen.) Then, when she leaves Salem, she meets this new guy with whom she has a love/hate relationship (guess which dominates) but the thing is that at first it seemed so predictable and I wasn’t even sure that the guy, Rowan, loved her for the right reasons. Their love, is it even true and solid enough? Well, I hope to be convinced in the sequel. That doesn’t mean it was bad though, just not my cup of tea.
Finally, I am very happy and surprised to say that my hopes for this author have been restored. This book contains a much more enjoyable plotline with more unique characters than her other Starcrossed book that I’ve read. Absolutely recommended to any reader seeking for a different yet interesting read featuring witches, villains, romance, and many other surprising elements.
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