Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Book Review: Bewitching


Bewitching
Bewitching
Published by Harper Teen
Release Date: Feb. 14, 2012
Genre: Young Adult
336 pages
Buy it on Amazon, IndieBound
 or Barnes and Noble
Source: ARC provided by publisher



My thoughts:
First off, let's get this straight: Alex Flinn is a genius. Go back and read Fade to Black or Breathing Underwater if you don't believe me. She writes in a way that is so subtly poetic, but never presumptuous- it's delicate balance of serious and meaningful theme with energetic, engaging storylines is just spectacular. 

But this is a very different kind of Alex Flinn from those examples. . . this is one of her modern retellings of fairy tales, the most widely known of which is Beastly, which was released as a major motion picture last year, starring Alex Pettyfer and Vanessa Hudgens. Now are you with me? THAT Alex Flinn.
Suffice it to say I jumped at the chance to review an Alex Flinn novel. I am glad to report that I was not disappointed. 

Bewitching is absolutely delightful entertainment. As a reader, I have a tendency to pick up a lot of high tension, action-packed, emotionally charged material. The beauty of Bewitching is that there was plenty of all of those, but they were packaged in a way that transports the reader to a place of such safe distraction as to be comforting and enchanting, just as fairy tales were when we heard them repeatedly as children. 

The only reason I didn't give Bewitching a 5 birdie review is that the multiple narrator format, along with the interspersed subplots, were a little distracting for me. I felt that the flow was a little disjointed- though this format did enhance the feel that the story was being told orally.

My favorite feature of Bewitching is the irony: the main character is not human, and yet, by the end of the book she discovers her humanity. As a bonus, I was reminded that I need to purchase a soundtrack for Wicked.

I am pleased that I will be able to recommend Bewitching to young readers without reservation; I don't recall any objectionable language or content whatsoever. This book will be difficult to get library copies of this spring, because everyone from middle grades readers on up are going to be scrapping to get their hands on it. I hope that many of those readers will also read other volumes by this author as well.
Summary from GoodReads:
"It is the story of Kendra and her first 300 or so years of life. In Bewitching, Kendra ponders whether to help out a modern day plain-looking stepsister, while also reflecting on her experiences in the 1666 British plague, the court of Louis XV, and on the Titanic." (Source: author's Facebook intro)


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