The Witch's Kiss
By: Katharine & Elizabeth Corr
Published By: HarperCollins Australia
Publication Date: June 30th, 2016
Source: ARC Kindly Provided by Publisher
YA - Fantasy/Romance
Merry is a witch, but she's not doing magic right now. At least that's her plan, but it seems that life has other ideas. With a would-be killer on the loose and a strange knocking sound coming from the attic, Merry is not exactly feeling safe in her small, English home town. When she and her brother, Leo, investigate the noise they find a small box which holds the key to stopping the violent attacks, but first Merry must unlock the powers she has suppressed. She has been dreaming of a beautiful boy doing unspeakable things and it's her job to stop him, but falling in love might get in the way.
This is, in a sense, a gender flipped Sleeping Beauty retelling. Jack, the would-be serial killer, has been trapped in an abandoned sleep for 1500 years. Cursed by a wizard to collect the hearts of those in love, he has fleeting moments of lucidity, where he is aware of who he is and fights the wizard's influence, but the spells that kept both Jack and the wizard, Gwydion, sleeping are wearing off. Merry is his only hope of being freed from the curse.
It took me a long time to get through The Witch's Kiss. I would read a bit, set it down and pick up something else, and then come back to it. I was interested to find out what would happen, but it wasn't compelling enough to keep me reading into the small hours in order to finish it. I found Merry slightly annoying, and her brother, Leo, only marginally better. Their mother has banned Merry from being trained as a witch, but is never home and is instead off working in Europe. The absent parent is a fairly common trope in YA books, and I have to say, it's not my favourite.
I found the pacing very slow, with not very much happening for a lot of the book. There was a lot of sitting around, reflecting about witchcraft and past actions and I was itching for something to happen. I didn't find the romance between Merry and Jack terribly convincing in the present, although it was much more convincing in the flashback scenes. Things did pick up for the climax, however, with the tension rising significantly.
I know people who really enjoyed this book a lot. It's not one of my favourite reads, and I won't automatically be looking for the sequel, but if you like fairytale retellings, witches and bittersweet romances, then this might be right up your alley.
Sixteeen-year-old Meredith is fed-up with her feuding family and feeling invisible at school – not to mention the witch magic that shoots out of her fingernails when she’s stressed. Then sweet, sensitive Jack comes into her life and she falls for him hard. The only problem is that he is periodically possessed by a destructive centuries-old curse. Meredith has lost her heart, but will she also lose her life? Or in true fairytale tradition, can true love’s kiss save the day?