*MEH* Is the word of the day for this.
Look at that cover, looks intriguing, right? If you're into YA and witches (LOVED me some Secret Circle back in the day) then from the cover, the title, even the blurb... it looks like this may just be good. Magical powers, ancestral ties to the Salem witch trials, hot guys(s)... Yes Please! And then you actually read it. *Sigh* ... and not in a good way.
Pretty much think of EVERY stereotype used in YA... awkward, shy girl: check. Hot popular boy that doesn't know she exists (mostly): Check. Nasty popular 'mean girl' that makes the heroine's life hell: Check. Insta-love behavior: Check. 'Wow, I suddenly have magical powers; let's make a love spell on my crush': Check. Prom from Hell: Check. It doesn't cover any new ground, it doesn't even put ideas together in a unique way. Now, I love YA in general. I eat that 'coming of age' and 'not fitting in' ... it's such a ripe time for teenagers (as book characters) to really get over-the-top emotional and be immature while trying to pose as an adult. So usually, I can live with the stereotypes if I can find something that I really love, or at least like about the story. But this... *Meh* Nothing stood out. Nothing grabbed me. It was just there. *Meh*
OK... I may be really showing my age here, but does anyone remember that Wendy's commercial: "Where's the beef?" Well, my problem with this book falls into a similar thought, "Where's the drama? Where's the angst? Where's the passion?" There are probably a dozen or more questions that can be inserted here. It was just bland, unoriginal, predictable, and even approaching boring. The writing itself is not necessarily bad. I wasn't angry with the book, or even unhappy, it just didn't leave much of any emotional response or lasting impression. The characters didn't overly grab me, although I did like Rem the most. Why she even bothered chasing after Travis when Rem was there- I don't care how hot and cold Mr. Hot Older Boy is, missy! Travis was taken, and powers or not- go for the gold! Not a younger knock-off that just creates open season for his girlfriend and friends to rip you a new one.
And the prom scene... I was almost getting Carrie (by Stephen King) flashbacks, but a sanitized, tamer version of Carrie. I kind of hoped, for a moment, that I would get caught up (finally) and maybe the end would redeem the book, but alas. Not to be for this reader. Ultimately, if you're a younger (I'd even go pre-teen on this) reader that like witch stories, then you may very well really like this book. For this older reader (and lover of YA), it just didn't make the cut. *Meh*I did receive an ARC from Scholastic Point via Netgalley in exchange for a review.