Friday, March 1, 2013

Spellbinding by Maya Gold

Again, thanks to Scholastic and Netgalley for letting me read this egalley in the fall of 2012.  I have to say I really liked this one!  I'm not always sure about books that are about witches.  Sometimes it is too hokey or I just can't get into the story.  But this book was really good!  The main character is Abby, who is a bit of a loner in her town.  Plus, her mother passed away, and she has felt as if her father has not really ever connected with her since then.  She has a younger brother that her father seems to be closer to.  She has one really good friend, who is a senior, and really smart, helps Abby with her classes.  For one assignment Abby is supposed to do some research into her family background.  And she finds something interesting, that her mother's side is descended from the Salem witches, or at least from the people who were accused of being witches.
Abby has been having some horrible nightmares recently as well.  They seem to be about the Salem witch trials in fact.  And she's never been able to swim, she is just sure that she will sink, and not float.  This even extends into a fear of going across bridges.  Until one day she is so excited about passing her driver's test that she convinces her friend to go with her to Salem.  As they drive in it is like a parking place clears just for them.  A hot guy is there sweeping the street.  Abby feels a sudden strange attraction or connection to him, his name is Rem.  And at one point she thinks that she hears him speak to her inside her mind.  She also sees a sign in a little New Age-y shop for help wanted, and for some reason is drawn in to apply. Now that she has her license, she needs a job to start saving for college.  And she basically gets offered the job, but now she must get a car.  And it seems things just keep falling into place.  When she took her driver's test, it's like the cones moved to where she needed them.  The car shows up as an opportunity from a cousin at a family reunion.  When she visits the Salem library to get some more information about her ancestry, she also finds a little book that seems to be a spellbook, but doesn't have the stuff to make it part of the library's collection.  So she takes it home, and tries it, and finds, that maybe she has powers.
But Rem isn't the only boy she thinks about, which is kind of good, because he's all hot and cold.  There is Travis, a boy she grew up with, who is very popular, THE popular boy, dating the most popular and bitchy girl at school.  But he's one of those nice guys who is nice to everyone, and it does seem like he still likes Abby.  So she decides to see if she can perform a spell to make him interested in her.  But there is a dark side to this magic.  And Abby soon learns that there may be a reason why she is all of a sudden feeling this draw to magic.  And it may not be a good reason.
I really liked the story!  While Abby didn't want to really hurt anyone, even as badly as she was treated by some of the girls at her school, she tried to not stray to that bad side.  The bad things seemed to happen when she wasn't really thinking about them, to someone who might be making her family a bit of a mess.  A unique take on the witch genre.  I like how it went.  I liked Rem, even though for a part of it I hated him, and felt for Abby.  I thought it might go a bit Carrie-esque at the prom, and there was a big deal at that event, but how it turns out in the end?  I loved the twist!  Great story!  Don't know if it was left open for a sequel at all, but I'd love to go back into this world and see what happens next.