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Tuesday, 20 September 2016
Review: The Witch's Kiss
The Witch's Kiss
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher!
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?
I probably should have saved this for Halloween seeing as I'm reviewing this so late, but I decided stuff it, I was too intrigued to wait! Witch's Kiss wasn't exactly what I was expecting when I read the synopsis, but I enjoyed the book none the less!
The Witch's Kiss has an ominous and atmospheric opening that pulls you in to the story immediately, and the book continues to be atmospheric throughout. There's plenty of intrigue right from the start as the plot flares immediately to life! Not being at all biased but I loved the Surrey setting, it was a really vivid setting for me, because there's plenty of little villages like the one in the book all around.
I really enjoyed how the book used dreams and visions to show Merry what had happened in the past, and how Meredith and Jack became a thing. The book switched between the present and the dark ages smoothly, not just with the dreams and the visions and so on, but you get a story within a story for a couple of chapters, as Merry and Leo are told the story of the King of Hearts. It made for a very vivid couple of chapters, and as you learn about Jack and his past, you connect with the characters from that part of the story, it was very well done and kind of creepy in places! It gave the book another level of detail that allowed you to connect with the story more, and the characters from the past where developed as much as the main characters, which I found particularly interesting because I wasn't expecting it.
I got some intense Sleeping Beauty vibes from the book, but like, gender swapped, obviously! Gwydion got his Maleficent on at the naming ceremony, and then there's the whole rescuing the princess from behind the thorn wall, and then Jack being trapped behind it, I loved seeing the parallels to SB but with a different twist on them! It was a little bit of a retelling in a way, you could say. For some reason the lake made me think of that horrible tree from Sleepy Hollow, the Tim Burton film, not the book! (I haven't read the book yet shhh)
I liked Merry for the most part, she bugged me a couple of times but she was a genuine character, with an authentic reaction to the whole thing. She's a bit of a special snowflake, and the book has plenty of cliches but most of them have twists that make them interesting rather than the same old, same old. Merry knows all about her magic and I thought her struggle with it was interesting. She wanted to try her best, and she overcame her fears.
Leo was definitely my favourite character, I'm not going to lie to you guys! I felt like Leo was the character with the most depth, and he should have been in it more, I was waiting for him to be more involved as it seemed the book was going that way at one point but nope. I wasn't sure if I'd like him at the beginning of the book, but he fast became my favourite because he was the kind of big brother everyone wants. He was determined to help Merry and he was really there for her as best as he could be, I liked the closeness between the two, and I just loved Leo okay.
Jack was an interesting character, I wasn't too sure about him in the beginning either, I really felt for him once I got to know his backstory and got to know him, and I was rooting for him to be saved the entire way through, it was all a bit unfair for him really! Speaking of Jack brings me to the romance. When I read the synopsis I was expecting one thing. But that's not what happened in the book. From the start, the entire thing seems like it's doomed, and there's no way to prevent it, so maybe it's just as well that the romance wasn't there as much as I would have thought but in the end I didn't really buy the romance between Merry and Jack.
In the flashes of the past, you see a fair bit of Meredith and Jack..that I could see. I could see how they had fallen for each other, but Merry and Jack...I couldn't see it. We have Merry and Jack who have fallen for each other over the course of everything, the L word is bandied around, it all gets very Once Upon a Time with the True Loves kiss talk...but I didn't see how Merry and Jack could have gotten to that stage. We didn't see them together all that much, didn't see them interacting all that much. I actually felt like there where some missing scenes that would have made it work better romance wise. I at least, didn't see them fall for each other. They met. They met again. Hung out a few times with Leo. Got some alone time and then BOOM. Kiss. Love. Etc.
On the one hand, it's doomed from the start, so not having the romance shoved in your face every five seconds meant you didn't see it develop much and couldn't get attached to the couple. On the other hand...you couldn't get attached. I got plenty attached to Jack, I really felt like he was in an unfair situation and wanted him to be saved, but I didn't really care about the romance. There where other things in plot that took centre stage, which was good, but at the same time I was expecting more romance than there was and seeing as the whole TLK thing was thrown around, I felt like I should have seen more of the romance in the plot, especially as it was a little slow at some points. I seem to be the only person who had this problem though. I mean...maybe Merry's ancestors feelings where bleeding through or something I don't know.
The Witch's Kiss had it's good points and it had it's bad points, while I was disappointed by the romance and didn't see it, I really liked the historical bits of the book! The flashbacks where so well written and really added a load of intrigue to the plot, as well as being vivid. I loved Leo, he was a fantastic character, and the book was really funny. It was a fun, easy read, and I'm intrigued to see what's going to happen next. You could quite easily read this as a standalone and I would have assumed it was if I hadn't seen a sequel on GoodReads, so I'm curious about what the authors are going to do next! I'm hoping for more history because SO GOOD.