When I bought this book, I was all excited, because Penelope King became one of my favorite authors after the "A Demon Made Me Do It" adventure. But, the first pages kind of wore down my enthusiasm. I had hard time concentrating on the words with the reader eye. It was more critique than enjoyment. It felt too familiar - like I'd read it somewhere before.
But after I crossed the 30% threshold, things changed. There were things happening, there were emotions showing. It was really nice.
Please note that there may be some spoilers.
When 16-year-old Callista McCoy and her dad move to live in Crystal Cove, neither of them has the slightest clue who exactly they'd be moving in with. Old witch Anastasia is peculiar and secretive... also related to Callie. But Callie feels that along with the long-awaited reunion, Ana is also hiding something. Something dark, something terrifying. It is the truth that no witch is safe while Hunters roam the world.
On top of the new house, new school, new everything, Callie is also confronted by two very different truths:
One - the boy she met on the beach on her first day at Crystal Cove, a handsome young man by the name of Nicholas, is anything but ordinary, anything but forgettable; and Two - she isn't ordinary herself.
Callie is a witch.
Yet, despite all the new things in her life, the new friends are what Callie welcomes the most, because she'd never had friends before. Sophie and Lily are witches as well, and the three of them become as close as sisters. They share their secrets, and have sleepovers, and enchant themselves to communicate wordlessly.
But the two girls aren't Callie's only friends. In the picture walks Justin, a blonde surfer hottie, who falls for her. Hard. And even though Callie's heart and mind are occupied by thoughts of Nicholas, Justin does everything he can to squeeze in there as well.
He is the sweetest guy, the person who's most genuinely intrigued by Callie. He cares for her, he adores her. He is ready to give her the Moon and the stars - until her protective necklace falls off her neck, exposing who she is. In a rage of madness that he doesn't really have control over, Justin is transformed into a monstrous being whose only wish is to kill Callie. Because Justin is not an ordinary boy either.
For me, the beginning was kind of tedious because nothing really happened. There were extensive descriptions and explanations all thrown in at once and I kind of prefer to find things out with the action, not before that, and not all at once. That is what made it such a slow read for the first 20% or so. But once things started to happen, I was eager to turn the page and read more.
Out of all the characters, the two that I really loved were Sophie and Lily. They had their own distinct personalities, and always did and said what they were supposed to to keep the story going. They even broke the rules once or twice for Callie's sake. Yup, real friends.
Callista seemed a little too whiny at times, too indecisive, confused. I didn't see her like a strong person, though I think she can grow into it.
Nicholas was really dreamy, like someone from a prince picture book. But he was also distant. He sounded too matter-of-fact when he explained who and what he was. I had imagined him to be more original, passionate... Instead he sounded like he was reading his lines from a book.
Justin was by far the likable male character here. He was loving and smart, and totally swoon-worthy. If he hadn't turned into a monster, I'd totally root for him!!
Quotes I'd like to share:
"So, how was your day?" Dad asked me later that night.
Well, let's see...I met the most insanely beautiful guy ever, who I'll probably never see again...Then, I found out that I'm a magical witch, and if anyone finds out the whole world will fall apart... I have a secret grandmother I can't tell you about who lights candles with her fingertips...and, oh, yeah, Mom was a witch, too. How was your day?
"Your dad is such a sweet guy," Lily said, and Sophie nodded.
"Yeah, well, let's just see how sweet he is when he sees I've managed to turn myself into a human stop sign." I said with a scowl.
I rolled my eyes at them. "I think you guys have done too much shimmering. You're missing some brain cells somewhere," I said, crawling into bed.
All in all, it was an enjoyable light read. I give it