Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Review: Old Magic by Marianne Curley

Title: Old Magic
Author: Marianne Curley

Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Simon Pulse

Length: 317 pages
Original Publishing Date: February 26th, 2002
Series: Standalone
Where I got it: E-library

Links: Goodreads Amazon Author's Website

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Jarrod Thornton is mesmerizing, but Kate Warren doesn't know why.

The moment the new guy walks into the room, Kate senses something strange and intense about him. Something supernatural. Her instincts are proven correct a few minutes later when, bullied by his classmates, Jarrod unknowingly conjures up a freak thunderstorm "inside" their classroom.

Jarrod doesn't believe in the paranormal. When Kate tries to convince him that he has extraordinary powers that need to be harnessed, he only puts up with her "hocus pocus" notions because he finds her captivating. However, the dangerous, uncontrolled strengthening of his gift finally convinces Jarrod that he must take Kate's theories seriously. Together, they embark on a remarkable journey -- one which will unravel the mystery that has haunted Jarrod's family for generations and pit the teens against immense forces in a battle to undo the past and reshape the future.

Main characters: 4/5

I was pleasantly surprised by how much I disliked Jarrod. Don't get me wrong, I ended up liking him in the end. But it was refreshing to hate the male main character based on his "cowardice" as opposed to loving him or disliking him because he's mysterious and a dick to the female main character. Jarrod grew a ton as a character and I loved seeing his realistic change over the course of the novel. Although I loved Kate's confidence, I sometimes wished that she had similar change, as she seemed a little static through the novel.

Secondary characters: 2/5

Jillian was wise and motherly; she was an excellent character to offset Kate and Jarrod's insecurities and doubts about their magic. Overall though, I was disappointed in the characterization of the cast of secondary characters. I felt that they were all a little flat and none of them intrigued me or made me want to learn more about them.

Writing style: 3.5/5

The opening of Old Magic drew me in right away: it gave me a detailed and perfect description of both Jarrod and Kate, gave me the introduction to the magical aspect, and left me intrigued. The first half however, dragged on. I was tempted to stop reading multiple times but I'm glad that I pressed on because the second half picked up the pace and had me reading straight through.

Plot: 3/5 
I wasn't particularly enamored with the plot. I was explaining it to a friend the other day and realized that it sounded slightly inane and silly. While I was reading it, the story didn't necessarily seem this way, however there was nothing exceptionally new or exciting about it.

Ending: 2/5

It made a couple interesting stutter steps: where I thought the story had ended and then there were a couple twists and turns thrown in that were quickly repaired. I wish that the story had wrapped itself up more nicely, and that the ending was more satisfying.

Best scene: The scene where Kate is stolen

Reminded Me Of: Tough to find a good comparison, but very similar to a lot of other books I've read

Positives: The unique male main character, the writing style and plot of the second half

Negatives: The ending fell flat, the secondary characters, the unoriginal plot elements

Cover: I really like the cover- it's simple but elegant. However, I didn't necessarily understand the connection to the story. 

Verdict: Some weak elements, but an entertaining read

Rating: 5.8 / 10 (3 stars)

Your Thoughts: Have you read it? What did you think? If you haven't, will you be adding it to your TBR list? Let me know!

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