Author: Kendall Kulper (Website | Twitter)
Age Group: Young Adult
Publication Date: September 23, 2014 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Source: A copy was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!
A sweeping historical romance about a witch who foresees her own murder--and the one boy who can help change her future.
Sixteen-year-old Avery Roe wants only to take her rightful place as the witch of Prince Island, making the charms that keep the island's whalers safe at sea, but her mother has forced her into a magic-free world of proper manners and respectability. When Avery dreams she's to be murdered, she knows time is running out to unlock her magic and save herself.
Avery finds an unexpected ally in a tattooed harpoon boy named Tane--a sailor with magic of his own, who moves Avery in ways she never expected. Becoming a witch might stop her murder and save her island from ruin, but Avery discovers her magic requires a sacrifice she never prepared for.
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My Review: Oh, this book. I'm seriously so conflicted about it. There's parts that I absolutely couldn't stand and others that make me want to hug it. I laughed, I cried, and I wanted to throw it in frustration. This isn't a book I'll easily forget but I'm not going to be looking back on it with hearts for eyes, if you know what I mean.
My biggest problem with this book, the one thing that made me want to tear my hair out and scream, was the main character. I was so not a fan of Avery Roe. I didn't understand her, honestly. Like, I got she wanted to become the Roe witch but I just didn't get why, besides the fact that she felt obligated to her ancestors. I especially didn't understand why she still wanted to be it toward the end. Also, she was always getting irrationally angry. Like, Tane would do something super nice for her and she would just go for the jugular and try to tear him down for no reason. Same thing with the way she treated her mom. Honestly, I liked her mom more than I liked Avery. I understood where she was coming from and I sympathized with her. Avery just didn't have my sympathy, especially with the attitude she had.
As for Tane, I was sort of indifferent. I liked him but I wasn't rooting for him. There entire relationship felt kind of forced. I didn't understand why Tane liked Avery. Their relationship didn't interest me until about 80% into the book.
Also, I was frustrated with the magic in this book. I didn't get a good feel for it at all. It would be "explained" but then ten pages later Avery would do something or tell us something that completely contradicted what she had explained earlier. It made it maddening. I liked the overall idea of it, I just wish we were given a better explanation of the small details.
I've listed a lot of things I didn't like but one thing I did like was the writing style. The diction Kendall Kulper used throughout the novel was amazing. It made this world just jump from the pages. I truly felt like I was walking down the streets with Avery. Every single one of my senses were working throughout the novel. Though, I did get a little tired of the long sentences. There were so many commas and "ands" in this book that my mind just got a little tired while reading and I felt like I lost track of the point of the sentence.
This is one of those books that I'm not thrilled with. I had a lot of expectations and they weren't reached with this one. I'm not sure whether I'll revisit more of this author's works but I'll have to see. Like I said, I was conflicted with this book. I enjoyed a lot of it, even though I listed mostly negatives. I stuck it out through the end because I just needed to see how everything was wrapped up. I wasn't necessarily happy with the ending but I understood it.
"Hope—that stupid, silly creature that lived within me, no matter how often I tried to beat it to death—lifted its nose and sniffed at the air."