Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Review: Season of the Witch - Mariah Fredricks

Where I got it: Library
Rating: 3 stars  
Cover Rating: 4.5 stars (creepy)
Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: October 8, 2013
Publisher: Schwartz & Wade
Page Count: 251 p.
Add it: Goodreads

What happens during summer should stay in summer.
Toni had a bit of a wild summer and now that school is starting she's going to have to face her actions head on. She didn't realize what she was getting herself into at the time. She's not the only one to blame, but she's the only one getting the blame. Oliver has gotten back together with his girlfriend Chloe, but Chloe is out for blood. Who knew a kiss could be so dangerous? Toni doesn't know what to do to get Chloe and her friends to stop harassing her, but Cassandra does. Cassandra says there's a better way to get even, a bit of hocus pocus. Toni's not sure she really believes in this stuff, but when it works she starts to change gears. Cassandra doesn't know how far is too far though and things get out of hand fast. Toni is going to have to help Cassandra with her own dark secrets before more people get hurt.

I was pretty excited to read this book. The description had this nice Carrie vibe about it and I saw Toni standing in the middle of a burning down school with a small grin. This book wasn't Carrie, but it wasn't bad either.

One of the things I had an issue with was Toni. She complains about how terrible Chloe is and the bullying and everything, but Toni isn't a nice person. Take this abbreviated excerpt:
"....'I would like us all to rise and join hands, please. We will now recite the school civility pledge.'....I take Ella's hand and offer my other to Bill 'Pigman' Pullman on my right. He grins maniacally, like I've offered him some other body part to touch. I say, 'Drooling's not pretty, Bill.'....'I pledge to be civil and caring to my fellow students. To create a welcoming environment free of hostility and prejudice.' I pray that Chloe is listening."
While she's hoping that Chloe is listening to the Civility Pledge, Toni insults another student. For no reason. There are plenty of snide remarks from Toni and while some of them could be in jest, others just seem glossed over. We're supposed to feel bad for Toni, but it's hard. I realize that the bullying that Chloe is orchestrating is much worse than the comments from Toni, but I can't feel that bad for someone being bullied when they aren't that nice themselves.

It's hard to really enjoy a story when there is no one to root for. I didn't end up really liking any of the characters. Cassandra was all kinds of crazy and Toni and Ella are not great people either. Ella is supposed to be this super nice person, which she is to a point. Gossiping does not make you a nice person. This book seemed to be more than the story though.

The author wanted us to look at this scenario and see all the ugly that can crop up from things left unsaid, or sexist issues. Toni did some sexual things over summer, a guy would have been proud and praised. Toni gets harassed. I didn't feel like that was the central point in the book though and it seemed as if the author was trying to shove too many things in at once.

It was a quick and intense read though. Something worth giving a shot. There are some shocking things which raise the interest level a great deal.

First Line:
"You know how it is with little girls."

Favorite Lines:
"Ella thinks she's sincere, but really, she's just stirring up trouble. Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble."

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