Saturday, June 4, 2011

Review: Witches of East End by Melissa de la Cruz

Author: Melissa de la Cruz
Pages: 288
Publisher: Hyperion
Series or Standalone: 1st in series
Genre: Adult Paranormal with cross-over appeal for older teens
Reading Level: 16 years old+
Dominant Themes: Witches, Sex
Release Date: June 21st, 2011

The three Beauchamp women--Joanna and her daughters Freya and Ingrid--live in North Hampton, out on the tip of Long Island. Their beautiful, mist-shrouded town seems almost stuck in time, and all three women lead seemingly quiet, uneventful existences. But they are harboring a mighty secret--they are powerful witches banned from using their magic. Joanna can resurrect people from the dead and heal the most serious of injuries. Ingrid, her bookish daughter, has the ability to predict the future and weave knots that can solve anything from infertility to infidelity. And finally, there's Freya, the wild child, who has a charm or a potion that can cure most any heartache.


For centuries, all three women have been forced to suppress their abilities. But then Freya, who is about to get married to the wealthy and mysterious Bran Gardiner, finds that her increasingly complicated romantic life makes it more difficult than ever to hide her secret. Soon Ingrid and Joanna confront similar dilemmas, and the Beauchamp women realize they can no longer conceal their true selves. They unearth their wands from the attic, dust off their broomsticks, and begin casting spells on the townspeople. It all seems like a bit of good-natured, innocent magic, but then mysterious, violent attacks begin to plague the town. When a young girl disappears over the Fourth of July weekend, they realize it's time to uncover who and what dark forces are working against them.

Witches of East End tells the respective stories of three witches, a mother and her two daughters, living in the modern day world, bound by rules to never use their magic. Joanna, Ingrid, and Freya have been alive longer than anyone around them can imagine.

When I first got it, I figured I would love it because hey, it’s Melissa de la Cruz. I knew it was her first venture into adult fiction, and I was eager to see what was different between her adult writing style as opposed to her young adult. Unfortunately, I was disappointed. Not with the novel, but with the hype around it, and what was actually delivered.

The entire novel, I felt as though Melissa was trying to prove to us that she could write an adult novel, when she didn’t need to. Her writing style seemed more forced than it does with her Blue Bloods series. It was more impersonal. I also felt as if there was too much needless sex. I am by NO means squeamish, and I am a firm believer that teens can handle sex for what it is. But marketing this as having massive cross-over appeal with the YA crowd is a bit of a stretch and kind of misleading, because while this book is great for older teens such as myself, a younger teen would most likely feel uncomfortable reading such detailed descriptions. 

Those things aside, the story itself was fantastic. It was an entertaining read, and the characters were good, even if a few annoyed me. Killian was my favorite, because, of course, I’m a bad boy lover. And what’s more bad boy than stealing your brother’s fiancée? I just think Freya didn’t handle things as well as she should, and it was mostly because she rushed into things WAY too quickly with both her fiancée, Bran, and her lover, Killian. Ingrid was likeable, even if a little bland. Eventually she began to take charge of herself and lose some of her inhibitions, and when she did, she became infinitely more interesting. Joanna’s parts didn’t interest me much, but they added to the story well.

Of course, one of my favorite parts was that we met some characters from the Blue Bloods series! It was very interesting to see a familiar face in this cast of new characters, and it just added another facet of intricacy to both this novel, and the Blue Bloods series as well. I’m just confused as to how the mythology of the Witches of East End coincides with the Blue Bloods mythology without contradicting itself, but I’ll suspend my slight disbelief for now. The role the Blue Bloods characters played in Witches of East End gives us a MAJOR spoiler as to what’s coming up in the Blue Bloods series, and I know readers will be excited. I’ll just let you find out for yourselves who it is.

Overall, I liked it. I’ll definitely be reading the next novel, because that was one hell of a cliffhanger. But it figures, right? Melissa is one author that can never leave off with a happy ending and who is unafraid to sacrifice main characters, which I LOVE, because it keeps me on my toes when reading her work. I give this novel 4 out of 5 stars.


12 comments:

  1. Thank you for the review, and for the giveaway! This does sound very interesting; I haven't read many books about witches. Come to think of it, I don't think I've ready any at all in the past few years.
    I'll give this a try, although I'm not looking forward to the cliffhanger!

    Books of Amber

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  2. Oooh. This is in my TBR pile and now I'm more anxious to read it for the Blue Bloods potential series spoiler connection!!! Thanks for the honesty, too, about the sex scenes...now I know what to expect.

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  3. Great review, Ash. Btw, I just entered the giveaway - figured, why not? :-)

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  4. YAY!! I've SO been wanting to read this!

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  5. Thanks for the giveaway! I want to read this one and thanks for mentioning that it spoils the Blue Blood series. I haven't read those books but I want to and was thinking of reading this one before Blue Blood. Now I'm reading Blue Blood first!

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  6. Thank you for this giveaway =)

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  7. Thank you so much for the chance to win. :)

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  8. Thank you for the wonderful review (and the tip about it spoiling The Blue Blood book series)and also thank you for the making this giveaway INTERNATIONAL. I'm so looking forward to reading this book, so thanks again for the chance to win a copy.

    -Natasha @ Paranormal Goddess Blog -

    Blog : http://bit.ly/hAqMXs

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  9. Oh I never would have thought it may have spoiled the blue bloods series! Guess I should get reading that first! This one's been on my wishlist for awhile now!

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  10. Thanks for the review. This is on my tbr and I would like a chance to win.

    Pat @Peace Love & Reviews

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  11. Thanks sharing your honest thoughts and opinions about the book. I look forward to reading it now.

    ~Sherry
    Sherry Soule Official Website

    Author of the Spellbound Series

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