Rarely am I without a book in my hand but this past week I was a work and had nothing to do and so, I opened up my Kobo app and looked for something to read. And I found Family Magic by Patti Larsen. Of course, this was just to get me through the insane amount of boredom but I continued reading the moment I got home.
Family Magic is a story of a sixteen-year-old named Syd. Syd is half-witch and the other half is demon. Not a typical teen. When your dad is a demon, your mom is a witch and your uncle is a vampire typical isn’t really on the list of descriptors. But the most important thing to note is that Syd just wants to be normal. She doesn’t like having to move because of the coven or being the daughter of the coven’s most powerful witch, she doesn’t like having magic at all and refuses to use it to the point where she can’t really control it. Syd thinks that normal is possible, at least for her as her younger sister looks more demon than human, with her red skin and horns.
One day a new family comes into town hoping to join the coven, a friend of her mother. But then the coven gets attacked. Not once, not twice. And the attacks are brutal. Whoever it is is after Syd’s family and it seems like all fingers are pointing to Syd. Can she prove her innocence and protect her family at the same time? How can she do this while balancing high school mean girls and a cute jock who is suddenly showing her attention?
I’m assuming you’re here because you want me to share my thoughts with you on this YA novel and that is exactly what I will do. First, let me say that the cliches are strong with this one. Typical high school mean girls, a nice jock who doesn’t seem to care about popularity, a bad boy she shouldn’t care about, jealous ex-friends, mother-daughter tension…not a lot of imagination there. But…I can look past the cliches for two main reasons and those reasons are also why I think this book deserves a read. Firstly, who doesn’t love magic and high-strung emotions? They drive the plot of this novel, blinding the characters to the truths right before them and keep misunderstandings strong. The emotion is palpable and kept me reading simply because I longed to see how the side characters in the novel would react. Secondly, I enjoy the fact that there is very little romance in this novel. Is it just me or is romance bordering on tedious? I needed a break from all the mushy stuff. And while Syd has two possible interests, she doesn’t let a crush keep her from working on her main goal, which is the case in a lot of YA novels. Hat’s off to you Patti Larsen!
If this isn’t enough to convince you, then I suggest you pick it up and read the first chapter for yourselves.
And so, my overall rating for Family Magic is a 4/5 Stars. It was exactly what I expected it to be and more. Oftentimes, books with teenage characters come off too bratty and childish but Syd was just on the borderline with enough real issues to make her a tangible and real character. I applaud Larsen for being able to use cliches but not to the point that I want to light the book on fire. (Not that I would since it was an ebook I read from my phone, ha!)
If you are looking for a light read, this is a pretty good one. Plus, it is free on Kobo and Kindle which means you aren’t making too much of a commitment. Give it a read and let me know whether you enjoyed it as much as I did!
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