How I Read It: Print
Dates Read: 10/9/19-10/12/19
This is the 2019 Sweet Halloween mini box from Once Upon a Book Club! I know absolutely nothing about this book, other than that it shouldn’t be scary and it is supposed to be fun with an added magical element. Unlike the larger boxes, this box only contains two gifts, which I will share with you guys as I get to them!
I didn’t completely open this up, but I am pretty sure this is a blanket and not a cape, which I am grateful for. I do not know what to do with a cape if I had one, although I probably could try and make a Halloween costume out of it, but I digress.
This book is about a Allison Darling, born Allesone Ellylydan. She originally was raised by her mother, Wilhemena, but at the age of 9 was removed and placed in foster care, while her mother was forced into a psychiatric hospital. Now in adulthood, Allison is focused on fitting in with the other mothers in her small town of Monrovia, MA. The head mom, Astrid, soon takes a shining to Allison, though that might be because she catches Allison performing transfiguration.
When Wilhemena dies suddenly, Allison is pushed toward her aunt, Aurora. Aurora warns of the Black Witch, who is also Allison’s aunt, and that Allison is vulnerable to attack. After Aurora has a suspicion that the Black Witch is recruiting people in Monrovia, Allison begins pinpointing who she thinks is a witch. We finish this section by finding out that Astrid’s group of friends are all witches that use their magic (in the form of potions) to make the small town paradise. They offer a spot in their coven to Allison, which she has been given 2 days to decide if she will join or not.
As for my opinion, I haven’t been able to keep this book down! I was surprised how easily I fell into it, and I am excited to keep reading! I am not a huge fan of the actual storyline of the book, but I am extremely attracted to the writing style, which has continued to pull me along.
(Side note: when I opened it up all the way, it appears to be a scarf? It’s a strange material for a scarf, and also ridiculously long, so I’m not sure I will wear it, but hey, it is still a cool concept!)
OOOOOoooooOOOOOO!!! I knew it had to be something chemically because the actual present was shrink wrapped, but I was not expecting this! Now I am slightly concerned because I did read ahead and the mask from the book turned her face permanently green, but they wouldn’t do that to me, right?
As for the storyline, Allison goes to Aurora in the hopes of letting her know that there is a coven, but that Allison is going to stick with her family. Aurora essentially says, we don’t want you, so Allison gives the middle finger by accepting a place in Astrid’s coven. After accepting a place, she is pampered with a spa day, a makeover, and a new designer wardrobe. This section ends with a basket being delivered to her door with all the ingredients and the instructions to make a face mask, which Allison then applies to her face. It didn’t seem to go well.
So Astrid makes Allison do some bad things, including destroying the mental health home in Monrovia for the “sake of beauty”. When Allison realizes that the good things are not worth doing the terrible things, she throws out any product from the soap factory Astrid owns and finds herself exiled from all the members of Astrid’s coven. Soon, Astrid begins using tactics to mess with Allison’s kids as well. Allison convinces Astrid to leave her family alone as long as she gets the ashes of Wilhemena for the use of an immortality like potion. Allison teaches her kids that they are witches and Astrid (who is the black witch BTW) sees them at work and within their meeting, Allison’s youngest daughter gets mortally injured. Allison then has to try to defeat the Black Witch in order to save her daughter’s life.
This book is a lot of back and forth between we like this person and now we hate them. It seems really strange and almost juvenile for the intended audience. I was extremely invested (especially in the last 2 days) in the storyline, but I also was easily distracted as I was reading it. I think that for a debut, it is really good, but I also thought she contradicted herself at times. I ultimately would give this book 3.25 out of 5 stars.
If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!