My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This was a fantastic book. I really loved seeing the relationships the main character cultivated with her new group of friends. I had a few preconceived ideas of what might happen when I started reading and this book completely turned all of that on its head. It was refreshing to see this book play out so differently. I loved every character, each had such a dynamic and interesting personality that meshed so well with the rest of the group dynamic. I couldn’t put the book down and am extremely excited to find out what happens next.
Full Review with Spoilers
I really wasn’t sure what I was expecting when I started this book, but it’s definitely not what I got. I had a very vague idea of the general story, but that’s it. I loved every moment of this book. As I was reading I started assuming various things, thinking I knew where things where heading. The author does an amazing job of keeping the story fresh and interesting.
While the story is fun and engaging, what really drives this book is the characters. The group of girls that Sideways meets and befriends are all so well written, you can’t help but want to be friends with all of them, maybe a little scared of them too. Their fierce loyalty to each other, and Sideways after she becomes a part of their inner circle is inspiring. I kept expecting things to go south, that they would be just using her for her affinity with magic, but that never ended up happening. This was a welcome difference from the standard popular girl trope you would normally see in this situation. Even the “hot girl” that Sideways is smitten with was a great character even if she really was around briefly. I loved that Madeline is an ambiguous sort of “villain,” doing bad more or less for the sake of good. It’s hard to hate her, especially since we really don’t know her full story.
While I loved the character development and interactions, I wasn’t sure what they overall arc of the story was going to be until witch hunters catch up to Sideways. Perhaps a tad cliche, it was again well written enough that I didn’t mind this at all. Same with the fact that you learn each of the girls, dubbing their coven Scapegracers, all actually had some affinity for magic even if they had not be previously aware of it. This was handled well and still remained interesting. This is also attributed to the fact that the authors world and concept of magic is just different and unique enough that I never felt like I was reading something that felt familiar. (Of course I made the connection to a certain movie when I started reading. The fact that the author calls this out was a fantastic nod to the fact they they knew it would happen.)
I REALLY enjoyed this book. It was the right blend of fun and emotional. I am extremely anxious for the next book and see where the story goes from here.