by Michelle Krys
Read: April 26 - 28, 2014
Published: June 10 2014 by Delacorte Press
Source: ALA, (Thank you, RH!)
Category: YA, witches, LA
Find: Goodreads | Amazon
If high school is all about social status, Indigo Blackwood has it made. Sure, her quirky mom owns an occult shop, and a nerd just won’t stop trying to be her friend, but Indie is a popular cheerleader with a football-star boyfriend and a social circle powerful enough to ruin everyone at school. Who wouldn’t want to be her?
Then a guy dies right before her eyes. And the dusty old family Bible her mom is freakishly possessive of is stolen. But it’s when a frustratingly sexy stranger named Bishop enters Indie’s world that she learns her destiny involves a lot more than pom-poms and parties. If she doesn’t get the Bible back, every witch on the planet will die. And that’s seriously bad news for Indie, because according to Bishop, she’s a witch too.
Suddenly forced into a centuries-old war between witches and sorcerers, Indie’s about to uncover the many dark truths about her life—and a future unlike any she ever imagined on top of the cheer pyramid.
I have mixed feelings about this book. The idea of combining witches and cheerleaders in southern California was too fun to pass up, but unfortunately, this story didn't deliver as much as I'd hoped.
Indigo Blackwood is everything you'd think of a high school cheerleader. She has popular friends, a football star boyfriend, and she doesn't want anyone to see when her nerdy neighbor Paige talks to her. Indie also tries not to advertise the fact that her mom owns an occult shop. Then one day Indie sees a guy die right in front of her, and the family Bible her mom is obsessed with protecting gets stolen. Soon a hot guy she's never met named Bishop is telling her that witches are real and she might be one of them. Not only that but she somehow gets stuck in the middle of a war between witches and sorcerers (whom she'd never heard of either).
What's interesting about Indie is that we learn right away that she cares a lot less about her actual social status than she does about maintaining her best friend, and resident queen of popularity, Brianna. Indie is very much a follower, but one who is also loyal. As someone who has always been more comfortable with a couple of close friends, I can understand the part of Indie that has worked to maintain her friendship with Brianna. However, Indie does realize the truth about her friend and boyfriend, and starts to go her own way for once. Indie stops caring about popularity, and develops a friendship with her nerdy neighbor Paige. And Indie very quickly realizes that she's involved in a lot more important and dangerous things than high school. I enjoyed seeing her become stronger and step out of her earlier behavior as the story progressed.
I liked the friendship that Indie develops with Paige, and the fact that it does require apologizing on Indigo's part. Paige is actually much stronger than the social pariah that Indie initially depicts her. Paige has he own friends and it's clear she's much more content with her life than Indie has been.
The slowly developing relationship between Indie and Bishop is also a highlight of this story. When the book begins, Indie does have a boyfriend, but it's clear that they aren't a great match. Thankfully, it doesn't drag out very long before there is a decisive end. Indigo and Bishop have a fantastic amount of tension and swoon, but also wonderful honest conversations. They also bond over tough emotional situations that they've both faced.
However, despite liking the main characters and romance, I struggled with the world building in this book. The difference between witches and sorcerers was vaguely described in a few sentences, and I never got the point of their huge war. I wanted to know more about both societies, especially the witches. Also, the bad guys were we encountered were like cartoon characters, they were so over the top. Without a strong grounding, the whole paranormal aspect of this book ended up seeming incredibly silly to me, especially in the very real LA setting.
This installment of the series ends solidly, but there is a cliffhanger at the very end that sets up the action for the following book. I hope that there will be more world building details to come in the future. But Hexed is more focused on action than any of that, so I'm not sure that will happen. At this point, I don't know if I will continue this series, because the aspects I liked were not enough to make up for those that I did not.
Love Triangle Factor: None
Cliffhanger Scale: Medium
There's a difference between witches and sorcerers? I mean, I know there *is* but I'd need a good explanation in a book to clarify it for that particular story. The dynamics of the relationships between the girls sounds interesting... This one's on my Kindle -- looking forward to seeing if my thoughts match up!ReplyDelete
I love the sound of the budding friendship between Indie and Paige and I think I'll like the romance between her and Bishop too, but I'm a little disappointed to hear that the world-building isn't all that great. I've noticed it in many books lately that the first book in a series is rather weak in the world building.ReplyDelete
Thanks for the honest review, Lauren.
Not sure this is necessarily for me. Maybe if the series drastically improves, I'll look into it a bit more, but for now this isn't quite my cup of tea with the cheerleaders and witches. I'm glad to see there's a strong female friendship in this novel, not to mention a slow-burn romance, but world-building is such a must-have for me that I'd really be put off without sufficient detail. Thanks for such a thorough and helpful review, Lauren!ReplyDelete
Hmm. There are clearly some definite highlights and lowlights to this one Lauren! LOVE the sound of the friendship and romance, and I'm glad to know Indigo is woman enough to apologize and build her friendship with Paige. The cartoon-y villains and the lack of explanation for certain aspects of the world will likely frustrate me as well, but like you said, hopefully we'll get a better feel for the world in the next book!ReplyDelete
My thoughts exactly. I read it last month, and it didn't add up. Paige was my favorite character!ReplyDelete
Aw, I'm sorry you had some issues with this book. But glad you liked the romance :D That is always a plus, lol. <3 But ack. It sounds like too much drama for me. Sigh. (With her being the popular girl, etc.) Just not the kind of thing I like. Sigh. But I do like the sound of the plot. Maybe someday :D Amazing review sweetie. <3ReplyDelete
I'm torn about whether to read this book or not. To be honest, characters are usually the most important part of a book and if I had to choose between strong well-developed characters (and good romance) or world-building, I would choose the former. So that part of it sounds good. But if the world-building is so lacking that the story doesn't make sense, that's a huge negative. So I'll have to think about this one. But I do love the combination of a witch and cheerleader, it reminds me of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Great review, sorry it was a bit disappointing! ~PamReplyDelete
It's unfortunate the world building and some of the plot was lacking here, but it sounds like Indigo has some great character growth. I love the sound of the romance as well. Excellent review, Lauren. :)ReplyDelete
Sad that it wasn't as great as expected, but at least it was worth a read and not horrible! The summary does sound good! The romance and friendship sound good. But cartoonish bad guys are never good. It still sounds like it might be worth a quick read if I happen upon it, but nothing to get my hopes up for! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!ReplyDelete
I tried a chapter of this yesterday and not sure it's for me. I didn't know this book was about cheerleaders, and though I have nothing against cheerleaders, I'm feeling like this one may have too much high school drama for me to enjoy it. I may try a bit more before making up my mind....ReplyDelete
Jen @ YA Romantics