When teen witch Ivy MacTavish changes a lizard into her date for a Halloween dance, everything turns to chaos. And when no one is powerful enough to transform him back except Ivy, it sparks the rumor: Like father, like daughter. Ivy has heard it all before – that her father, who left when she was seven – was involved with the darkest of magic.
Making the rumors worse, someone uses an evil spell book to bring back two of history’s most nefarious killers. Ivy’s got a simple plan to set things right: find the real dark spell caster, steal the book, and reverse the spell. No problem! But she’ll have to deal with something more dangerous than murderous spirits that want her and her friends dead: the school’s resident bad boy and hotter-than-brimstone demon, Nick Marcelli. Nick’s offering Ivy more than his help with recovering the missing book – he’s offering her a way to ditch her scaly reputation as a lizard-lover. Demons are about as hard to handle as black magic, and as Ivy soon discovers, it’s going to take more than a lot of luck and a little charm if she wants to survive long enough to clear her status as a dark witch, get a warm-blooded boyfriend, and have her former date back to eating meal worms before the week’s end.
Why I Read This Book and General Thoughts
I have a confession to make: I am not a YA reader. I wasn’t even a very good YA reader when I was a young adult – I was onto adult books as early as 11, and they were my steady book diet by 13. It wasn’t until a couple years ago when my boyfriend convinced me to read Harry Potter (yes, I was a hold out) that I actually came around to YA books (the boyfriend continues to be a YA fantasy fan). So when Michelle Muto started following me on Twitter, I was intrigued by her book, but not overly so. I’ve had other authors follow me on Twitter, but I get a different [good]vibe from Michelle – she seems down to earth and genuinely interested in the book blogging community. At only $1.99, I thought I’d give her book a shot, and I wasn’t disappointed. In fact, I probably got more than what I paid for.
A More In-Depth Look
I read this book in the afternoon, then spent the rest of the evening missing Ivy and her friends. I felt similar after reading Harry Potter, though more so because there are more HP books. If Ivy had six more books, I’m sure I’d feel the same way (and I would love to have six more books of Ivy, curiously enough). Michelle Muto really channeled the magic of Harry Potter (no pun intended!) in this book.
Ivy felt like a true 16 year old, beginning to mature but still a teenager – caught between childhood and adulthood. Turning her friend’s brother’s lizard into her date for Halloween (and the following chaos) was hilarious. Spike turned out to be one of my favorite characters, right behind Ivy, Nick and Devlin, the dog. The rest of Ivy’s friends were a great cast of characters – fun, but loyal – and I have no doubts they could have plenty of adventures. Despite being Kindred (witches, vampires, werewolves, demons, and trolls), there were elements of a “typical” teenager life in this book, without being too cliche.
I was able to guess the identity of the person who was using the book of lost souls, as well as the mystery man, but this just made me want to race through the book faster to confirm my guess. I often got impatient with the pace of the book, but rather than being a negative, I think this shows how well engaged I was as a reader, and speaks more to Michelle Muto’s ability to tell a story. Even though this book deals with dark magic and murder, it’s not a dark book.
You Might Enjoy This Book If…
If you’re a fan of paranormal YA, or just paranormal, or just YA, you might enjoy this book. If I’m not a YA reader, and I enjoyed it, you can, too.