Saturday, January 19, 2013

Book Review: Audrey's Guide to Witchcraft by Jody Gehrman


Audrey's Guide to Witchcraft by Jody Gehrman
Series: #1 in the Audrey's Guides series
Release Date: June 30, 2012
Publisher: Magic Genie Books
Pages: 293
Received: Review copy from author
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Goodreads Page



Summary

From Goodreads: 

Falling in Love, baking a magical cake, fighting an evil necromancer—it’s all in a day’s work for Audrey Oliver, seventeen-year-old witch-in-training.

When her mother goes missing and her twenty-one-year-old witchy cousin shows up out of the blue, Audrey knows something’s gone horribly, dangerously wrong. Now it’s up to her to get her own magical powers up to speed before everyone she loves is destroyed by the sorcerer intricately connected to her mother’s secret past.



Review

Audrey has best friend potential

Audrey is my favorite type of main character: She's honest, real, a little insecure, not perfect, but her heart is in the right place and she always tries to do right by those she loves. Think girls like Gwen Frost from the Mythos Academy series or Mel from Crown Duel. I can instantly relate to this type of character.

The secondary characters were, for the most part, just as good as Audrey. Her love interest easily falls into the category of "nice guy" and while I usually find this kind of guy a little bland and boring, Julian's persistence and adorable attempt at cooking totally won me over.

But romance isn't the only relationship explored. I love it when authors provide MCs with non-romantic relationships, and Jody totally delivered on this front. From Audrey's best friend to her cousin to her sister, each character is fully developed and their relationships with Audrey grow and deepen throughout the book.

First time witches and magical mysteries!

While I think the strength of Audrey's Guide to Witchcraft is more in the characters than plot, I did still like the plot (even if it is a little wandering). I'm a huge sucker for the "new witch learning about her powers" topic, and Jody Gehrman gave me pretty much everything I wanted on that front (except laugh out loud humor. I was really hoping for another basketball or closet scene).

Another bonus were the witchy gadgets and spells Jody Gehrman introduced. There were a lot of, "That's so cool! I WANT IT!" things, which is half the reason I love reading books like this in the first place.

While Audrey's learning what it means to be a witch and exploring her budding romance with Julian, she's also engaging in some detective work. *sigh* I love a character who sleuths. Audrey has a few mysteries on her plate and following along as she pieced together the clues was a lot of fun (even if a few points were kinda obvious).

The only downside?

Cackling evil villain. I had a feeling this was coming, but the final climax confirmed all my suspicions. The villain had very little depth and while they had an explanation for their behavior, it still pretty much added up to, "Because I'm evil!" and that was a total bummer. I was doubly let down considering how well Jody developed her other characters.

But that's ok. Maybe it's because I'm a big fantasy fan, but I've learned to brush off mediocre villain reveals as long as the journey is worthwhile. And I definitely enjoyed the journey here.

Bottom line

I will for sure continue with Audrey's journey in the next book. I have a feeling this series is going to be another comfort read for me, and while those books aren't necessarily mind-blowing, they're always good to kick back and relax with. I'm a character girl, and these are characters I can easily spend more time with.

The big showdown happened and everything was wrapped up mostly ok, but there are definitely a few major loose ends left dangling. I don't think it's a rip-you-hair-out cliffhanger though, and the plot is simple enough that I'm not too worried about forgetting major plot points by the time the sequel comes out. I don't think it's necessary to hold off on reading until all the books in the series have been published.

Added bonus? There are recipes in this book!


Explanation of rating system: Star Rating Key 

Do you have any questions about Audrey's Guide to Witchcraft that I haven't addressed? 
Feel free to ask in the comments!


Looking for another book like this? 
You might like: 

Click on the covers to go to my reviews.

29 comments:

  1. I've seen this book around and since I've enjoyed Gehrman's writing before, I considered picking it up. I've just had so many other books in my pile. I would probably really like Julian so that's a bonus!

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    Replies
    1. YES, you will probably love Julian! This one wasn't as funny as her other books though.

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  2. Ooh! I need a witchy series this year, so this might be it! Great review!

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  3. Replies
    1. Thanks! Hope you enjoy it if you decide to read it :)

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  4. Wow, I'm surprised you liked this one, I've generally heard it was kinda bad. Uh, so now it's officially moving to the mixed-reviews category! =)
    I hope it keeps on being good for you.

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    1. The villain part was pretty bad, but I liked Audrey and her relationships with the other characters enough to look past that part. Library reserve?

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  5. This sounds really cute! Not so sure about the villain, though...that kind of irks me. But apart from that, I may give this one a go! Thanks, Small! :) <3

    Sierra @ Yearning to Read

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    1. Yeah, you'd definitely be frustrated with the villain. I think you'd like the parts I liked though, so maybe check it out at the library first?

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    2. For sure! I always love the library for that, even though mine often doesn't have jack. (I think we've had this conversation before? Haha!) But in any case, I'll be looking into it!

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    3. We have! And I can now sympathize :( My new library has a pretty decent collection, but it's not nearly as great as my old library system and everything is ALWAYS checked out! Boo! Hope you can find it :)

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  6. This book sounds really cute. I am sure that I will read it some day. Characters are what make a book for me, so if you say this book has great characters it deserves a place on my TBR. Thanks for the review.

    Sara @ Just Another Story

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    1. Me too! I'm swayed much more by good characters and I can overlook a lot in terms of plot if I connect with the characters, which is what happened her. Hope you enjoy it!

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  7. The cackling villain was a bit much but I did love the other characters & her writing was almost flawless!

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    1. I agree! Even more disappointing for me than the villain was the lack of humor though. I LOVED how funny her book Babe in Boyland was and there was definite potential here for that kind of side-splitting humor.

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  8. :( cackling villains! Oh no!! It is nice, though, when you can relate to the main character and the secondary characters. Maybe the sequel will round out the villain?

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    1. That's what I'm hoping. I have my fingers crossed that the plot of book two will pick up and the villain will match the other characters in terms of development.

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  9. Wow! The cover of this one is pretty creepy in my opinion!

    I love when books have cool objects or gadgets that make you go "Want it!" That's definitely a plus for me! I also like characters and sleuthing, but I'm a little more critical of the wandering plot... so we'll see on this one.

    I am tolerant of the cackling villain... hehe. I don't know why. I definitely prefer a backstory, but a cartoony villain doesn't bug me so much so long as they're still scary.

    I need a few comfort reads, so I'll keep this one in mind!

    Lauren @ Hughes Reviews

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    1. I agree, I find the cover creepy too. It doesn't really make me think of the book, either.

      I think this villain was sufficiently scary, so you might like them.

      Hope you like it!

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  10. A guy who cooks? He can be a little nice as long as he cooks. Also, I may be all about the romance, but I love non-romantic relationships in books, too. I think I just love all kinds of relationships. They're so....human.

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    1. Erm, well, don't get so excited about the cooking part. SHE is a much better cook. He tries (and is very sweet about it) :) I'm with you on the relationships front. I love a good non-romantic relationship (I LOVE friendship brothers in arms relationships).

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  11. I hadn't heard of Gehrman--I think I will look for her humorous books; though a MC like Mel and a guy who can cook sound pretty appealing, so I'll probably try this one too.

    I bet you'd really like Hold Me Closer Necromancer, by Lish McBride. Have you read it and it's sequel? Very funny.

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    1. Oh my, I can't recommend her book Babe in Boyland enough. The funny scenes alone are worth it.

      Oh? I have Hold Me Closer Necromancer on my TBR! I keep meaning to check it out of the library but then I push it down my list in favor of something else. I'll bump it up toward the top of my list again. Thanks!

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  12. Great review, I think I would appreciate this book. I'm glad you finally found a character you really like again. Do you know if this is a trilogy?

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    1. Yes, I think you would like it too. I'm not sure if it's a trilogy. It's definitely a series, but I'm not sure how many books are projected at this point.

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  13. What a scary looking cover! This one sounds interesting, though.

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    1. I agree! I don't love the cover and it doesn't really "fit" the book to me.

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  14. But cackling evil villains can be AWESOME.

    :)

    I have had this one for awhile, I must read it soon! I liked the author's Babe in Boyland--a lighthearted, fun read, which sounds like this is, too.

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

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