Audrey's Guide to Witchcraft by Jody Gehrman
Bree Ogden, Jody Gehrman’s agent, asked on twitter if bloggers would review her book, and I volunteered. Soon I was sent a pdf of awesomeness and I was sent to reviewer heaven.
This book is, as the title announces, the guide book to Audrey’s life as she is introduced to an unexpected magical life. Perhaps best described as a supernatural thriller, it is definitely a coming of age story. It begins the day her journey beings, and that is the day that her mother goes missing. This is the story of Audrey discovering her identity and her new abilities. Instead of other YA lit protagonists who adamantly refuse to accept the changes associated with young adulthood, Audrey wants it. Now. Not because she wants to be more mature and have all the responsibilities-she wants to save her mother from the big bad that threatens them.
Audrey is a believable protagonist. Not perfect, but protective. She makes mistakes. A lot of them. Her heart is always in the right place. She has a talent for baking and science, which help her very special talent. Snarky. Intelligent. Fierce. Funny.
Without her mother, Audrey has to learn from another witch, Sadie. Sadie is cool, beautiful, and has a thing for animals and plants. But she is not the same type of witch as Audrey. It’s slow going, especially considering that Audrey was not raised with the knowledge of her mother’s hidden past. And really, nothing is known about Sadie other than she just showed up...
I like Meg, the little sister. Instead of being the secondary character of blah place-holding, Meg has her own unique characteristics. White-blonde hair, beautiful, seductive, and she's in a band that leaves audiences rapt. She’s not pinned as the annoying character, the sweetheart that everyone loves, or the obvious character to be killed off dramatically. I would have to say that she’s probably more emotionally complex than Audrey.
The “Canadians had only slight accents” bit made me giggle, eh?
The cover is gorgeous! Not really sure where to place Audrey in that red dress, but I will let it slide.
The incantations are not corny but still mysterious and believable. The way that Gehrman writes the alchemy that goes on inside of Audrey is rich with details that make it so convincing.
I kind of wish she wrote in her book more. Even if she just mentioned that she was writing something down in there. She writes down spells and recipes (like one for a killer chocolate cake) and other “How To” lists.
Maybe it is because I am, in fact, not a teen, that I saw the big reveal a mile away. I’d like to ask some teens one day if they saw the trope before the big moment.
The ending has so many loose ends, making it not enough of an ending for me, but it definitely sets itself up for a sequel, which I would be more than overjoyed to read.
I would love to do a book club with this book in the future. It does not have the crass and crudeness that this conservative community might run in fear from while making the cross symbol with their fingers. Okay, it has witchcraft, and that might get them in a tiff, but its good witchcraft! Overall, it is a fantastic book that I highly recommend.