02 junho 2012

Review: A Witch in Winter (Ruth Warburton)

A Witch in Winter by Ruth Warburton
Publisher: Hodder Children's Books (2012)
Format: Paperback | 346 pages
Genre(s): Young Adult, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance
Description (GR): "Anna Winterson doesn't know she's a witch and would probably mock you for believing in magic, but after moving to the small town of Winter with her father, she learns more than she ever wanted to about power. When Anna meets Seth, she is smitten, but when she enchants him to love her, she unwittingly amplifies a deadly conflict between two witch clans and splits her own heart in two. She wants to love Seth, to let him love her – but if it is her magic that's controlling his passion, then she is as monstrous as the witch clan who are trying to use her amazing powers for their own gain." 
Anna Winterson moves from London to a small fishing village after her father lost his job. Starting at a new school (with boys) and making new friends proves to be a little easier than Anna thought: she meets a few girls and a gorgeous (but badass, of course) boy named Seth.

One day her father finds an old book in the old house they're living in. When her new friends come to stay the night they try a love spell and soon Anna has a problem: the gorgeous Seth seems to be obsessed with her.

I liked this book until it devolved into just so much teen angst over (what else) teen love. Very unrealistic. YA authors: people don't behave that way, teenagers included. It's ok to get a little creative but this much? No.

Still it had its good points and at first I liked the characters well enough. Sure, they were very stereotypical and Anna is very meek and normal (she definitely isn't normal heroine material... which was good, in a way), but they were charming. The story was very interesting, although the plot has been used before, I liked the fact that Anna discovered her heritage and powers through trial and error and made mistakes.
But overall there was just so much that was left unexplained: the house, the book, where do witches' powers come from. I know that there will be more books, but these are basic aspects in my opinion. A little more of that and a little less of Seth's almost-creepy, almost-stalking and it would have been fine. The author devoted way too many of the book's pages to the teen love.

At first I thought this was going to be insta-love; then I thought that no, the author managed to turn it around nicely; and then, what a disappointment: it was insta-love (yes, YA authors, professing love after a week is insta-love... not only after the first hours/day).

Basically... the insta-love and the teen angst ruined it for me.

Overall, a nice enough read, but it doesn't stand out in the genre. It could have been better if there were some more revelations about the magic and the witches but the author chose to focus on the teen romance (obsessive and unrealistic, as it's usual) and so much was left unexplained. I really hope she comes back to it later, because the story has potential.

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