Thursday, February 9, 2012

REVIEW ~ BEWITCHING (KENDRA CHRONICLES), BY ALEX FLINN

Bewitching can be a beast. . . .

Once, I put a curse on a beastly and arrogant high school boy. That one turned out all right. Others didn’t.

I go to a new school now—one where no one knows that I should have graduated long ago. I’m not still here because I’m stupid; I just don’t age.

You see, I’m immortal. And I pretty much know everything after hundreds of years—except for when to take my powers and butt out.

I want to help, but things just go awry in ways I could never predict. Like when I tried to free some children from a gingerbread house and ended up being hanged. After I came back from the dead (immortal, remember?), I tried to play matchmaker for a French prince and ended up banished from France forever. And that little mermaid I found in the Titanic lifeboat? I don’t even want to think about it.

Now a girl named Emma needs me. I probably shouldn’t get involved, but her gorgeous stepsister is conniving to the core. I think I have just the thing to fix that girl—and it isn’t an enchanted pumpkin. Although you never know what will happen when I start . . . bewitching. ~ From GoodReads


What if the fairy tales we all grew up on got it wrong? What if the evil step-sisters weren't so bad, but cruelly manipulated by Cinderella? What if the mermaid didn't get her "happily ever after", but a tragic end? What if the witch wasn't an evil shrew, but just a lonely girl who tries to help others, sometimes with disastrous results? Bewitching, re-telling classic tales through the eyes of the witch, breathes new life into these stories and shows us (to quote my favorite witch, Alex Russo!) "everything is not what it seems".

I have to start by saying that Bewitching caught me completely off-guard. I expected the story to be a little fun and cute, but I didn't expect the lessons learned and to have as much fun as I did! The story is primarily from Kendra's point-of-view, but does switch to the view of the character she is helping at the moment, mainly Emma. Emma is a sweet, but plain girl, bookish and quiet, living a happy life with her mother and step-father. But her life takes a dramatic turn when her beautiful, perfect, and seemingly fragile step-sister Lisette comes to live with them after her mother's death. Emma is desperate for a sister, and wants to be close to Lisette, but it quickly becomes apparent that Lisette is out to destroy Emma, out of jealousy. Because she is so sweet and seems innocent and broken, Lisette (Cinderella?) is automatically given the benefit of a doubt. Emma, who is plain and quiet, rarely has the courage to speak up for herself, is quickly turned into the "evil stepsister". Kendra, for the most part is a quiet observer to Emma's pain, only offering bits of advice. But when Lisette goes too far in her effort to destroy Emma, she decides to step in and help. Will her efforts turn out as tragically as it did with a certain mermaid? Or will she be able to change a life for the better, as she did with the Beast?

Bewitching is the first of Alex Flinn's books I've had the pleasure to read. I had heard about Beastly, but not until it became a movie and that's most likely because I have a super-strong Alex Pettyfer radar. But now I'm sure to hunt more of her books down and read them. The tale is told in a fun, conversational manner that made me feel as if Kendra and I were having a nice, long chat. The stories she wove into Emma's (the night the Titanic sank, a young French prince searching for a wife) were nice asides that expanded upon the lesson Kendra was conveying.

Bewitching, with a clear message about remaining true to oneself, is a great book for young readers. I could absolutely see a reluctant teen (or tween), snatching this book up and devouring it. But, it's also a story that adults, at least those young at heart, can enjoy!

Favorite Quote:

"She stared at me, at my open mouth. 'Now, what are you going to do about it, Emma? Burn me at the stake? Organize a boycott of all the Harry Potter books because they gave me ideas?' "



Hardcover, 336 pages
Expected publication: February 14th 2012 by HarperTeen
You can pre-order Bewitching at:
Barnes & Noble  |  Book Depository  |  Amazon

* I received an ARC of Bewitching from Harper Collins, in exchange for an honest review. *

20 comments:

  1. I just bought Cloaked by Alex Flinn for my nook. It was only $0.99 so I couldn't pass it up. I saw Beastly, but haven't read the book. I really want to get Bewitching, it sounds fantastic. Your review makes me want it now.

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    1. Wow, Cloaked is really cheap! Let me know how it is. I would most likely want to read it, too! Hope you try Bewitching!

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  2. I listened to the audio for Beastly, and I was a little disappointed. I just got Cloaked on the cheap, too, but I don't know when I'll get to it. And, dude, I have a great Pettyfer radar, too. I still can't believe he's not going to be Jace. :C Anyway, I think your assessment is apt...Alex Flinn writes funny, cute stories that reluctant readers will get a lot of enjoyment out of. And maybe they'll take something away from the lessens, too. :)

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    1. Alex Pettyfer is a pretty little thing, yeah? I need to see Beastly, for him if nothing else. I was kind of shattered when I found out he wasn't playing Jace. I had him in my mind as Jace for so long.
      I hope you enjoy Cloaked!

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  3. I saw the Beastly movie recently and really liked it (especially all the parts that featured Alex Pettyfer) !!! Glad you enjoyed this book Andrea :)

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    1. I really need to read/watch Beastly. I think I would like the book better, but never want to miss the chance to see AP onscreen!
      Thanks for stopping by!

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  4. Oh man, I looove twisted fairy tales. I haven't read any Alex Flinn but I'm going to have to put this on my to-read list just based on the fairy tales thing alone. I have seen this one around and previously passed on it because of the generic girl-in-a-pretty-dress cover but I think you've changed my mind.

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    1. It was a neat re-telling. So many books have the "girl-in-a-dress" cover, that none of them stand out anymore.
      I hope you like Bewitched!

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  5. I haven't read any of these books. I heard the movie beastly bombed though. Isn't Vanessa hudgens in that movie? Didn't she have a naked picture with her scary hairy bush? *sings "Isn't it Ironic"

    I really have to try one of her books, or any fairy tale retelling for that matter. :)

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  6. I've heard of Beastly mainly because of the movie. Haven't seen it though. How young of a reader do you think this would be appropriate for? My niece might like this. She's a mature 10yr old.

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    1. I actually think that Bewitching would be fine for your niece, especially if she's mature.
      I hope she enjoys it!

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  7. I just bought Cloaked, and this one sounds really good. I always like the re-telling of stories, especially from different perspectives. I think I will pick this one up next time I am book shopping! Great Review!

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  8. Oh, I love that cover! So misty and beautiful. Glad to hear you enjoyed it!

    Wendy @ at The Midnight Garden

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  9. Oh, I had no idea this book was about that. That's sounds really interesting! I was going to read this someday, anyway, but now I'm curious about how this fairy tale gets changed so radically from the original. Beastly is really good, so I do have faith that I'll like Alex Flinn's other novels. Thanks for the informative review.

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    1. I really need to try Beastly. I've heard Cloaked is good, too.
      Hope you like them!

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  10. I can't wait to read this one. I'm a sucker for all things fairy tale. LOL Great review.

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  11. This was my first Alex Flinn book also but I had a hard time getting into it. I made it to present day (I liked the gingerbread house creepiness lol) but then lost interest. Maybe I should pick it up again and see if it gets better for me. Nice review & I'm glad you enjoyed it.

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