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."
My Review: [I received a copy of this book from the author, Jody Gehrman.] This was a pretty good book! Looking at the cover and reading the back...I wasn't really sure what to expect. Was it supposed to be a funny book? A serious book? The cover looked very paranormal romance-y. I had no idea, so I just dove right in---and I liked it a lot. I wouldn't say this is the best book I've ever read---and it's certainly not the best book by Jody Gehrman I've ever read (that would be her Triple Shot Betty books!)---but it was a pretty amusing book to read, nonetheless! My favorite aspect of it was probably the main character, Audrey. She was so...REALISTIC. She was very sarcastic and a good mix of insecure-teenager with loudmouthed-brat. In fact...the reason I probably liked her so much was that I could RELATE to her so much. Not that I love baking as much as she does---but I could definitely connect to her issues with sibling rivalry, wanting to blend in the crowd AND wanting to stick out and do her own thing, and also wanting to help her quieter, shyer friend stand up for herself.
So, all in all, Audrey was a great character. She seemed a little whiny at times, but I could sort of see how that was understandable, given the chaos in her life! And I thought the way Jody Gehrman portrayed her missing her mom was pretty realistic. Sometimes, in books, when the parents are absent...it's like the main character forgets about them. Audrey never forgot her mom.
The other characters were pretty winning. I liked Audrey's little sister---she was very sassy and in-your-face and fun, and the way she and Audrey bantered were great. And I LOVED Audrey's cousin! She was just the coolest, most unique person! She wasn't too "mystical-magical-wise-Dumbledore-figure", and she also wasn't too normal. She was definitely one of my favorite characters.
As for the magic and the plot itself...it was a tad weak. I did like how the magic seemed very elemental and chemical and very traditional---in that witches actually made potions and spells in cauldrons---because that's a fresh take on magic, these days, honestly. However, the book moved VERY slowly, and in the end, not much actually happened. I did keep reading, because the characters were awesome, but I wish the book had gone a bit faster or there had been a bit more action. I wanted to see more magic. And for all of Audrey's creepy premonitions about the evil guy...her meeting with him with a little anti-climactic. He didn't seem as evil as he should have. So hopefully there will be more action and adventure in the next book!
Cover: The cover's a bit weird and eerie. I do like it---such as that red dress, that's just divine!---but I think they could have picked a better cover for this book. This cover seems very gothic and paranormal romance-ish, and that's not what this book is about. So it's nice, but not very fitting, in my opinion.
Overall Grade: B+