Monday, March 12, 2018

Book Review: The Price Guide to the Occult by Leslye Walton

The Price Guide To The Occult 
by Leslye Walton
Publication Date: March 13, 2018 
by Candlewick
Genre: Young Adult, Magical Realism, Fantasy
Pages: 288
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: eARC
Goodreads │Amazon │Kindle
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ (4/5 Stars)
The Blackburn women are cursed. Ever since the extraordinary witch Rona Blackburn landed on Anathema Island centuries ago and was shunned by the eight "original" settlers, Blackburn witches have been doomed to carry out a brief whirlwind affair with a descendant of the Original Eight. The vengeful curse, however, had unintended side effects: it diluted the Blackburns' supernatural powers. That's perfectly all right with seventeen-year-old Nor Blackburn. All she wants is a quiet, unremarkable life—her powers are blissfully unexceptional, her love life pretty much nonexistent. Nor hopes the curse has played itself out through enough generations that she'll finally be spared the drama. But when a mysterious book comes out promising to cast any spell for the right price, Nor senses a dark storm headed straight for Anathema—and straight for her.
*I received the advanced reader's copy of this book from the publisher for review.  This does not affect my opinion or the content of my review.  All thoughts/opinions are my own.  This post contains affiliate links.  I am an Amazon affiliate and I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase through one of my links.

I love stories featuring witches or anything paranormal so when I read the synopsis for The Price Guide to the Occult, I knew I had to read it.   I never read anything by Leslye Walton before, but I do own her book, The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender, and I heard great things about that book so I was definitely excited to read her latest novel.  This story did not disappoint.  It had all kinds of witchy action and paranormal craziness that made for an intriguing story.  Walton's writing is so beautiful and I'm really glad I got the chance to read the advance reading copy of this book.

The main character, Nor Blackburn, just wants a normal quiet life, which is impossible since she comes from a family of witches.  Nor lives with her grandmother, Judd, since her horrible mother, Fern, left when she was younger.  Nor is just coming into her powers and her quiet life is about to get crazy.       

I love when books feature strong and powerful female characters and Nor was definitely a strong main character.  She was also a very real and well rounded character*.  Nor's grandmother was another strong character that I really loved.  There were also some interesting side characters, especially Nor's eccentric best friend, Savvy.  

There were some parts of the story that dragged a little for me, but, overall, I found this to be an intriguing, well written, and atmospheric story.  You should definitely check this book out, especially if you love paranormal young adult fiction (and witches!).

*Trigger warning for self harm in this book.


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