Friday, May 22, 2015
Me on Seriously Wicked
Author: Tina Connolly
Release Date: May 5, 2015
The only thing worse than being a witch is living with one. Camellia's adopted mother wants Cam to grow up to be just like her. Problem is, Mom's a seriously wicked witch. Cam's used to stopping the witch's crazy schemes for world domination. But when the witch summons a demon, he gets loose—and into Devon, the cute new boy at school. Now Cam's suddenly got bigger problems than passing Algebra. Her friends are getting zombiefied. Their dragon is tired of hiding in the RV garage. For being a shy boy-band boy, Devon is sure kissing a bunch of girls. And a phoenix hidden in the school is going to explode on the night of the Halloween Dance. To stop the demon before he destroys Devon's soul, Cam might have to try a spell of her own. But if she's willing to work spells like the witch... will that mean she's wicked too?
Seriously Wicked is magical, funny, and complicated. Cam's trying as hard as she can to be normal, but it's not working out anymore, and now she's scrambling to keep everything from exploding.
Camellia's distrust and dislike of 'the witch,' as she calls her adopted mom/possible kidnapper, is very obvious. She doesn't agree with her slightly evil plans. She doesn't want to be a witch. What she wants is to be normal, to not get up at 5:30 every morning to care for the dragon or the werewolf pup or hunt down goat's blood. Keeping secrets from her friend Jeneh and everyone at school, she's trying to balance being a teen and knowing everything witch-related. The trying, and the failing, at balancing brings out Cam's clever snark and sass. There are times when she wants to give up, but she has a good heart in her, and so she soldiers on.
Cam's relationship with Sarmine, 'the witch,' is filled with frustration. Cam refuses to be a witch, to research spells. She doesn't want anything to do with the plot to take control of the city, but Sarmine doesn't listen to her. She drills witchery knowledge into Cam, she makes sure to give her spells to research. It's classic child/parent head-butting. I could easily say that Sarmine is at fault for never listening to Cam, but Cam's just as guilty. They butt heads because they're both so stubborn, both refusing to back down. But it's not quite fair of Sarmine to do spells on Cam, like trapping her in a pumpkin field or stealing her senses, when she doesn't listen to her witchy demands.
The way the author has woven in the witch-related backstory and lore into the modern world is interesting. The different ways they use phones and the internet, the spells and their secret codes. I found it amusing and clever.
I think this book is more about Cam waging war against fate than anything else. She's trying to stay same by not mixing the two halves of her life, the witchery side and the normal teenage girl side. But now with Sarmine's newest plan, it's difficult to keep the two apart. The wall she carefully built between the two is crumbling, and Cam's scrambling to solve everything without going too far into maybe actually being a witch. If you're looking for some humour to go along with your witchery, then give this book a read.
(I received an advance copy of this title to review from Raincoast Books.)