Saturday, September 8, 2012

Review: Audrey's Guide to Witchcraft by Jody Gehren

Title: Audrey's Guide to Witchcraft
Author: Jody Gehrman
Series: Audrey's Guides #1
Pages: 300
Publisher: Magic Genie Books
Date Published: June 30, 2012
Format: ebook
Genre:Paranormal (YA)
Source: Bewitching Book Tours

Falling in Love, baking a magical cake, fighting an evil necromancer—it’s all in a day’s work for Audrey Oliver, seventeen-year-old witch-in-training. 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:
To be honest I started this book with a bit of trepidation. I've had a rough time with paranormal YA books about witches. There just seems to be so many of them and they've all got pretty much the same plot so I was kind of expecting to be underwhelmed by this one, but guess what. Sometimes the good ones sneak up on you! Audrey's Guide has just enough differences to set it apart from the rest and it has some cute and snarky writing from an author who really knows how to sound like a teen.

We start the book with our main magic girl, Audrey. Of course...she doesn't know she's got magic yet, she just has been experiencing some weird things lately. She steals the words from the local mean girl, has a bad feeling about people before accidents befall them, and the weirdest, keeps seeing a creepy man in things like her custard. Things get worse when Audrey gets home and finds out that the bad feeling she's had about her mom all day is true, she's gone and won't return any messages. Then BAM! Sadie, Audrey and Meg's stylish cousin shows up on their doorstep with a bunch of animals, a crazy style of clothes, and a message from their mom. She's gone back to her family to deal with an emergency and Sadie will be there to babysit until further notice.

At this point, I already felt pretty attached to Audrey. She was really great when defending her best friend Bridget from the spiky verbal barbs of the local mean girl, Dallas. Then when she unintentionally does magic it's pretty hilarious because of her shocked and freaked out reactions to her own spells. Those moments actually brought to mind the first Harry Potter book when he turns his teachers wig blue, flies to the school roof to avoid bullies, and of course releases the infamous python! Audrey is also really protective of her little sister Meg. She has normal sisterly angst about jealousy (coming from the LESS popular twin, I know that it can be a big deal when your sibling seems to be more popular than you!) but when push comes to shove, family is family and Audrey really shines when it comes to protecting her little Meggy.

Okay, so jumping back to the story, Sadie tries to appease the girls, who are freaking out about their mom's disappearance with a party. Meg jumps on the bandwagon with barely a spare thought towards her mom and  just seems to forget that anything weird is happening. Audrey though is still suspicious of her new "cousin". Especially when weird things keep happening like Sadie being able to cook a full 5 course meal in two minutes. Obviously, Sadie is of a more...witchy branch of the family, and for the next few days Audrey falls more and more into the world of being a witch until she doesn't know what to believe anymore. I really liked her transition from confused human to kick ass witch. It was really funny to see her flub-ups and mistakes, but you really felt the accomplishment from her as well when she finally understood something or attempted a spell.

The witchcraft in the book was kind of cool and unique. It wasn't as bubble-gummy and cutesy as some books with the "tongue of dog and double double toil and trouble" to whip up a love potion, but it did have some fun and adorable Sabrina the Teenage witch type magic. I especially loved the wardrobe in a box! I would just LOVE to be able to whip up an outfit based on how I want to feel during a date or how I want to succeed in school. Sounds especially fabulous when it comes with shoes as well!  In addition there was lots of darker magic like blood rituals and voodoo and I loved that there seemed to be a bunch of different types of craft woven together to create a completely different type than any I've seen used in other books lately.

There was really only one area where I had problems. The situation with Audrey's mother. I can understand if there is a magical emergency, and the Clan pulls in its big guns to try and stop the big bad evil. But then...nothing happens. Audrey's mom is gone for MONTHS. Literally two months and the only thing that Audrey hears from her is one tinny phone call that lasts 30 seconds and tells her to keep her sister safe. Not acceptable. How many of you would have accepted your mom just being gone for two months? As much as my mom and I didn't get a long in high school, I would have missed her after a week and been in an absolute panic if my mom was gone for more than a week without me hearing from her. Not to mention how psycho I would have gone to find out what was happening if I received a panicked phone call from my mom that sounds like a death-bed request saying that I needed to keep my sister safe. Then, the worst part was that her mom did NOTHING during these two months. What was she doing the whole time to stop Cormack? Why did it take so long for her to even find her? I just didn't really buy the story and though it provided a somewhat good reason for Audrey's mom to be away while she was just learning her magic, it would have been much more believable if she was more present or had a more believable reason for being gone.  

Audrey's Guide to Witchcraft gets an outstanding 4 out of 5 keys! It's got that quirky spice that decorates a lot of paranormal books but doesn't have all the cliched aspects that I've come to roll my eyes at. I loved the blend between light and fun moments with dark and mysterious bits. Though there were a few plot holes like the mom's disappearance, I had a great time while reading. It was actually one of those books you carry with you everywhere so you can keep reading during every spare moment. I read it during my 10 minute break at Starbucks, in between my classes, and while I was waiting for my Gym to open up...I just couldn't put it down. I definitely will be keeping my eyes open for any more books from Jody especially any more of Audrey's Guides! 


  1. I love me some witchy books. I will definitely be giving this one a try.

    Great review, Andra!

  2. I love this book!! I also gave it a 4 for the rating. :) Great review!
    Leigh | Little Book Star

  3. The only 'witch books' I've read are the Night World books bt L.J.Smith and I really liked it.
    Audrey sounds like a hilarious character and the books sounds great so I think I'll give this a try too.
    Cool review,Andra! :)

  4. Great review! I'll recommend it to one of my cousins :)

  5. Yay! I am so glad that you liked this one. I jumped at the chance to get this one on Amazon when it was free and I can't wait to get the chance to read it. I love witched in YA if it is done right and not formulaic. This one seems to be just the opposite.

  6. I do love stories about witches. I've been lucky to only find the good ones so far.

  7. I like books about witches and am glad to read that you liked this book! I enjoyed watching Sabrina the Teenage Witch on tv so any book that is similar definately sounds good to me! Thanks for sharing your comments :)

  8. I don't read a lot of books about witches but this seems like a nice book. Maybe I will read it soon.

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