G. Bianco, 2019
If you’re looking for a spooky read involving modern witches and ancient demons, then look no further! Sasha Laurens’s debut novel, A Wicked Magic, is a spell-binding YA fantasy-thriller that is out today that will have you wrapped up in every twist and turn.
Dan and Liss are witches. The Black Book granted them that power. Harnessing that power feels good, especially when everything in their lives makes them feel powerless. During a spell gone wrong, Liss's boyfriend is snatched away by an evil entity and presumed dead. Dan and Liss's friendship dies that night, too. How can they practice magic after the darkness that they conjured? Months later, Liss discovers that her boyfriend is alive, trapped underground in the grips of an ancient force. She must save him, and she needs Dan and the power of The Black Book to do so. Dan is quickly sucked back into Liss's orbit and pushes away her best friend, Alexa. But Alexa has some big secrets she's hiding and her own unique magical disaster to deal with. When another teenager disappears, the girls know it's no coincidence. What greedy magic have they awakened? And what does it want with these teens it has stolen?
Set in the wilderness of California's northern coast, this novel has all the witchy/spooky vibes any reader would want in a book about self-made witches. The plot was engaging and will keep readers intrigued as to what will happen next! Additionally, the novel wraps up really nicely and all the loose ends get tied up at the conclusion of the book. However, Laurens hits upon dark topics, including self-harm, suicide, mental health issues, and violence. While it never felt too forced or excessive, there are some major trigger warnings for this book!
Being a young adult book, there was an overarching theme of friendship and the relationships between Dan, Liss, and Alexa. The mending of these girls’ friendships was really well written in that it wasn’t just “forgive and forget”. Liss and Dan had to work to gain each others’ trust back as well and work through their own demons. Even Alexa had her own issues to grapple while trying to maintain her friendship with Dan. However, this novel shows that the bonds of friendship are very hard to truly break and how through hardship, true friends can find their way back to one another.
I am not someone who reads a lot of thrillers, but I found this book to be a great read! Fans of Ninth House or "The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina" would enjoy this stand-alone and become entranced by this stunning debut!
*I received an ARC from Penguin Teen in exchange for my honest opinion.
Hi! My name is Elisa and my bookshelf is quite literally overflowing! Join me in my journey of reading as many books as humanly possible!