July 26, 2012

From the Book Stack: Witches of East End by Melissa de la Cruz


Witches of East End (The Beauchamp Family)

by Melissa de la Cruz

Amazon | Goodreads


272 pages

Published: June 21, 2011 by Disney-Hyperion


The three Beauchamp women--Joanna and her daughters Freya and Ingrid--live in North Hampton, out on the tip of Long Island. Their beautiful, mist-shrouded town seems almost stuck in time, and all three women lead seemingly quiet, uneventful existences. But they are harboring a mighty secret--they are powerful witches banned from using their magic. Joanna can resurrect people from the dead and heal the most serious of injuries. Ingrid, her bookish daughter, has the ability to predict the future and weave knots that can solve anything from infertility to infidelity. And finally, there's Freya, the wild child, who has a charm or a potion that can cure most any heartache.


For centuries, all three women have been forced to suppress their abilities. But then Freya, who is about to get married to the wealthy and mysterious Bran Gardiner, finds that her increasingly complicated romantic life makes it more difficult than ever to hide her secret. Soon Ingrid and Joanna confront similar dilemmas, and the Beauchamp women realize they can no longer conceal their true selves. They unearth their wands from the attic, dust off their broomsticks, and begin casting spells on the townspeople. It all seems like a bit of good-natured, innocent magic, but then mysterious, violent attacks begin to plague the town. When a young girl disappears over the Fourth of July weekend, they realize it's time to uncover who and what dark forces are working against them.


With a brand-new cast of characters, a fascinating and fresh world to discover, and a few surprise appearances from some of the Blue Blood fan favorites, this is a page-turning, deliciously fun, magical summer read fraught with love affairs, witchcraft, and an unforgettable battle between good and evil.

Hmmmm…where to begin, where to begin? I really had high hopes for this book because it was about witches, something that I have always loved as a subject whether it is a book or a movie. However, I was disappointed in this book until the last 30 pages (that means there were 240 pages were a lot of what I’ll call grasping for straws).


From my understanding this is the first novel that de la Cruz has written for adults and is better known for her YA series Blue Bloods (which I have never read, in fact Witches of East End is the first book I have read by de la Cruz). But for me this read like a YA novel as well, the only things that made it seem adult are that the characters are older and there are a few graphic sex scenes, which leads me to the grasping of straws.


The sex scenes in this book, for me, felt out of place if you will. As in they were added to help sell books. In other books I have read I haven’t had a problem with them because they were warranted for the story line, but like I said these were just a little too much. Another thing that felt a little out of place to me was the Blue Blood (vampire) characters. They briefly pop in but then they are never brought up again. I understand that this is a series and maybe they will play a role in the story but as of now they just feel like another tactic to sell books. In other words there was a lot of valuable space for the actual storyline wasted on marketing tools in my book.


There was also a lot of teasing. Something would happen and you would think, “Oh, maybe now something will happen.” But it never did, well at least not until the last 30 pages anyway. There also wasn’t that much background until the last 30 pages too. You know how in most first books of a series you get at least some background right away so you understand everything that is going on. Yea, there wasn’t a whole lot of that. There was a lot of hinting and alluding to what possibly happened in the past but never anything concrete to about the end. I’m not going to lie; I was pretty frustrated at times because I didn’t know what the heck was going on exactly. But I digress.


But aside from that I really did like this book. I fell in love with the characters, I liked that each witch has her own specialty and weakness, and I could relate to each one is some way. There are also some minor characters in the community that are adorable and I hope to see how their stories play out as well.  Plus in those last 30 pages there is a twist that blew my mind as well as quite the cliffhanger in the epilogue (which makes me want to pick up the next book in the series soon).


So I know I kind of bust some chops with this book, but don’t get me wrong it was a nice story and one that I can’t wait to continue. I just hope that there is less teasing, less marketing ploys and more meaningful content in the next book.


My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 checkers