Book Review: Spellbinding by Maya Gold

Spellbinding by Maya Gold is a young adult novel. Abby Silva is a geek, with a practically perfect best friend, a peripheral friendship with the most popular boy in school, and powerful ancestors. While doing a project for school Abby discovers that she is descended from a woman accused of witchcraft during the Salem witch trials and just might have her own abilities. A part time job at a small shop and her interest in her possible powers drives a wedge between Abby and her only friend, leads her to discover a boy that might just beat out her long time crush for her affection, and the chance to get much closer to holding the heart of her crush. However, much more is at stake and Abby has a lot to learn about the use of power and its dangers.

Spellbinding is not a new story. Outcast teen discovers they have power, misuses power and discovers that more is at stake than simple crushes and popularity, only to find their soul mate and live reasonably happy ever after in the end. Think The Craft, Teen Witch, and countless others. I am not saying that there is no merit to this premise, or that there is nothing new that can be done with it, just that it did not happen here. The read was okay, just not fabulous. The story started strong, but Abby quickly made me lose the majority of the interest I had in her well being. There is the requisite mean girl, but Abby is the one chasing another girl's boyfriend and flaunting her power over him before he breaks it off with the other girl. By the end of the book, I could not care less about the selfish and childish Abby but I wanted to know much more about Rem. What 'soul mate' just ignores the fact that his lady love was busy casting love spells on another guy while having lunch dates and swimming lessons on the side with him?

Spellbinding is an alright read that younger teens might enjoy. Those that lake coming of age, and particularly coming into power, stories will find some of their favorite things here. However, the main character is immature and there just is not anything new added to the well known premise.
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