Thursday, June 11, 2015

Review: Seriously Wicked by Tina Connolly

When I first saw the cover and read the synopsis for the book, I knew that what I'd be getting was something quick and fun. And it was, but more than that it was ridiculous. Something that is funny and light-hearted should still have some depth, and maybe even an intricate plot. Seriously Wicked had neither. Almost nothing in the novel was portrayed in a realistic manner, and it was hard to get invested in the story. Before reading, I was excited to know that there would be some otherworldly creatures in the book, but neither the werewolves, dragons, or llama unicorns - I totally just said that - were believably presented. This book turned out to be such a huge disappointment.

While reading, and even when I think back on it, the book felt like a Disney Channel movie. It has cutesy characters that lack any sort of importance or complexity, and it had a very predictable plot with an overused moral. The first few pages of the novel held promise, but after that it devolved into something so childlike I couldn't stand it. Even though the world was in danger, the main character, Cam, was too busy worrying about whether or not Devon, the boy she had a crush on, returned her feelings and being jealous about all the people he kissed even though she knew he had been harboring a demon at the time. Like, hello? Somebody needs to get her priorities straight. Nothing in the book connected with me in any way, and it was hard to believe that these characters were in high school - they sure didn't act like it.

I know that one of the main reasons I first added this book to my TBR was because of the romance. I thought it would be interesting how a teen romance would play out when the love interest had a demon inside of him. While it was fun seeing Devon go from cute band boy to arrogant, confident, hot boy, I felt like there was no real purpose to any of it while I was reading. Besides, the transformation was barely surface deep and stopped interesting me after the first two times I saw him. I was actually surprised the romance didn't end up having more to it since at the beginning it had seemed so much more promising. At the end though, I realized the romance barely made sense. The first time we meet Devon, he barely glances at Cam, but a short while after that they can't stop staring at each other. There are a few less than meaningful moments between her and demon Devon throughout the rest of the book, and suddenly at the end they're basically an official thing. Ummmm, no. Maybe this would have played out better in a tween movie, but it didn't work out at all in the novel.

The most significant thing I found about this book was the one plot twist that took place closer to the end of the novel, and even that I had seen coming from a mile away. There seemed to be little clues throughout the novel scattered here and there, so when the moment comes that the witch's biggest secret is revealed, the reader isn't even surprised. Besides, I found the magic-filled reasoning behind that plot twist rather unbelievable. Everything had too easy an explanation, and some things didn't even have one. I feel that the purpose of the story was to tell Cam's coming-of-age, but I don't feel that she really grew. She stopped being ashamed of who she was and she began to trust her friend more than she ever did before, but underneath, she remained the same exact person. Maybe I'm too old for this book, I don't know, but I just didn't enjoy it.

My biggest problem with the novel as a whole is that the tone of the story and the lack of dimension to the characters made this feel like anything but a Young Adult book. The storyline and other aspects made it feel like more of a Middle Grade read than anything, and even after coming to that conclusion I find it doubtful whether I ever would have been amused by a book such as this one. The immature voice, the simple characters, and the bizarre running around occurring throughout the plot made Seriously Wicked a hard book to take pleasure in, and maybe one that I'd recommend to an elementary schooler.

Book Synopsis: 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?

Source: A copy was purchased for my Kindle.

Title: Seriously Wicked
Author: Tina Connolly
Publication Date: May 5, 2015
Publisher: Tor Teen
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Magic
Pages: 208 pages