Witches. Alternate universes. Romance. This comes across as a really awesome book – especially for a certain YA audience. But you need more than a spell-binding subject to hold a reader.
The story deals with Lily Proctor (and BOOM – literary allusion and a connection with witchcraft). Lily has a number of allergies – many life-threatening – which keeps her from enjoying the teenage life that most high-schoolers get to enjoy. She’s determined to get out an enjoy at least one party but is totally embarrassed and wishes she could disappear. Wham! She’s now in a different Salem, with horrible creatures and strong women called Crucibles (hmm…let’s get heavy-handed with allusions). In New Salem, everything that made Lily an oddball freak among her peers now makes her a force to be reckoned with. But the Lily who had been in New Salem is now taking her place in the Old Salem. Is either Lily living a life without danger. Is she a threat to herself?
This sounded like a pretty interesting book but I mostly found it just dull.
There are the usual YA tropes: a young girl whom no one understands; a young girl all alone against the world; a young girl who is needed for her ability which no one else can do; brooding and lots of pathos from the central character. While I’m not a fan of this typical YA style, I can work with it if the story (or character or SOMEthing) sucks me.
But nothing did.
Okay…I’m not a teenage girl and never have been, so I recognize that there are things I’ll just never experience, but Lily’s obsession with ‘bad’ boys (the cheating dude in Old Salem and the rough dude in New Salem) is on her. It’s really sad when a book about a teenage girl isn’t really so much about her but about two guys and how she feels about them.
I give this two stars because the idea is interesting but the execution fails.
Looking for a good book? Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini is a YA book full of the typical teen-girl angst , but instead of offering up a heroine who inspires we get just another girl who’s too good to be true – naturally, she doesn’t have to work for it – but who lets herself be consumed by the bad boys around her.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
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Trial by Fire
author: Josephine Angelini
series: Worldwalker #1
publisher: Feiwel & Friends
hardcover, 374 pages