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Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Book Review: The Truth Spell (Werewolf High, Book #1)

My Rating: 
Book: The Truth Spell (Werewolf High, Book #1)
Author: Anita Oh
Pages: 128 pages
Release date: November 21st 2015
Synopsis:
As soon as I stepped onto the grounds of Amaris High, I knew I'd made a big mistake. I could never fit in at such a snobbish school – I was more IT girl than "it girl". But then I saw him.

Sam Spencer. My childhood best friend. But it couldn't be. Sam Spencer had died three years ago, on the night that changed everything. I need to know what happened, why he's suddenly not dead and is hanging out with a bunch of rich kids.

When the school is hit by a truth spell, it seems like the perfect chance to find out what Sam and his creepy new friends are hiding, but the weirder things get, the less I'm sure I want to know. Even for Sam, even for the free food, Amaris High might be more trouble than it's worth.


My Review:

I received a copy through the YA Bound Book Tour to read and review in return.

The Truth Spell is a relatively short YA story where magic meets werewolves in a very mystical school. Anita Oh's debut novel is about a young teen, Lucy O'Connor, who receives a scholarship to study at the most prestigious school in the world, called Amaris High. Lucy for one doesn't actually understand why she got this scholarship, as in her wildest dreams she would never be able to afford to go to such a school. She is just a simple IT fanatic who doesn't expect much from her life or from others... or so it seems.
Things start to drastically change in her life the moment she sets foot onto the school grounds. Not only is the school segregated in the most unusual way, but some of the students and teachers seem to act a little strange and suspicious. On her first day of orientation, she catches a glimpse of someone she thought she would never see again in her entire life... Sam Spencer; her long lost best friend who mysteriously disappeared, assumed dead, through a tragic and horrific accident.

Lucy O'Connor is determined more than ever to find out the truth and won't let anybody or anything stop her or get in her way.

Unfortunately, I was not completely blown away by this book. As much I wanted to like it, there were just certain qualities which bothered me too much. First off, I found the book to be way too fast paced, so much to the point that I felt I hardly was granted the chance to get to know the characters sufficiently. Lucy O'Connor's background and family were introduced as if the author was in a rush and I found it was rather done in a smattery and indifferent manner. I think this is such a pity as I didn't feel like I knew Lucy well enough to empathize or connect with her. The lack of “indepthness” was not only present through the character (developments), but also the story itself. There was solely little revealed and explained about the history of the school and its students. It seems that the world which this story was set in is different to the world we know. Teens going to this school are literally so rich and powerful, their parents are practically known to own and control major parts of the economy or even the world. But this system was hardly touched upon and I would have loved to learn more about it in the first book.

Lucy’s character did not move me at all. As I have mentioned before, I found I was given sparse material or details to truly connect with her, and half the time I found her a little tedious. I also found her actions and emotions to be slightly unbelievable. The rest of the characters that came forth in the book seemed to be as vague as the protagonist and almost insignificantly involed that I wouldn't miss some of the characters if they were never put in the story in the first place. The story’s writing style is very simplistic and to the point, and I felt this book was more intended for younger teenagers rather than young adults.

None the less, I truly do appreciate what Anita Oh has accomplished in her debut novel. The concept of the story is quite likeable, and I genuinely feel you should give this novel a chance! I know for a fact that many readers are a true fan of The Truth Spell and will definitely continue on the adventure with Lucy O’Conner in the next installments to come... but unfortunately I will not be one of them.