April 10, 2013

Review of Spellbinding by Maya Gold



There’s more than one way to be powerful . . .

It is during a routine school project that Abby Silva–sixteen and nearly friendless–makes a startling discovery: She is descended from women who were accused of witchcraft back in 1600s Salem. And when Abby visits nearby Salem, strange, inexplicable events start to unfold. Objects move when she wills them to. Candles burst into sudden flame. And an ancient spellbook somehow winds up in her possession.

Trying to harness her newfound power, Abby concocts a love potion to win over her longtime crush–and exact revenge upon his cruel, bullying girlfriend. But old magic is not to be trifled with. Soon, Abby is thrust headlong into a world of hexes, secrets, and danger. And then there’s Rem Anders, the beautiful, mysterious Salem boy who seems to know more about Abby than he first lets on.

A reckoning is coming, and Abby will have to make sense of her history–and her heart–before she can face the powerful truth.

add to goodreadsSpellbinding by Maya Gold
Publication Date:  April 1, 2013
Publisher:  Scholastic Point

Available for Purchase:
Chapter-Indigo | amazon | B&N | TBD | indiebound

I couldnt’ find a trailer, so here’s a song!
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** This title was provided to us by the Publisher for an honest review.
We were in no way paid for our opinions **

Gabby NewIt’s been a while since I last read a novel about teenage witches and I have to admit that I have a soft spot for the genre (if it could be considered a genre, maybe a sub-genre?). After reading the seriously awesome, not to mention heart-stopping, prologue to Spellbinding by author Maya Gold I had a feeling that it would be a lighthearted and quick read that I would enjoy every moment of.

Spellbinding follows the life of main character Abby Silva who, after turning sixteen, has been having strange dreams and has noticed even stranger “coincidences” happening all around her. After being assigned a school project to track down her family tree she discovers that she is a descendant of a woman who was accused of being a witch during the Salem Witch Trials. During a trip to Salem, Abby ends up meeting Rem an attractive teenage boy who works down at the local café. However it looks like Rem may be hiding more than he seems and has taken a liking in Abby.

After her first trip to Salem, she finds herself with a strange handwritten spell book that appeared literally out of nowhere. Abby is quickly caught up in a world where she can control flames, where any spell or potion that she concocts works and where she is no longer the underdog: Abby has power that she wasn’t aware she held and now that she knows how powerful she is all she wants is to learn to bend her abilities to her will. It starts with a love potion and it ends with Abby learning about a deadly plot that involves her immense power and family secrets that were left buried. Everything Abby has ever known is threatened but she will need to figure out the past to understand her future and must come to terms with what she knows in her heart.

I really think that a lot of teenage girls will be able to relate to the novel’s protagonist Abby. She’s the type of character that starts off as a meek girl that is bullied by the cliché popular girl group and, after finding it inside of her, stands up for herself. Abby is the type of main character that a lot of girls will be able to place themselves into because not only does Abby have the same insecurities that a lot of girls go through, but she also has some of the same problems. Sure not every girl discovers that they’re an all-powerful witch descendant but they do go through the same drama and I think Abby will inspire a lot of girls that are in their early teens.

There is a lot of romance in this novel and I liked that it was all very “first love of my life”. I didn’t expect Abby to go to the lengths she did to ruin the life of her bully Megan—she makes a love potion. Stealing another girl’s boyfriend is bad guys, even if she is the living breathing embodiment of cruelty. You don’t do that girls, you just don’t, even if the boy in question is the guy you’ve had a crush on since forever. I did enjoy that Abby and Rem do have a budding romance between the two of them however there was a concept that really grinded my gears: A witch’s kiss makes another witch… or makes a witch a witch permanently. Confusing, I know.

One thing that really set me back from the novel was the way Abby’s bullies bullied her. When the clique is first introduced the girls act like they are literally in elementary school… and it really bothered me. Teenage girls don’t act like they’re nine. They spread rumors, gossip and threaten to ruin your social life at any means necessary. The way that the bullies even spoke to Abby was very clichéd and really irked me. There were still scenes where the bullies would threaten Abby physically, but considering that the characters are portrayed as girls that wouldn’t do anything that would get their hands dirty I felt that some of their actions were unrealistic towards the plot.

The ending of Spellbinding is very to the point and had my heart gushing. Do I think that there will be a sequel? Not from Abby’s POV, but I do hope I get to see more in the Spellbinding universe. I’d recommend Spellbinding to fans of the supernatural, readers who are looking for a quick, fun read and for teen readers that are looking for a main character that they can relate and look up to.


About the Author:


Maya Gold grew up in New Jersey, a few towns north of Diana’s home in Weehawken. Now she lives in upstate New York with her fashion–forward teenage daughter and a very friendly dog. Maya writes books and magazine articles, and in her spare time, she coaches a high school drama club. Cinderella Cleaners is her first series for young readers.


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