A book I yet again, judged by the awesome cover. It had its pros and cons but in the end, didn’t meet to my satisfaction. Even with a busy schedule, I wasn’t as eager to read it. I couldn’t wait to finish it, to be honest. As I’ve said, it had its ups and downs—personally, for me. Many people liked it based on Goodreads reviews, which I can understand why, but unfortunately, I’m not one of them…
Laura Wilson is the heir to an ancient curse.
As a young witch descending from the very powerful trio of witches that had cursed Macbeth, the pressure she faces daily is non-stop. When Laura is forced to participate in her school’s rendition of the classic play, she gives herself a single task: breaking the curse once and for all.
This task proves itself to be more difficult than she ever could have imagined when a miscast spell leads to the summoning of her dead ancestor, Cecily Wilson, one of the very witches that cursed Macbeth.
As Laura attempts to send her resurrected relative back beyond the veil, she is faced with one of the harsh realities of high school—having a crush on her best friend, Holly. However, things only get more complicated as Holly pines after Peter, a lonely, quick-witted vampire.
While she grows closer to Cecily, Laura sees first-hand the true horrors of being a witch in Elizabethan England as demonic forces arise in her little town of Shipley Hollow.
Can Laura break the curse and save her family name before the curtains rise on opening night?
It started off well, clearly to what the blurb explains. From the first chapter, readers gain knowledge about the curse. I loved how the start of the book went. There wasn’t too much info dumping, just enough for readers to grasp the world of the main character, Laura. It was evenly paced that flowed into its build up but from there… it went downhill for me. The world-building at the start was fine for me, but once Cecily (witch who placed the Macbeth curse) arrived and dragged Laura into the past, that’s when I lost interest. It would’ve worked if the flashbacks happened once, but multiple times seemed melodramatic. Lyons tried to make the plot bigger than Laura and the curse, which pulled it away from its essence and what I really expected.
Laura wasn’t a bad main character, to be honest. There were things I admired about her. She wasn’t as complex but straightforward to her goals and what she wanted. She’s a gay witch, but that didn’t alter the plot entirely. It sparked her romantic interest, but Lyons did a good job on not focusing on romance too much. Laura was quirky and brave for that matter. With all that Laura went through, she didn’t stop until she broke the curse. The only thing that put me off was the unexpected humor. I felt like it wasn’t needed or her responses just didn’t fit. It felt forced, but other than that I’m happy for Laura.
"My blood turns to magic and I breathe fire. I inhale fear and exhale resilience." - 83% into the book
Holly and Peter are such great friends! Where do I get them? Holly knew Laura’s a witch and stuck by her side till the end! She was content and went with the flow. She even helped Laura with the curse! Now that’s friendship! I liked how Lyons didn’t incorporate the close friend who had a breakdown halfway through and left because it was all too much for them. It’s often seen a lot in movies, but I’m so happy it didn’t happen here. That would’ve dragged the story along further.
Peter is a vampire, and Holly’s supposed love interest. He has to be my favourite character because he too is supportive. He also needed someone who understood him. And since Lyons wrote TCOTK in Laura’s perspective, readers witness the progression of their friendship.
Apart from all the magic happening, there is a recurring theme of romance. Laura will have doubts because she’s been crushing on Holly for so long but doesn’t want to say anything to ruin their friendship. Laura also notices how Holly isn’t that interested in Peter as the book progresses, but it’s making her realize her genuine feelings. I won’t spoil this part, but I felt like Peter’s character was used for that. For Holly to realize she doesn’t like him. Other than that, I can (sadly) very much imagine this book without Peter.
Sadly, I wasn’t attached to this book like I thought I’d be. The characters, overall, were likable, but the challenges they faced were all too convenient for them to solve. Like Peter having his house to himself so they could live there, Holly’s parents not caring about her so she could join her witch and vampire friends on their mission. The people who helped them didn’t give much of a fight like I thought they would. There wasn’t much of a climax, just a continuous flow until the story ended. It bore me, waiting for it to end because I still wanted to see how things would look like after the curse ended.
"We ecould be standing on the stage of the Globe with Shakespeare himself in the wings." - 89% into the book
Looking at past reviews on this book, I can understand why so many people liked it. However, it just wasn’t my cup of tea. Who knows? Maybe I’m reaching a reading slump… LOL! But I’d still recommend this to anyone out there who wants to read Young Adult Fantasy and doesn’t want to get in deep with the Fantasy.