Bewitching (Kendra Chronicles #2)FeaturedHot
Bewitching can be a beast. . . . Once, I put a curse on a beastly and arrogant high school boy. That one turned out all right. Others didn’t. I go to a new school now—one where no one knows that I should have graduated long ago. I’m not still here because I’m stupid; I just don’t age. You see, I’m immortal. And I pretty much know everything after hundreds of years—except for when to take my powers and butt out. I want to help, but things just go awry in ways I could never predict. Like when I tried to free some children from a gingerbread house and ended up being hanged. After I came back from the dead (immortal, remember?), I tried to play matchmaker for a French prince and ended up banished from France forever. And that little mermaid I found in the Titanic lifeboat? I don’t even want to think about it. Now a girl named Emma needs me. I probably shouldn’t get involved, but her gorgeous stepsister is conniving to the core. I think I have just the thing to fix that girl—and it isn’t an enchanted pumpkin. Although you never know what will happen when I start . . . bewitching.
Kendra is unique, spunky, her own person and doesn't take nothing from nobody. She is clever and only wants to help others. I adore that about her and I think honestly she is a good role model for teenage girls. She tries her best to not get involved, or use her 'witch' powers, but wants to help her true friends in anyway she can.
The book starts out with Kendra's back story. A heartbreaking tale of loss from the 1600's (ahem, the plague!). From there we arrive in the present day where Kendra is attending high school with Emma. Emma is in quite the pickle and Kendra is trying to give her hints about it the majority of the book. Once Emma finally picks up on Kendra's hints, she does her best to help Emma discover what she truly wants in life, and it may not be what Emma thought!
This was a delightful read with lots of plot twists, and certainly isn't boring. At first, when Kendra breaks into Emma's story, and gives us a short story on her background, I was upset. I wanted to find out what happens to Emma and didst' want to stop reading about her! However, the little short stories Kendra gives us through the book are incredible (hint: Titanic, The Little Mermaid, etc).
I honestly would love to read more books on Kendra's life and those she has "helped". If you enjoyed BEASTLY (and even if you didn't, but love fairy tales) get this book today!
It starts off showing us the history of Kendra back in 1666, England, where most of her family dies of the plague. She runs off with her one surviving brother and finds a cottage made out of gingerbread. Yes, Flinn takes this classic tale and weaves her own take on it. Then flash forward to the present day and meet Emma at age 13, who finds out her stepfather has a daughter. Lisette's mother just died and will be coming to stay with Emma's family. Emma's mother senses that not all is what it seems with the beautiful Lisette. But after the shock of finding out about having a step-sister, Emma tries to befriend her. Let's just say beauty isn't skin deep.
I loved the twists and turns throughout this story and couldn't put it down. I'd received the galley of CLOAKED to read and decided to read BEASTLY first. So I downloaded a copy on my Nook and couldn't put it down. There's a little of everything: spells, romance, betrayals, and one very cool witch. Emma's character isn't the stereotypical wicked, vain stepsister but rather a studious teen who only longs for her stepfather's love. Lisette also isn't all dark but is more passive aggressive at the beginning then hits hard with insults and even goes as far as stealing Emma's boyfriend.
I totally loved the climax of this story where Emma decides to do something to get her world back and finds out like Scarlet in GONE WITH THE WIND, that maybe what she really wanted, wasn't what she wanted at all.
There's also mentions to LITTLE MERMAID--let's just say this Arial didn't end up like the Disney version; a modern day plain stepsister, and a reference to the Titanic.
Engaging tale with amazing characters, dialogue, and pacing. I can't wait to read more of Alex Flinn's stories. A must read for fans of twists on fairy tales.
2. Loved the POV of Kendra, the witch from BEASTLY
3. Twists and turns with a totally surprising ending
Before I start, let me just say this: I cheated. I did not read book 1 (which happens to be Beastly). Rather, I watched the film. It's safe to say it doesn't continue from book one. It's actually a whole new story (though Kendra does mention her story here and there about how she turned a snotty rich boy in New York into a beast to make him find true love). I'm usually picky about my books, really picky and now I'm trying to figure out if all the books I have rated 1 star is entirely my own fault; all because the female protagonist annoyed me. I'm starting to get that feeling because I was going to drop this book and give it 1 star, then write about how much Emma annoyed me. Smh.
I'm glad I pushed myself to read this because I really want to. I fell completely in love with Beastly and the books are always better than the film itself. It takes time for us to get to know the characters -- whether we're watching a film or reading a book, it does. And to automatically stop watching a film or reading a book because of a certain character is a big no no. We're supposed to wait and see how it all turns out in the end, then we give out judgement. I'm so glad I've learnt this piece of knowledge.
Here's the reason why I'm not giving this 5 stars (Hah! I'm so glad it's not going to be about the main character): Kendra's stories.
When the book first started off, I was patient. Kendra talked about how she came to be who she is. I thought she was finished, but she dedicated over 30 pages talking about it. I let it slide. After reading part 1 of the story with Emma, Kendra speaks about why she should and shouldn't help Emma; again, she dedicated not 30, but 50 pages on Prince Louis and how his mother turned away every girl to become his bride. I gave my eyes a little roll but continued on.
Part two ended with Emma and Kendra was hesitant on helping her because she didn't want poor miserable Emma to be even more miserable due to the fact that her magic sometimes backfires. So Kendra was going to let us read about how she tried to help Doria and her magic backfiring... again it was about 70 pages long so I skipped that whole part. Maybe I shouldn't have, but really, Mrs Finn could have just summarised these short stories into a paragraph or two and move on with the main story we wanted to read.
So that's the reason why I didn't give this book 5 stars. Moving on.
The book was just... how can I put it? Amazing? Heartbreaking? Somewhere along those lines. I laughed off of certain parts, I yelled in anger off of certain parts, and I cheered off of certain parts. You know when a book is well written if it arouses your emotions. I am definitely looking forward to reading more of the Kendra Chronicles. Kendra is a funny, inspiring character with an awesome style and don't-give-a-care attitude that we'll all fall in love with.
I love that though we have the whole “evil stepsister” thing going on it’s not a normal Cinderella story in the least. In fact, Emma often refers to the fairytale in comparison to her situation and questions whether she or her sister would really be the “evil stepsister.” I also really love the Emma doesn’t let her anger get the best of her and wish her sister the worst complexion on the planet and an instant 10 sizes added to her waist. She think about it sometimes, yes, but she never really wants it to happen which makes her pretty fantastic :]
I really like the way Kendra gets to interject every now and then giving her own opinion on the situation. Plus, the stories from the times she meddled in others lives in the name of helping were fantastic. It was fun to make the connections with what fairytales the stories were related to as well as see some (heavily “touched up”) history.
The Nutshell: If you’ve read some of Alex Flinn’s other fairytale retellings such as Beastly and A Kiss in Time then I can almost guarantee you’ll love Bewitching. This isn’t just one fairytale retelling, it’s a big mashup that has little self-contained stories inside of it. This is a fun read, but it’s also a story that focuses on relationships from those of a girl and her first love to a daughter and her father.