The Midnight Spell
On both counts the bullies are right.
Their junior year in high school seems destined to be the same old same old until Christy decides to cast a love spell for Adam at the midnight hour. After nothing seems to happen, Adam is convinced he will spend the rest of his high school years without someone special. That is until the next day when an alluring and mysterious new boy enrolls at school and sets hearts a flutter, including Adam’s.
Meanwhile, Christy’s mad crush on the handsome jock, Ian, seems to be going nowhere fast and she’s determined to change her luck and her destiny. Struggling to capture the heart of Ian while trying to come into her full witch powers are tough enough, but when a great evil arrives in town that threatens everything they hold dear, she realizes that finding a boyfriend is the least of her and Adam’s worries.
Soon Adam, Christy, their potential love interests, and their good friends Drifter and Olivia, will have to battle a force of darkness that has killed before in their town and will again.
Christy is approaching the age of her powers awakening. Christy desperately wants her full-blown witchy powers, and keeps trying to perform spells in hopes that they'll turn her powers on full blast. Her latest plan is a spell at midnight to bring her bestie Adam's perfect guy to town. Adam doesn't wholly believe in Christy's magical abilities, but he hopes, tired of being alone and picked on for his sexuality.
Adam and Christy both really stick out in their whitebread, small town. Christy's been called a witch since she was young, her tendency to wear dark clothing not really helping matters. Red-headed Adam has been picked on for being gay for years too, even though he hasn't actually come out. They're lucky to have each other, though, and their social butterfly friend, Drifter. I would have liked to see a bit more of Christy and Adam's friendship before the midnight spell kicked the plot into motion, but I love their bond, and that the story is told from the POV of a straight girl and her gay best friend.
The plot includes some paranormal mayhem, but definitely keeps more to the funny than the creepy, which is a nice change of pace from paranormal stories that take themselves super seriously. There are some paranormal creature reveals at the end that definitely made me chuckle. The focus, though, is really on the romances: Adam's with mysterious new hottie Mark and Christy's with her long-time crush Ian.
What Left Me Wanting More:
The one thing that cut down on my enjoyment a little bit was my indifference towards Mark and Christy. I don't dislike either of them, but I never got a real sense of them as people. I would have assumed that Boye and Frater each took one of the perspectives to write, but Christy and Adam read too similarly to me. I had a bit of trouble keeping whose section I was reading straight.
On the other hand, I loved the secondary characters. They are made of sass and awesomeness. Callie, Christy's cat familiar, and the broom really steal the show. They're also super dependable and a bit snarky. Yes, a broom can be kind of snarky. Oh, and both Adam and Christy have super caring, present parents, with the exception of Adam's dad who's gone months at a time for work but who obviously loves his family a lot. The three parents are all a hoot. Oh, also, there's Drifter, who I totally want to hook up with Christy, because he's way smarter and more interesting.
The Final Verdict:
The Midnight Spell is a highly fun paranormal self-pub. The ARC version I read had very few errors, so I imagine the finished copy will be pretty spotless, so, if you're interested, feel no fear! I'm definitely looking forward to reading some of Frater's darker novels.