Bloodspell by Amalie Howard

Bloodspell is the story of 17-year-old Victoria Warrick, who discovers that she is a witch of unimaginable power. After her parents die in a car accident, Victoria moves from her hometown of New York City to live with her adoptive aunt, Holly in a small town in Maine. There, Tori is teased and brutalized at St. Xavier’s high school until one day she finally fights back, sending herself and two other kids to the hospital with serious injuries. Victoria can’t remember what happened or how… all she knows is that she is definitely not normal.

On the day of her seventeenth birthday, Aunt Holly gives Victoria a vintage music box that the girl’s grandmother left her, containing old letters and a diamond amulet. When Tori begins class at a new high school, she meets a handsome French student by the name of Christian Devereux, who she can’t ignore no matter how cruel he can be. Partnered with the amulet, Christian helps introduce Victoria to a dark and sinister world unlike anything she’s ever seen.

Bloodspell is a decent novel –I’m rarely able to finish a book I don’t enjoy, and I did finish this – but there is one major problem that made my reading less than voracious: Bloodspell is chocked full of very formulaic clichés. Every book has clichés, and in general they can be helpful, but Bloodspell had too many of them in rapid succession. Often, I knew exactly what was going to happen way before it occurred, and that is definitely not a good thing where suspense and intrigue are concerned.

Bloodspell has a shocking coming-of-age revelation on a teenage girl’s seventeenth birthday, forbidden love with a boy of another species/class, a girl with unstoppable power that she can’t control, a love triangle, dead parents, a main character who’s a social outcast, an enigmatic, mysterious, foreign boy that our heroine can’t stand, but ends up falling in love with, a vampire with morals, and many other boring, predictable plot devices. It’s hard to care about characters when you can only see them as tropes.

Victoria has potential as a compassionate but strong heroine, but she falls flat by the halfway point of the novel when she realizes she’s fallen for Christian and stops possessing even a sliver of a personality. I’m really starting to tire of the obligatory romance in young adult novels. I haven’t read a single one without it all year, and most fall short. I’m a lovesick romantic, but even I can only take so much more of this.

Maybe this just proves I read too much. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t be so used to the same clichés and they probably wouldn’t bother me as much. But for an over-read cynic, Bloodspell just doesn’t offer anything to set it apart from the countless other supernatural YA novels that have been released recently.

   

Sydnee is a freshman at Wayne State University pursuing a degree in Journalism. She is obsessed with hunky heroes, explosions, melodrama, and magic—all things that make a frequent appearance in her stories. Her blog is http://syd-dreams.blogspot.com. Find her on Figment at http://figment.com/users/62-Sydnee-Thompson.

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