13547454Reviewed by Sara Drake

Jessie Ralle, along with her high school graduating class, head to Vegas for an unauthorized weekend of partying. Her best friend manipulates the situation to ensure that Jessie’s ex-boyfriend, Jimmy, rides to Vegas in the same car, giving the two a chance to reconnect. Jessie remains hung up on Jimmy and approaches his apology with mixed feelings. The Las Vegas adventure proceeds as one would expect, a little fun and a little drama. Until Jessie finds herself playing 21 and she meets a mysterious man that changes the direction of her life forever.

I had a few problems with Witch World. First problem was that the female character acted and thought more like a man than a teenage girl which kept confusing me. From her inner voice, she appears to be an all-American, mostly innocent young woman. Yet, she decided to lose her virginity without even a momentary qualm about the decision. She chose to sit at a Las Vegas card table with a man who had just offended her best friend rather than leaving with her friend when asked. She accepted that her friend hooked up with a significantly older gentleman, spending the weekend with him, and did not once worry about the relationship. The choices made in so many places felt like the actions of a 25-year-old male rather than an 18-year old female.

Second, the underlying challenges facing these young adults seem out of place for the age group. Parenthood becomes a major theme as the main characters face children both biologically theirs and “adopted.” While I am aware enough of the world to recognize that young adults have children, it’s not presented as the trials of being so young with a child but as fairly every day. The characters easily and frequently engage in sex with the nonchalance usually found in older, more experienced (jaded) human beings. Yet, they spend time worrying about how rebellious they are being taking this trip to Las Vegas! The interpersonal themes just felt too “old” for the characters or the intended audience.

Once I put those two aspects aside and just focused on the tale, I enjoyed most of it. The “witch” powers offered a new twist to fantasy tales concepts and the witch world offered readers something truly unique. The plot sped along, dragging the reader to the climax with barely a pause. The writing style was enjoyable. I have few complaints or criticisms regarding anything else.

Rating: ★★★☆☆ 

Sara Drake has been an avid reader since a young age. She has both a Master’s in Mental Health Counseling and a Master’s in History.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Simon Pulse. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.