Author: Danielle Fisher
Title: A Bit Witchy
Genre: Paranormal, Young Adult
Format: ARC, Kindle
Disclaimer: I received this book from Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for a honest review. Thank you for sending me this book.
Eighteen year old Lena Ashlen is in the middle of an identity crisis, and the people in her life aren’t helping. Half of her school thinks she’s crazy while the other half has no idea she even exists. Her father and stepmother barely see her through the bottom of their wine glasses, and her only friends are guardian angels who are terrible cheats when it comes to poker. The only constants in her life are her obsessive crushes on both chocolate and Glenn Storm. In between losing her bra, her pride, and her best friend, Lena has no idea how she’ll survive her senior year.
When guardian angels begin disappearing and everyone thinks she’s to blame, Lena becomes trapped in a case of mistaken identity. But when Glenn and his chaotic family offer to help her find out the truth, she’s forced to ask herself whether she’s the one who’s mistaken. In between the lies and secrets of a past life gone bad, Lena soon learns that if she’s ever going to prove they have the wrong girl, she’s going to need to find the bit of witchiness inside us all.
First of all, I have to say that this book has a gorgeous cover. Usually, I don’t like covers with people on it, but this one is the exception.
Reading the title, one might think this book is about witches. Luckily, I wasn’t completely surprised when it ended up being about Guardian Angels, since it says so in the blurb. Therefore, I expected to read about Guardian Angles and witches. That wasn’t the case. since the book is only about Guardian Angles. It is not a bad thing, just a little bit misleading, since the only connection between the book’s title and the story, is the fact that Lena (the main character) was called a witch by her school peers. This situation doesn’t affect my rating, since I don’t think a misleading title/blurb leads to a bad book.
Anyway, now to the actual review.
Aka what happens.
The novel’s plot is underdeveloped, since nothing really happens. Or at least nothing that required a whole book. The main character doesn’t go through any kind of real challenges. All the new information that she learns was told to her by different characters. In other words, there is a lot of info-dumping and padding which causes the plot to be hard to follow. The plot does not flow, and I had to stop many times to ask myself what just happened, or what does that mean.
Also, the ideas are all over the place. In one scene is discussed one thing, than the next scene is about something completely different. Thus, the story is very confusing, and there are many unanswered questions. It also doesn’t help the fact that Lena is very fickle. Now she trusts Baline, next she trusts Traistan, later on someone else, and so on.
The protagonist doesn’t do much. I don’t see throwing tantrum, worrying about a boy or wining about double chins as plot. It is mentioned that Lena had at least one past life. For some reason, she is very affected by what others told her happened to her past self. She has no memories of her past life, so I don’t really understand why she’s so upset by what happened. Lena knows only what other people told her, nothing more.
As I mentioned, the novel doesn’t have a strong plot; it is almost non-existent.
Caro Clarke: “Narrative is what the reader sees and hears of what happens – and how he sees and hears it.” (Plot and narrative: the twin rails of the novel)
To be honest, the whole Guardian Angles-Guards-Fates-Chachras-God-Energy thingy is very confusing. The novel’s main idea is interesting, and I’ve never read a book about a girl who sees Guardian Angles. However, the plot’s narrative is not very good.
The novel is told from Lena’s point of view, first person. Now, since it is a first person narrative, it means that the main character is also the narrator. Therefore, the reader only gets what MC sees, hears, thinks, and knows. Personally, I am not a big fan of first person narratives, since most often than not, there is a lot of telling instead of showing. The main character is telling the reader what she does, what she feels, what she thinks, but the reader doesn’t get the chance to actually see the character in action.
Sentences such as “He sent me his signature look” or “My voice was full of sarcasm” don’t help the characters come to life. I need to see how the author saw the characters in her head. When someone feels something, for example anger or fear, their body language, their facial expression, their tone of voice show their emotion.
Also, since we’re in Lena’s head, she cannot she herself. She doesn’t know how she look when she’s going up the stairs, or what kind of look she gave to a boy. Unless, of course, she’s looking in a mirror all the time.
Lena seemed to know a lot more than she bothered to tell the reader. Reading the novel I had the impression that some part of it are missing. Her constant rambling and thoughts about her boobs, her double chin, her obsession with Gain are also not very helpful in moving on the plot.
In general, I wasn’t a big fan of the narrative. It felt flat, and at times forced.
There are many characters in this book. One can say they’re too many. In general, I can keep up with a lot of characters if they are relevant to the plot. Which in this case, they aren’t.
Most minor characters, such as Tristan or Blaine, appear only when Lena needs to learn something, and then puff – they leave the novel until Lena needs them again. Some, like Reese, are only there to add a little bit of drama.
Main Character: Lena
Since she has a foul mouth, throws her hands up in the air when she’s angry, and she throws tantrum, one can say she is a strong female lead; a girl who stands up for herself. Or not. Standing up for yourself is not the same thing as running your mouth without thinking.
Based on the way Lena described herself, the reader has the impression that she’s not very pretty: bulgy eyes, hair in 4 directions (why? can’t she just use some hair products?), double chins, rolls on her stomach etc. Also, since Lena recognized that she gain weight because she was very inactive, I don’t understand why she moans instead of doing something about it. Besides, since many guys hit on her, I don’t think she’s that ugly – she’s secretly pretty.
In a way Lena seemed naive. She hated Tristan, but when he told her something about Blaine, Lena believed him right away. Same thing with the Storms family.
Lena had some funny moments, but overall she wasn’t a great protagonist.
Love Interest: Glenn.
Flat, static character. Nothing changed with him; he stayed the same throughout the whole novel.
I also find him to be an ass, and not a very nice guy. Glenn and his family were entertaining, but the friendship between them and Lena seemed to come out of nowhere.
So Glenn ignores Lena for years, than he claims he always loved her. Lena is obsessed with Glenn since middle school, but she never try to talk with him. I don’t know. I might believe they started to fall in love after they started spending some time together. But I don’t think they really liked each other for years. Lena had a crush on him, that kinda developed into an obsession – all he had to do is smile and she would’ve fall to his feet.
The romance is not terrible. There is no love triangle, which is a plus. Glenn and Lena didn’t just met and they run away to get married, which is another plus – they saw each other in school, heard about each other, but didn’t actually know one another.
The romance is cute and fluffy. Lena’s reactions were a little bit annoying, especially since she was so insecure, but overall it was decent.
The story is set in the 21st century, urban setting. In a way is a mixed of paranormal with contemporary.
The angle thingy was underdeveloped, especially since there were so many ideas mushed up together: God and the Scripture + other Gods + Fates + God’s Angles + Fate’s Angles + Chakras + Energy + human guards + …. Usually, this kind of mix up doesn’t go well in the real world, and it didn’t work well in this novel either. I think it would’ve been better if the author chose one or two reasons for the whole Angle thingy and developed it/them. Instead, we got ideas all over the place.
Now, there were some explanations, and the concept is quite interesting. However, it was underdeveloped.
Did I have some fun reading this novel? Yes. Was it entertaining? sometimes. Did it had interesting ideas? Yes. However, as I mentioned, the plot moved very slow, and it was hard to understand what the book was really about.
I don’t think this novel was for me. It wasn’t terrible, but I cannot say I loved it. This does not mean other people will not love it; if you like the blurb, give it a try and form your own opinion.
I think the novel is suitable for people who like young adult, paranormal – Angles- some romance, and high school drama.
Overall, I gave this novel a rating of 2.7 out of 5. In Goodreads stars that would be 3 (rounding up).