Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Book Review: Magick Charm by Jennifer Wells



Title: Magick Charm
Author: Jennifer Wells
Number of pages: 288 pages
Release Date: 1 September 2010
Publisher: Crescent Moon Press
Source: ARC received from author for honest review
Purchasing Info: Goodreads, Author's Website, Amazon,
Kindle store
 

Grade: 1 star

Novellus horrendus!

Goodreads appetizer: Janie Adler likes her quiet, orderly life reviewing books for a small New Orleans newspaper exactly the way it is. So what if Duke Hot Pants, the hero of her favorite romance novel, is the only man in her life? She has a Pulitzer Prize to chase. That is until her quirky twin sister Rachel moves in, bringing boyfriend drama, a smelly ferret, and irrational belief in all things magickal along with her.

Persuaded by a local voodoo priestess-and maybe one margarita too many-the twins cast spells to improve their love lives. Loser-magnet Rachel focuses on avoiding the wrong men and Janie seeks her romance novel ideal. While plenty of eligible bachelors flood into their lives, Janie only has eyes for her coworker who lives in the apartment downstairs and works in the cube next to her. But the twins soon discover the incantations' many unintended-and dangerous-consequences. The increasing number of mishaps and misfortune putting the sisters in grave peril seems more like the work of a curse. Can Janie and Rachel's "twintuition" save them from the menace stalking them? 

My thoughts: I’m sorry to say but very few books irritated me as much as Magick Charm. I continuously hoped for some improvement and gave it a 5th and 6th chance, but in vain. After having read 68% of the book I decided it was enough and thinking of sparing my blood pressure any more unnecessary irritation I gave up.

I had several problems with Magick Charm. My two main problems were the writing and the characterization.

I found the writing choppy, things happened without natural development, and there was no relationship building whatsoever (e.g. Janie and Ryan, the guy she has had a crush on are thrown together on a date thanks to Rachel’s matchmaking, and after one deep soulgazing dinner date are in love with each other).

The story is told through Janie’s narrative and maybe it’s because Janie’s character was so utterly dull and boring that her narrative just couldn’t draw in the reader. I just know that neither the story nor the characters inspired any interest or excitement and only the hope that something will hopefully happen kept me turning the pages. But after a while even that wasn’t enough.

The narrative is immature and choppy, with thrown together dialogues:

“He’s still buggin’ you?” He projected menace, but not at me. I would never want to be on his bad side.
“Oh he’s been around. Promise me you’ll kick the shit out of him if he shows his ugly face here tonight.”

The two heroines Rachel and Janie are identical twins, and based on their behaviour, the way they acted and talked I assumed they were in their early 20s (even if Rachel acted rather like a 15 year old drama queen storming out of the apartment each time she had an argument with her sister...), but imagine my surprise when at about one third of the novel it was revealed that the heroines were 30 years old!! I still can’t get over this detail because both heroines were so immature that even I in my early twenties with two younger sisters could neither identify with them or understand them. Their arguments were childish and displaying even less maturity and IQ than teenagers’ rows.

Both heroines were very irritating, it is hard to choose which one was worse. Rachel is the careless-fluffhead-hippy-goth-singer sister, with no job and constant boyfriend problems, while Janie is the dull-and-boring-conservatively-dressing-quiet sister, having the insecurities and timid behaviour of a teenager. Ugh. In this regard the sisters were truly twins: Rachel acted like a rowdy rebel teenager while Janie was the quiet shy, insecure teen. Which maybe wouldn’t have grated on my nerves if it was a YA novel I was reading, but these heroines were in their thirties!!

Rachel after peeking at Janie and Ryan kissing at the end of their date:

“Ohmigod!” she squealed, as high-pitched as her ferret. “you guys looked great together!”

Janie was always blushing and being embarrassed about her sister like an insecure girl in high school, and she kept on apologizing every 2nd page to Ryan about anything her sister did, who let me remind you again is 30 and her own person! Grow up already!

Maybe it is just me and my sisters, but I never behaved like this even though my two younger sisters did plenty to embarass me when we were younger. Don’t know if it was because I understood pretty early they were separate persons and not robots or puppies I could control and so completely out of my “jurisdiction” and responsibility but seems Janie at 30 still hasn’t grasped this concept even though Ryan keeps repeating it to her...

Another aspect of Janie which demonstrated her total immaturity and inability to behave like a grown up was the way she always whined about being terrorized by her boss, never taking a stand against her but always cowering, when Jacqueline “the boss from Hell” wasn’t even that bad actually...

I expected Magick Charm to be a light, funny and cute paranormal romance. Unfortunately there was not much to warrant the paranormal label, and I did find it neither funny nor cute.

Verdict: I’m sorry but the complete lack of character development or depth and the frustrating immature behaviour and aspect on life of the sisters as well as the out of the blue behaviour of certain secondary characters not only left me cold but to the contrary frustrated and irritated me so much I wasn’t interested in finding out what happened to the characters at the end. I’m sorry but I can’t find anything redeeming about Magick Charm and that’s why I give it only 1 star.

Plot: 5/10
Characters: 2/10
Writing: 4/10
Cover: 3/10 (True, I stopped reading at 68% but I still don't see the connection between the story and the cover...)


To see another opinion read Bea's review here.


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