This is one of the best books I have read so far this year, and I can't wait to tell you why.
Where should I start singing the praises... let's start with the characters. Katie Cross must not believe in wimps, because this book is littered with strong female characters. From the heroine Bianca Monroe, to Miss Mabel, the High Priestess, and even some of the side characters. Strength, intelligence, and determination are praised and highlighted as positive attributes.
At a very basic level, Bianca Monroe is a girl who struggles with a curse. Where most people would lay down and accept it, she does not. She fights for another option. If only Miss Mabel felt the same way. Miss Mabel is a deliciously evil character. Hints are given throughout the books, but when the truth behind her actions becomes evident, you will find yourself hissing at the page. Every book needs a clear antagonist to hate, and this book has one. To even out the story, there are sweet, misunderstood, and awkward students and teachers that help drive the story, and even out the main characters.
And even though you'll be drawn in by the characters, the action will keep you going. There are so many twists and turns, and new directions that this story takes, that I don;t want to give any of it up. I can only say that Miss Mabel's School for Girls will be for witches what Hogwarts is for wizards...
Every author tries to put their own spin on being original. Create their own world specifics. I say every author tries, but this one succeeds! From the quaint terms (merry meet), to competitions, and educational and political tiers and struggles. This author takes the foundation of some of our favorite fantasy pieces and sprinkles her own magic dust on them.
This book is original, refreshing, and an utter joy. I am impressed by the author, and how she struck it out of the park in her debut novel. Creating complex and vulnerable characters, relationships, and struggles.
My praises do not stop there... besides the excellence that it proves on all other aspects, it is a book that transcends the ages with mass appeal. It is a clean read for the upper middle grade crowd, with enough darkness and angst for the tweens and teens.
All in all, I am superbly impressed, and anxiously awaiting the sequel! 5 stars!