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Monday, August 3, 2015

YA Review: Glamour

Glamour by Andrea Janes

Published: March 12th, 2014
Genre: Paranormal YA
Binding: Paperback
Page Count: 209 plus a good handful of extras like an interview and other books
Part of a series? I do not believe so.
Got via: For review back in 2014, and yes, I am terrible. I'm trying to catch up! This is my second review book and I'm only like a week into vacation! *hides in shame as to-review pile threatens her*
Amazon / Book Depository / And here's the two website links, for the physical version and the ebook version.

Summary (from goodreads): Townie. That's what eighteen-year-old Christina Sundy is. All year round she lives in a one-stoplight town on Cape Cod, and when summer comes, she spends her days scooping ice cream for the rich tourists she hates. So when one of them takes a job in the ice cream shop alongside her, she's pissed. Why does a blonde and perky Harvard-bound rich girl like Reese Manning want to scoop ice cream anyway?

Something else weird is happening to Christina: tiny blue sparks seem to be shooting off her fingers. It isn't long before she realizes the truth about herself — she's actually a powerful hereditary witch. But her newfound powers are too intense for her to handle and, in a moment of rage, she accidentally zaps Reese into another dimension.

So that no one will notice that the rich girl has disappeared, Christina casts a disguising spell, or "glamour," and lives Reese's life while she tries to find a retrieval spell. But as the retrieval spell proves harder than anticipated, and as she goes about living Reese's life without anyone on the outside noticing the switch, Christina realizes that there's nothing to stop her from making the glamour permanent... except, of course, her fellow witches, a 16th century demon, and, just maybe, her own conscience.

Review: I have mixed feelings about this one. Overall, I enjoyed it, and I think it's an interesting little book, but there were things that bothered me, and things I thought could have been done better. I liked the witchcraft angle, because that's something I don't read very much of, and I enjoyed the strong, varied cast of women in the book. However, I think the whole thing probably could have used another round of editing, both to make the voice stronger and to catch a few of the typos/grammar errors I noticed. The bad doesn't cancel out the good, but this would not be a fair review if I did not mention the bad.

So let's keep going!

Plot Talk: The plot is basically what the summary says. Girl gets magic, girl accidentally zaps other girl into oblivion, girl has to take over her life to keep her parents from finding out, girl battles with the temptation to keep her "easier" life, etc. It's a solid plot. Not so minimal so as to be boring, but not so convoluted as to be too complicated for what is a relatively slim book.

Characters: Our main character is Christina, a stubborn, slightly sullen teen girl who works in an ice cream shop in the summer. One day she realizes she has a natural talent for witchcraft, when strange things start happening because of her. While I generally like "unlikeable" characters, she does start out somewhat whiny. Frankly, that's a little annoying. She has a very narrow world view, and it's only over the course of the book that her viewpoint broadens, and she begins to think a little more about others. One of the things Christina needs to learn in the book is actually to stop whining, so I did really enjoy her growth of as a character. Because of how she grows and learns throughout the book, I don't have that much of a problem with the whininess at the beginning... once I got past it.

One of my favourite parts of this was how many women there are. Most of the main characters are women, and the most important characters are. They are all different and strong and weak in different ways, and unique, and their different relationships are very important throughout the book. The book thrives on female relationships, and that was lovely.

PG-13 stuff: There's a fair amount of language, and some more mature subject matter, but nothing I'd freak out about.

Cons, complaints, bad stuff, etc.: Again, another round of strong editing probably would have been good. While there were some typos/grammar errors, I also found the voice a little unpolished towards the beginning, almost with too much backstory and "telling". I also was not entirely fond of the POV switching. I felt like those were some of the weaker scenes, and they fit strangely with Christina's narration, which was the majority.

One thing I really didn't like was one of Christina's revenge pranks with her magic. She makes a girl she works with who's mean to her fat. She makes her "so fat she wasn't even wearing normal clothes". That's just... that's not funny. Being fat is not a punishment, and gaining weight is not something to be ridiculed. In a book that is so full of wonderful women, turning around and seeing your body used as a joke like that isn't exactly pleasant.

Cover comments: I really like the cover. I think it's really arty and pretty. I would actually like the cover art as a print, please, because it's gorgeous.

Conclusion: All in all, I did enjoy this one. I liked the witchcraft theme, I liked the cast of women, I liked a lot of the themes of the book. I also liked the voice once we got into the swing of things. There were moments that made me ugly-snort, and some very emotionally true moments. While I really didn't like the fat-shaming, and did have other issues, they weren't enough to completely throw me off the book. Keep the fat-shaming, because dude, not cool, but otherwise, I would recommend this. It loses points for the fat-shaming and editing issues, but Glamour gets three roses out of five from me.

Other notes:

- Apparently "real" witches don't like Wiccans? What'd Wiccans ever do to you?? :P Let people have their religion and chill.

- Seriously, this town doesn't have one place where plus sized clothes are sold? What'd fat people ever do to you??

Peace and cookies,

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