Thursday, April 7, 2011

Book Review: Any Witch Way by Annastaysia Savage

Any Witch Way by Annastaysia Savage
Publish Date: April 8, 2011
Publisher: JournalStone
Book Format: Paperback, pp 186
Enduring the teasing and ridicule of her school mates, Sadie struggles through life as a pre-teen on the eve of her 13th birthday. Three years ago, a car crash took her mother, but Sadie never saw her body. She refuses to believe her mother is really gone. Holding fast to that feeling earns her the nickname "Crazy Sadie."

Despite her one wish to be normal, Sadie only finds solace with a small group of unusual characters. These unlikely friends give her a “semi-normal” life outside of school in a bookstore where strange and mystical things seem to happen. In fact, if Sadie entertains her deepest suspicions, her friends are a little mystical.

When her birthday arrives however, Sadie finds herself whisked into a magical world that swirls just under the surface of normal, everyday life. Not only does she learn she’ll soon become a witch, but she also discovers she must battle The Syndicate to save her new world.

Faced with fantastical encounters, unexplainable transformations, and startling fears, Sadie struggles against an unknown evil – all while searching for her real identity.

*Taken from Goodreads

I would genuinely like to thank Christopher C. Payne over at JournalStone for the opportunity to read this book in advance. It was a very fun, mystical, quest from the moment I started reading it and a delight. I suggest you pick up a copy of it for yourself, if you haven’t yet.

First of all, the cover of this book is just so incredibly pretty and has a very whimsical feel to it. It’s sure to draw an eye or two. Plus, it’s just pretty and so much fun and shows you right away that the book is sure to be filled with some pretty off-the-wall funny and fantastical characters. This is definitely a book that will not let the reader down.

The main character, Sadie, is an orphaned girl about to turn thirteen on Halloween, trying as best she can to find her own sense of “normal.” From the beginning reader’s see that she is picked on and sort of bullied in school, that she’s grappling with losing her mother at such a young age, and having to deal with being shuffled from foster home to foster home never really feeling as if she fits in quite as well as she hopes to.

It is an easy read to get through and the main character herself is quite relatable. Often times, I found myself identifying with her need to fit in, just be as normal as she can, and find her place - that niche where she belongs and can be herself. The lessons in self-confidence interwoven subtly into the storyline, is one that I think most young adults as well as younger kids themselves would benefit from paying attention to.

I ached for Sadie; wanting her mom back because that’s what anyone would want who had experienced a loss that great in their young life. It was nice to see her relationship with Mrs. Felis become so meaningful and important to her and to also see how the older woman in turn, cared deeply about her and her well being.

I found it to be engaging and interesting, watching Sadie find out that she was going to become a witch and the greater epic battle between good vs. evil that she would have to be involved with. The Syndicate arc was very well written and developed and the villains were both entertaining and believable at best. Plus those two gnomes were just absolutely hilarious and quite possibly my favorite character’s from the book, with Grimm being a close second.

I would definitely encourage younger kids and tweens to pick up a copy of this book, as it is a very fun and light easy read. The mystical creatures are both well developed and endearing, the main character is easily relatable, and the story itself is just nothing short of whimsical and fun. The book possesses this sort of aura that kind of transports you back to your own childhood, if you let it.

Sometimes it’s fun to just the moment sweep you away and get caught up in the story between the pages. So, I have no problem giving this book four stars easily.

Go on, go out and get your own copy. You will not be disappointed.


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