Saturday, March 10, 2012

Book Review: Old Magic by Marianne Curley

Old Magic
by Marianne Curley

Release: February 26, 2002 (Reprint: December 22, 2009)
Author Info: Website
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Age Group: Young Adult
Source: Bought
Challenge: Dusty Bookshelf Challenge

"Jarrod Thornton is mesmerizing, but Kate Warren doesn't know why.

The moment the new guy walks into the room, Kate senses something strange and intense about him. Something supernatural. Her instincts are proven correct a few minutes later when, bullied by his classmates, Jarrod unknowingly conjures up a freak thunderstorm inside their classroom.

Jarrod doesn't believe in the paranormal. When Kate tries to convince him that he has extraordinary powers that need to be harnessed, he only puts up with her "hocus pocus" notions because he finds her captivating. However, the dangerous, uncontrolled strengthening of his gift finally convinces Jarrod that he must take Kate's theories seriously. Together, they embark on a remarkable journey -- one which will unravel the mystery that has haunted Jarrod's family for generations and pit the teens against immense forces in a battle to undo the past and reshape the future." (Source)

This summary does not do the book justice! It only hints at the fact this is a TIME TRAVEL book. Which I myself didn't realize till it was happening. I suppose it could give away the story, but in reality it doesn't. It makes the book more exciting.

I can't explain this book any other way then, slow. The build up took forever. For more than half of the book Kate is trying to get Jarrod to even accept that magic exists in the world, let alone that he might have a power of his own. Every time something happens he chalks it up to having bad luck or just something strange happening. He forever refuses that magic is real and that Kate is just slightly crazy.

The two of them do however share a bond, which seems to only grow with time. Kate is attracted to Jarrod, even though she hates his character and can't stand that he refuses to listen to her. She finds herself unable to leave him alone, reasoning that it's because she's afraid he might hurt someone. (Oh please girly.) While Jarrod thinks Kate is crazy and is afraid of her, because she is everything he isn't (Confident, sure, strong, determined, etc.). He can't help but be pulled in by her different personality, although he has no idea how to deal with (or her!). He even finds himself to be protective over her at times.

The book is split into three parts; Part one: Wind, Part two: Journey, and Part three: Return. There are no chapter numbers, only narrative titles which change almost every 'chapter' (Kate, Jarrod, Kate, Jarrod, etc). The book does favour Kate over Jarrod. Her point-of-view gets more 'chapters' (during one part she had 3 in a row) and longer sections with much more detail then Jarrod's 'chapters'.

While I do enjoy the change in narrative, I'm not sure how I feel about it here. I found most given information was repeated to the point I felt it beaten to death. I suppose to make an impact but it seemed unneeded. Then towards the end of the book things starting happen, the story began to get exciting but all we saw was Kate's point-of-view. Everything going on with Jarrod was left out, no insight at all. I found it very frustrated.

One of the things that made me pick this up, was the fact it was written by an Australian women and took place in Australia. It even noted this and put a little glossary in the back. Most of which I already knew (I was obsessed with Australia for awhile.) but still found interesting.

Over all, the book does contain a lot of good ideas, twists, turns, and surprises. However, I didn't find it an enjoyable read. May of the choices and actions just didn't make sense to me.
I felt the book could have been much better. (I can't explain how long I've been fighting to get through this book.)

I picked this up for under $2 at a local used book store. Knowing what I know now, I probably wouldn't have.
The book just didn't have enough kick for me.

Recommend: If you enjoy those extra details of characters, time travel, and slow build ups.

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