Book Review: From Frights to Flaws

Posted by Katrina Roets at 8:00 AM

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Twelve-year-old Alyssa McCarthy can no longer stand the toughness of her uncle and wants a better life. But one day she discovers not only the existence of magic, but also a villain hunting her down. The villain uses magic and magical technology to kidnap Alyssa to the Fiji Islands. As much as she wants to go home, she has to face some dangerous challenges first. Not only that, the villain himself must also be defeated. Can Alyssa succeed, even with the help of her mentors?





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Every once in a while, a young adult book crosses my desk and I get excited. I have two teen boys who I would love to get reading more so I consider it an opportunity to find them something they might love. This book, however, isn't it. The book starts out well, but just doesn't hold up. I found the characters to be flat and some of the situations/responses to be odd. For example, Alyssa meets these two people who are suddenly her mentors and she's just like, "oh, okay..." I don't know a single child who would have that sort of response. The parents have the same sort of reaction after finding their children were missing because they were kidnapped. It just doesn't work. There is also a scene where Alyssa and her friends are sitting around trying to figure out how to kill another character. I found this rather disturbing. Also, more than once, I read a section and thought, "Harry Potter."  That's not good. It's fine to take ideas and make them your own but when a reader blatantly can place the reference, it means the author hasn't really made the idea their own.

On a positive note, I do think that the story has a lot of potential. This is the first in a series so it is possible that the characters will round out and the story, while fantasy, will become more plausible.


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I received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review.  All thoughts, comments, and opinions are my own.
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