By Jenna Evans Welch
Published September 2022
I pulled in a YA Witchlit novel to wrap up October and I have to say, I think it was a good call.
Willow doesn’t have a home. Technically she does, but she doesn’t feel like she belongs there with her work-obsessed mother. Just one more year and she can travel the world, something she’s longed to do for as long as she can remember. Then, her mom drops the bombshell that her aunt has died (what aunt?) and they need to go to Salem to settle her estate (Salem?). But the mysterious aunt isn’t the only family Willow has never known about. There’s also a trio of great-aunts who, to all appearances, are witches.
Mason has been shuttled from one foster home to another over the past seven years. Now he’s in Salem with an old friend of his mom’s. He’d try to settle in except that his mom is alive, and he knows that if he could just find her, everything would be okay.
Then Mason meets Willow and the attraction is immediate. Drawing on their chemistry and a little magic, they begin to unravel the mystery behind Willow’s family and figure out the real story behind her family’s curse. But even if they solve the puzzle, will the answer come too late to keep them together?
I don’t read a lot of YA, but I should (something I’m actively working on rectifying), because the meet-cute in these pages was off the charts. So, so sweet, but each storyline also plumbed an emotional depth. I was frustrated, puzzled, elated, and sympathetic in turn with both Willow and Mason. Seriously, I cared about them. That doesn’t happen often and I’ll admit, I got a little weepy near the end. Plus, a secret family of witches? In Salem? For real, why couldn’t I have been born into Willow’s family?
If you’re looking for a heart-warming, compassionate, magical read, pick this one up. While not my top-rated book of the month, it’s up there as a new favorite, despite the fact I’m well beyond the targeted demographic.
I try not to write a review where the synopsis is longer than my actual review, but I’d just be repeating myself if I kept going. This is simply a sweet, poignant book that, while totally different in plot and time period, gave me the same feels as The Wolves of Willoughby Chase – I read that book about forty years ago, but it has stuck with me. This one probably will, too.
4.5/5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐+
Until next time, thank you for visiting.