Zoe's Reviews > Witch Way to Turn

Witch Way to Turn by Karen Y. Bynum
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's review
Aug 26, 2012

did not like it
bookshelves: ya, romance, paranormal-romance, fantasy, ebook
Read from September 16, 2012 to April 30, 2013

When I started Witch Way to Turn, I wanted to like it, and to like the main character, Breena Cross. The story is third-person perspective, something I don't see often enough in YA, and the main character isn't a virgin, a truly rare trait in a genre that spends a lot of time equating non-virgin status as solely a route for sluts and/or teen villains.

But very early on, the story began falling into a pattern that turned me off from Breena, and then from all of the characters. Once I'd lost my like of them, nothing else clicked for me.

I should mention that there's nothing wrong with the writing itself. There's no mechanical errors, nor did I come across any typos. Were I to judge a book solely on the mechanical writing quality, this is a top notch perfect effort.

BUT the first problem remains the biggest for two thirds of the story. Early on, Bree comes home to find her drunk foster father about to rape her younger sister Jenny. Bree suddenly manifests witch powers that stun Stan, and after a short stay with a vampire, Myles, Bree is kicked out of the house by her foster mother, Norma.

So far no problem...except from this moment forward the story runs on an infuriating pattern. Bree thinks, I have to worry about Jenny, who is living with an abusive foster mother and foster sister, and a potential rapist foster father. AND YET, whenever Myles or Orin appear in the story, all she can think is Ooh, hot guy. Maybe I can get some. I only wish I was exaggerating about how often this happens, but seriously, it's the MAIN CONFLICT for two thirds of the book. The first few times this happened, I had to put the book down for several weeks because I wasn't sure I could handle this. And having finished the book, I sometimes wish I'd just stopped back around chapter 12 and given up.

This is the biggest problem I had, but the story is littered with problems. The writer seems to be bound and determined to give the reader NOTHING about the plot until the final 20% of the book, and when the answers for what's going on come out, I spent every other page alternating between shouting "Are you kidding me?" and various multi-chained cuss words. Nothing about this story is worth the time I invested in it. The world building is lazy and sloppy. The side characters are cardboard cutouts, and the dialogue bounces between vaguely serviceable and "dear God, they didn't really say that out loud, did they?" The resolution of the main conflict is dreadful, and the subplots are handled just as poorly. Oh, and of course everything is left open-ended for a sequel.

I really cannot say how much I hated that Bree's concerns for the safety of Jenny, and indeed, even for her own life, always took a back seat to "which hot guy should I fall in love with?" I know romantic triangles are a staple of romance, and sometimes they work fine. But the triangle is handled badly here, and both boy toys are sad wish fulfillment for a female Harry Potter, a "chosen one" who does absolutely nothing right, so the bad guy shows up at the end of the book to monologue and explain all the clues she missed. But unlike Harry Potter, NOTHING is truly resolved. This book might as well be subtitled Episode 1. But for sure, I'm not interested in bothering with whatever comes next. This story was handled so badly, I'd be hard pressed to read anything else from the author.

For these reasons I give Witch Way to Turn 1 star, and I would not recommend it to anyone. I really wish I'd dropped this sooner and moved on to books that didn't try my patience with every single chapter.
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Reading Progress

17.0% "I am really loving this book. Breena is not a stereotypical YA heroine, and she breaks the mold in a number of pleasing ways. Very happy I got this book. (^_^)"
04/30/2013 marked as: read
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