Sophie also has to contend with an odd girl who seems to be stalking her, a teacher (
Snape "The Vandy") who hates her because of her father, and the enigmatic Dumbledore headmistress Casnoff. I'm not even going to make Voldemort jokes: too easy.
The plot revolves around a series of attacks on a coven of witches who want Sophie to join them. That's the MYSTERY, see. I'll leave the rest for you to discover.
Okay, first of all, I should just say that this novel KNEW what it was trying to be, dammit, and it did exactly what it set out to do, as far as I could tell. Which is definitely a plus, since the debuts I've been reading lately either seem a little insecure of themselves at first (Birthmarked, review coming soon, I actually did like it) or just totally fail at what they try to do (The Line).
What it was, was not exactly my cup of tea. I felt like this book was a perfect hybrid of Harry Potter and Ally Carter's Gallagher Girls series. Or, Harry Potter: the American Juvie Edition. I'm not criticizing, exactly, but I'm not a huge fan of either of those series so I guess that's why I didn't love this.
I DID love Sophie's snark. I'm always up for a good bucketful of snark, and Sophie was a pro, probably because her mom left her dad after she found out he was a warlock, so Sophie's had barely any contact with him, and had to struggle alone with her (super-powerful) magic. I also, as I said, loved Jenna. She was an interesting character, although a little predictable.
The rest...I dunno. It was just all sort of formulaic. I wasn't very surprised by anything (Lesson #1: DON'T TAKE CANDY FROM STRANGERS) or very heartbroken over certain turns of events, although I might have been if I was more surprised or cared more about the characters in question. I DID laugh a lot in this book, and by that I mean more than once per chapter. There's plenty of humor and cleverness in this book. :)
I did NOT like the deus ex machina in the climatic scene. I can't even talk about how much that deused everyone's machina. I really can't, because it would be too spoilery and I want to see if YOU'RE surprised and deus ex machined.
I also, if you couldn't tell, didn't care much about the romance. Bad boys are a dime a dozen and honestly, this one had nothing in particular to recommend him over others. BUT if you like bad boys, I suppose this is a good formula.
Overall, it was an enjoyable, fast-paced read, and I will probably read the next one, but I have plenty to read while waiting for it.
Recommended for: Harry Potter fans and/or Ally Carter fans
Notes: I totally ship Cal/Sophie.
My Overall Debut Challenge Post (updated): http://bahnree.blogspot.com/2010/07/2010-debut-authors-challenge.html