Bewitching Season by Marissa Doyle
First in a Series
Young Adult, 352 pages
Published April 29, 2008 by Henry Holt and Co.
In 1837 England, young daughters of viscounts pined for handsome, titled husbands, not careers. And certainly not careers in magic.
Twins Persephone (Persy) and Penelope (Pen) Leland are anticipating their first London season with mixed feelings. Pen can't wait for the balls and parties and crowds of handsome young men to flirt with, but Persy would far rather stay home with their governess, Ally, and continue her magic studies. The only thing drawing her to London is the prospect of seeing Princess Victoria, her and Pen's idol.
But then Ally disappears from a busy London street and the twins are drawn into searching for her...and find that her disappearance is linked to a dastardly plot to enchant the soon-to-be Queen. Persy also discovers that a good lady's maid is hard to find, that one should never cast a love spell on anyone after drinking too much brandy punch at a party, that pesky little brothers can sometimes come in handy, and that even boys who were terrible teases when they were twelve can mysteriously turn into the most perfect young men. -from goodreads.com
I actually finished this book a long time ago, but I thought I would post about it now since I just finished the second book and thought it would be too confusing to skip the first. Anyway, I picked up Bewitching Season because for some reason I thought this would be a little like A Great and Terrible Beauty. Gorgeous old England with the flowing dresses, balls, with a little bit of magic thrown in to spice things up. I must have been confused by the Doyle on the front of the book. This reminded me of a sixth-graders attempt to accomplish that. Bewitching Season was extremely juvenile; it was fun, I must admit that. But it had no real depth to it, and I just couldn't give it more than two stars.
The whole book felt like wish fulfillment for me. The Leland sisters were too perfect. They had no faults it seemed. Penelope wasn't really fleshed out, but the author was saving her for a sequel. Persephone just annoyed me. She was the typical (and rather overdone) 'bookish, shy, afraid of boys, balls, talking etc.' type of character. I was not impressed. Maybe her only fault was that she was shy? I don't find that a fault, thank you very much. Lochinivar felt like he fell from a Disney princess movie, smack into the pages for Marissa Doyle, I mean Persy to angst over.
The so-called twists and turns I saw coming a mile away. I think from the first chapter I could tell everything that would happen at the end. It just didn't hold me to the edge of my seat. I browsed the pages, watched t.v., got a snack, skipped ahead, and still managed to comprehend all that was going on. That's not good writing.
Overall, it was a fun book that I would have loved in elementary school. But as I am older, the book just didn't do much for me. However, I did read the sequel so what does that say about me? And I enjoy a good Gossip Girl every once and awhile as well.