Friday, March 2, 2012

Review of The Promise - by Apryl Baker

Nonsense. That has always been CJ’s response to her town’s history of witchcraft. Backing up her personal opinion that magic and spells and are something to ignore is her promise to her sister, made just before her death, to stay away from the town coven. CJ is happy to keep her opinions and her promises pretty much forever until Mr. Melt in Your Mouth Gorgeous steps in to rescue her from puked on shoes and a drunk best friend. At first Ethan Warren is a mystery, a delicious one she can’t stay away from. What harm could one cute boy cause? Plenty. Ethan’s arrival doesn’t only turn CJ’s world upside down, it also changes something in the town. Secrets are whispered, plans made, but nobody wants to share with CJ. Normally Coven business wouldn’t interest her. When she starts to doubt her town’s history, the Coven’s purpose, even her sister’s death, finding out their secrets may be the only thing that will keep her alive.

Apryl Baker’s, The Promise, was a great read. It has a little bit of everything from unrequited love, magic, betrayal, secrets , revenge, gorgeous boys, and characters you’ll love. The opening chapter drops you right into CJ’s life, and into the odd little town of New Salem. Apryl did a good job of melding the typical small town day to day life with a secretive Coven of witches. To them having witches as parents and teaching kindergarteners about those burnt at the stake during the Salem witch trials was pretty average. But the second CJ starts to doubt her belief that none of it was real, you get thrown into what the town is really about. Magic.

Another aspect of The Promise I really enjoyed was the characters. Even the ones that were not in the book for very long still had depth. Apryl gave each character something to remember them by. Of the side characters, I thought she did a particularly good job with Old Man Warren. He was only in part of one small chapter, but every word he said, every expression gave him so much character it was hard to forget him. It was hard not to get sucked into the world of New Salem.

The mystery behind CJ and the town itself was handled very well. Up until the end you won’t be sure who is trying to help CJ and who is trying to kill her. It drove me crazy the first time I read it, and even this time when I was reading it for a second time, but it’s a good kind of crazy. I loved being kept guessing all the way through. Apryl definitely keeps the tension going, right along with the passion – which was also a big part of the book.

The romance between CJ and Ethan is a big focus on the book, because it’s part mystery as well as part love, but Apryl tempers their relationship with doubt the whole way through. And teases you with Neighbor Boy just for fun. Love is just as much a theme in this book as revenge is. Which are two of the best themes to right about.

My only real complaint about the book is that at times I thought CJ’s willingness to forgive Ethan and accept him into her life could have been reigned in a little more at certain places. She has so much danger around her that I felt at times it was a little unrealistic for her to trust people. But that may just be me. Everyone forgives and trusts in their own way.

Overall, I loved The Promise. It’s a fun book to read when you need to step out of reality and lose yourself in a world of magic and revenge. You’ll fly through it because you’ll just have to know who’s lying and who’s going to end up dead. So go get your copy today and spend the weekend in New Salem.

Would I recommend this book? Absolutely. I can’t wait for the second installment.

Who would I recommend this book to? Any YA reader, and most adult readers too. This book has the magic of Harry Potter, the romance of Twilight, and just a touch of The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo to darken it up.