Reading Level: YA
Publisher: Create Space (january 17, 2012)
Source: copy of the book from the author in exchange for an honest review
What’s worse than lusting after my best friend’s on again off again boyfriend? How about my dad dating his mother, and my mom redesigning his bedroom for her show? With fate interfering so cruelly, can you really blame me for putting my magic potions to not-so-good use?
I’m Zoe Miller, a fifteen-year-old witch with only one power-—a talent for potions. I have my life all mapped out. I plan to be a doctor and develop drugs to cure disease. We already have potions to help all kinds of symptoms, but none of them will get by the Food and Drug Administration. I mean, the government bureaucrats are not going to okay the ingestion of bat wings or unicorn horns. Luckily, fat-free margarine has already been found to be an adequate substitute for dead man’s toe. So, I really hold out hope that I can make things work. Looking for edible substitutions to use in the potions is my passion.
In one word, this book is “cute.” It was a fun beach worthy read. Nothing too complicated. I knew I would like this book when I read that the witches that use self-serving potions to shed a few pounds or grab the attention of the local hottie would “suffer” (i.e. turn into the hideous witches you’re used to reading about). I could totally relate to the characters’ desire to suffer with a hairy, green wart for thinner hips.
The characters were hard to connect with. There didn’t seem to be a lot of depth with the majority of the characters in the book. Anya was super-self absorbed and pretty unlikeable, but I’m certain that was intentional. Jake seemed alright. Typical teenage boy. I would like to see him grow a bit more in the upcoming books. Zoe was unique and likable. Yes, she’s a witch. But she’s a self-conscious humanitarian witch. Her goal in life is to become the scientist that cures cancer. Pretty awesome.
The plot was pretty straight forward. Young teenage witch has a crush on her best friend’s ex-boyfriend. Young teenage witch’s parents complicate her love life. Young teenage witch has a colossal mishap and gets in trouble. It’s fairly predictable, but still enjoyable. It seems like the majority of the conflict is going to occur in the next book, at least that’s the impression I got from the ending. Since our poor witch got into a bit of trouble, she has to have a magic tutor. Except, her tutor isn’t what she expects. You might think that a 95 year-old wizard would look like one of the California raisins from the 80s, but he doesn’t. Seems he got into a tad bit of trouble himself when he traded his old self for a super hottie body.
So, like I said, the plot will thicken in the next book.
As I said, this was a “cute” read. It was quick and fun, and didn’t require a lot of effort on my part. I was turning the pages pretty quickly because I enjoyed the story. If you want a fun book to read while taking a break from the zombie and dystopian books currently flooding the market, then you would enjoy Stirring Up Trouble.