Mar 1, 2013

Old Magic by Marianne Curley review

Jarrod Thornton is mesmerizing, but Kate Warren doesn't know why.

The moment the new guy walks into the room, Kate senses something strange and intense about him. Something supernatural. Her instincts are proven correct a few minutes later when, bullied by his classmates, Jarrod unknowingly conjures up a freak thunderstorm "inside" their classroom.

Jarrod doesn't believe in the paranormal. When Kate tries to convince him that he has extraordinary powers that need to be harnessed, he only puts up with her "hocus pocus" notions because he finds her captivating. However, the dangerous, uncontrolled strengthening of his gift finally convinces Jarrod that he must take Kate's theories seriously. Together, they embark on a remarkable journey -- one which will unravel the mystery that has haunted Jarrod's family for generations and pit the teens against immense forces in a battle to undo the past and reshape the future.

From Goodreads

I'm not going to bother with my own breakdown of the story because the summary does a fine enough job. That being said, this was not at all what I thought it was going to be when I first picked it up. I thought that Jarrod might be reluctant to believe his powers at first and eventually cave to Kate's help, although I wasn't really certain about an conflict to be resolved. 

Well only part of that thought process turned out to be true. Jarrod was extremely reluctant to deal with anything supernatural at all. He went so far as to hang out with the cool kids, while visiting Kate on the down-low. It was ridiculous. Not to mention the fact that he vehemently denies what is obvious and right in his face. The author doesn't let the reader get away with that either. Throughout the whole novel you can practically hear people saying "look at this, isn't this important?!"

Jarrod is completely unsympathetic and unrealistic. As previously stated, he denies what is obvious, until it's almost too late to do anything about it. He is spineless & two-faced. He claims he just wants to be accepted, but what he really wants to be is normal & popular. Not necessarily a bad thing, but when someone is offering to accept you for who you are, it's best not to ignore them and allow others to belittle them in front of you.

Kate is less infuriating, but still a bit on the predictable side. Having grown up with magic her whole life, she has absolutely no patience with Jarrod at all. Kate seems to possess almost no empathy for Jarrod at all when she is one of the best people to help him relate to being "different."

I think the worst part about this whole book are the dropped storylines. Kate's best friend disappears completely from the story, we never get any resolve or explanation about Kate's parentage, & the story ends so neatly that it's far from believable.

I understand that this is a fantasy book, but since it is based in the real world, some rules should still apply. I can't say too much without giving away the only amazing part of the book (hint, that journey that they mention is awesome!) but the reality of how that journey is resolved just didn't sit right with me.

Maybe I'm just being to picky and I think others really enjoyed it, but for me it was a dud. Have you read it? What did you think?

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