Are You a Witch Too?
Review of 
Book of Shadows 
by Cate Tiernan
Sixteen year old Morgan is not who she thought she was...

Something is happening to me that I don’t understand. 
I see things, feel things in a new way. 
I can do things, magickal things - it scares me. 

Even in my coven I am too powerful now - too different to belong. 
I am alone. Except for Cal. 

I never chose to learn witchcraft. But now it is choosing me. 
(Backcover text)

So basically Book of Shadows tells the story of Morgan Rowlands, whose story gets interesting when the new hot senior boy Cal Blaire moves to town and starts rounding up people to form a new coven. He’s a Wiccan witch, apparently, and Morgan is drawn to him. Bad news is, so is her best friend, Bree. As the ordinary girl Morgan is drawn to learn more about Wicca, she is also drawn to Cal. But is Morgan that normal? And staying away from Cal for the sake of her friendship isn’t that easy. Dark secrets, love and betrayal await around the corner...
Now, finding this book was a big treat for me. Why, you ask? Let me tell you a little back story, before the reviewing starts. 
So the Sweep book series is a group of ? books by Cate Tiernan. They’ve been published in the US, UK, Italy, France, Australia and Belgium (thanks Wikipedia!). Sounds normal, right? Well apparently they’re not, says a Finnish politician. 
As the Sweep book series was about to get translated into finnish, a Christian politician-lady, from the Christian party, gets up in the politic-place-somewhere and says these books should not be translated as they go against Christianity and have Wicca in them. 
Later, the publisher is accounted to have said that they are not publishing the book series. The reason? They thought the religion in the book was fictitious and not real, as Wicca is and now that they have found out that it is real, they are afraid it might give ideas to the teenaged girls they are marketing it to. 
Give teenagers ideas? Yes, well, that is a scary thought. But am I the only one who is thinking of the House of Night series? Oh, wait, it’s a fictitious religion, never mind, the danger is over. By the way, it just got translated here. 
After fuming about the idiocy that is (sometimes) a Christian politician, I find the first and second books in the series in english in a book store! Alright, they were in the very back in the Teen section, but still. I couldn’t believe my eyes at first. But then my curiosity wins and I gleefully by them.
As the book starts I’m practically struck dumb. Yes, you read that right. It starts just like every other teen book out there, giving a little too much about the people around the main protagonist, Morgan. Their clothes and attitudes are described well at points and almost their whole lives. But still, most of the background characters seem to be suffering from Justin Case (thanks New Moan!). 
If they are not the main protagonists, they get lost in the ground, as I can’t remember who is who. 
Well, while the background people might not be interesting, thank god for the hot younger sister who is way more popular than the protagonist, but still friends with her and the best friend who is in fact a bitch. Don’t get me wrong, I actually liked Mary K. the younger sister and Bree, the best friend. They’re both mandatory, but somehow, still fresh. For example, Mary K. really cares for her older sister, they actually have a relationship. And Bree? Well, she’s a bitch, but I like the bitch characters. She really has a relationship with Morgan, too. Their fight is awesome and Bree’s look on things is so teenager, I’m loving it. 
We get to Morgan. She seems like every other protagonist, but isn’t. These days, female protagonists have to kick ass, be witty and have a backbone. Oh, and suffer from Bella Swan-syndrome of degrading their own looks. Morgan has a backbone, thank gods, but isn’t too witty nor does she kick ass. Her backbone comes out just when it should, but she’s a nice girl. A little shy, but she doesn’t lose her ability to speak nor does she blush when the male protagonist speaks to her. At this point I like her. And what I also like, is that she doesn’t degrade herself, at least not that much. She hardly thinks of her looks, which I find normal, except for the situations when such things are really, really mandatory. Yes, I’m liking her. And then we get to the witch part. She’s stronger than the others. Okay, it sounds bad, but how does it manifest? She feels faint and has to sit down. It’s official, this sounds like every other teen there, minus the part where she is a blood witch. And that’s a good  thing. 
And her crush of crushes, Cal Blaire. He descends to the story from amids the mist and appears in slow motion. He seriously seems a little too perfect and I’m just waiting for his real motivation to come through. He fits in perfectly everywhere, never gets angered and knows everything. Also, he suffers from the golden-eye virus - note Edward Cullen and Jace. 
So I’m not sure what to think of Cal. I like his name and there are moments that I’m right there with Morgan - drooling over him. And then there are moments I want to shake him to get him admit his evil plans. Maybe it’s revealed in later books?
The book is in its plot very normal. It starts with giving you the backstory, readying the reader for the Wicca part. And boy, was it needed. The latter part of the book is filled with all these fine little details of every Wiccan thing ever explained. It has me between hate and love. While I’m interested and curious, it won’t hold attention, because there is too much background people and not enough Cal, for example. Give me more of him, so I can figure him out! 
Luckily we have Morgan learning new things and then later, struggling between pleasing her parents and her inner will to be a witch. I liked that part, it was different, her parents’ reactions curious. Do they know something we don’t? Morgan, what do you think? 
Well, the plot isn’t that surprising, it’s more about the relationships and Morgan’s struggle, of which the latter is the thing that keeps the book together. The Catholic religion had me choking, but Morgan dealt with it so it couldn’t bother me. Her parents though? Annoying, head-banging: They seem so quickly phrased, like all the Justin Cases here, that the only places when they get to shine is when they scream at Morgan. 
Another annoyance is that everyone seems to know about Morgan’s witchiness more than they let on. And Morgan does not investigate. Here, her nice girl act annoys. 
But Cate Tiernan writes well. I like it how she portrays things and says things simply, but with details. I like my books with small little details that bother my brain. Not that Book of Shadows bothers your brain, not at all. It flows naturally, once you get started. I believe it can thank Tiernan’s gift for writing and her creating of Morgan. 
She has done exceptional job with the Wiccan parts. At points they really shined, giving Morgan some really good stuff to work with. I might read just them later and try to ignore the characters who bored me. Then I’ll maybe find out, if they are good or just boring Wikipedia facts. 
For light reading, Book of Shadows is a good read. Although, I’d say you have to have patience and an open mind, for the Wiccan parts and for the teenagers milling around. It certainly kept me curious though, throughout the whole book and Morgan does step up later, as she decides her Fate, which had me applauding. I say this is an interesting read that stands out of the crowd in a different way than you might expect. 

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