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REVIEW: YA author de la Cruz pitches captivating tale in adult debut 'Witches of East End'
Review by Michelle Simon

Melissa de la Cruz, best known for her addictive Blue Blood series of novels geared to young adults, has switched to writing for an adult audience. Her first book in this mid-career transition is "Witches of East End" (Hyperion Books), a captivating novel about three witches living in North Hampton, Long Island.

Joanna Beauchamp and her two daughters, Ingrid and Freya, were forbidden years ago to use their magic. For centuries the three have lived as mortals and gone about their boring daily lives moving to different places. The youngest daughter, Freya, is engaged to marry the richest and most eligible bachelor on the island, Bran Gardiner.

The novel starts off at Freya and Bran's engagement party at the Gardiner mansion, Fair Haven. There's drama at the engagement party when Freya finds herself drawn to Bran's younger brother Killian for a romp in the powder room. Suddenly mysterious things start to happen on the island that no one can explain.

Soon the Beauchamp family starts practicing magic again in the open despite a counsel’s ban on doing so and the disturbing history of the Salem witch trials. Ingrid, who works at the library as an archiver, finds that there is something unique about the design plans of Fair Haven.

The prose in Witches of East End is unremarkable but I really liked de la Cruz’s storytelling. She draws the reader into the Beauchamp family’s conflicts -- against a backdrop of good versus evil -- and tells a vigorously entertaining story.

One thing I was disturbed by is the fact that the author is Filipino American but all the characters in the book are white. Why? It would have better if the characters were people of color.

Scale: 5 stars: Incredible!... 4 stars: Excellent... 3 stars: Good... 2 stars: Mediocre... 1 star: Lame!

Rating: 4 stars

To find out more information about Melissa de la Cruz visit her website or follow her on Twitter. Click here to check out the Hyperion Books website, and here to get Witches of East End at Amazon.

Michelle Simon, a graduate of Holy Names University, is an assistant director at a San Francisco Bay Area university and a political activist. She's known for railing WORDNBASS.com Editor BPM Smith at the World Series of Poker and fitting into her Catholic high school uniform.


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