Sunday, September 28, 2014

Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini

When I saw this book in Barnes and Noble, I knew I HAD to buy it. I love witch books and I loved the idea of this one. Let me repeat that statement:
  I loved the idea of this one.

The main character is named Lily and she lives in Salem, MA. She is a pretty dorky girl who has severe allergies to the point where pretty much being alive causes her to have an allergic reaction to something. On top of being the sick girl in high school, her home life isn't much better. Her mom is crazy (like legitimately), her dad is a no show who dipped out when things started getting weird with her mom but refuses to officially divorce in order to avoid having to take care of his kids, and an older sister who tries to be as present as she can but goes to school out of town. Lily has had a friend named Tristan her whole life. As boys do, Tristan went off to camp one summer looking normal and came back after some major growth spurts looking super handsome. Since then, Tristan has became an infamous player in Salem.. But despite his new found popularity, he has always stuck by Lily.

Lily has crushed on him since forever and finally one night Tristan takes it to the next level... He makes a pass at her and kisses her. Cue confusion on her part if they are in a relationship. He holds her hand when they go to school and he even invited her out to a party (despite her being allergic to the world). So after some drama at home with her mom and sister, she dolls herself up and goes to this party against every one's better judgement. As soon as Tristan picks her up, he starts criticizing her hair and clothes (she straightened her naturally curly hair and wore a cute dress vs. jeans and a tshirt). It doesn't get much better from there.

They go to this party and immediately she is bothered by the smoke. Tristan leaves Lily with his friend because he has a "situation" to deal with an ex girlfriend and wants to diffuse it before she causes a scene. The guy that he leave her with ends up spiking her drink (AFTER he was told she is allergic to alcohol) and then tries to put the moves on her. Obviously she gets super upset and feels herself on the verge of a big allergic reaction due to the alcohol. She goes looking for Tristan and busts in on him and his ex getting it on right before she hits for the floor and has a seizure and starts hearing some weird voice in her head. After she gets home and everything gets okay, her and Tristan have this huge blow out because he never promised her exclusivity (what a D, amiright?) and he did nothing wrong with his ex. She gets super upset and goes to have an emo moment on some rocks by the sea by her house.

She hears this voice asking if she is ready to go yet and she is all like "yeah why not everything here sucks." So she gets transported to this alternate world by another version of herself who goes by Lillian and is a super powerful witch who wreaks havoc over the town of Salem. The Salem she is transported to is a mix of futuristic and historical. It is mostly old school, but they are advanced in some things because science is completely banned and witchcraft is the only way to do things. So anyway, Lily meets Lillian and freaks out.

Long story and some spoilers later, Lily meets Rowan who used to be Lillian's boo and her healer guy before she did some really awful stuff to him. I'll spare you the rest of the story and just say I really did not care for this book. Rowan goes through some truly awful things, so instead of being able to focus on the plot or any love situations that could be blooming, I just felt so bad for him. I thought all the characters were awful towards him and just found myself angry for the majority of the book because of this poor dude. I probably wouldn't have even finish this book if I wasn't so invested in his well being, but the ending made me even more mad. Grrrr Josephine Angilini!

 I will say that one element that I think could have really helped this book would have been if there would have been flashbacks to Lily's old world to see what is going on with her family and friends since she is obviously missing. I'm sure that will be covered in the coming sequel, but I won't be reading it.

Unfortunately it seems that most books (ok, all books I've read so far) that are published by Fierce Reads are either really low stars or I couldn't finish. I guess I'll take that as a sign and try and avoid authors under this publisher in the future. So.... if you made it this far, save yourself some dollars and skip this one. There are a lot of other good witch books out there that put this one to shame!

3/5 stars

-Leah