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Once more with the witchy books.

Annie’s been dumped by her boyfriend of 10 years, Sam, and so she decides to get a new job in a small town in upstate New York. Moving out of her apartment and away from everything she’s ever known, Annie is hoping for a fresh start. The problem? She’s 30, has no friends or social skills, and she misses Sam terribly.

My biggest problem with this book is that it‘s all about Sam. Sam this and Sam that and Annie misses Sam and the sun rises and sets up Sam’s ass. I get that the whole point was that Annie needed to be her own person and Sam was the one holding her back, but it was so frustrating! Annie got these neat powers and there were spiders everywhere and she‘s even got a magical sugar mama, but noooo. It’s gotta be Sam, the mediocre white man who sucks just as much as every other man in the story.

Speaking of: Pascal, the principal’s husband, Tom, Oskar, etc. They all suck. I can sympathize with Annie‘s plight, but that doesn’t mean I want to hear about it.

Again, for a horror novel, there’s not much horror. There’s a man who spits up some bones, there’s blood coming out of eyeballs, and there’s a ton of spiders, but that’s about it. Nothing really scary happens. Annie comes into her own, realizes that men are TRASH, and enjoys a nice time with Sophie. The end. Come on, after the high that was Summer Sons, this was such a “horror” letdown.

Annie was pretty bland for a character. She was insecure, and cardboard, and really only defined by her relationship to Sam and Sophie. Sophie is so much more interesting, but I don’t appreciate her lying and manipulating Annie, who really just needs to be independent. It’s so infuriating.

I liked Rowan, though. I liked the magic, because it was practical and it wasn’t as well defined as some I’ve seen, but it stuck to its own rules (namely: chaos). I liked Oskar and the other townspeople, because they were all individuals in their own rights. I appreciated that Annie’s arc was one of self-discovery. She deserves to be independent, although she ends up just as indebted to Sophie as she was Sam.

Anyway. This wasn’t the worst thing I was reading at the time. There’s another book, the first one in…9 years that I DNFed and that I won’t bother giving the time of day. It was horrid, and that is all. Cackle was alright. It didn’t stand out, but there were just little annoyances. I liked the writing, and the story was good, but I wish it was led by anyone but Annie. Also, could’ve been more gay.

Trigger warnings: alcohol, body horror, alcoholism, toxic relationship, sexism, blood, body shaming, bullying, drug abuse, spiders, LOTS OF SPIDERS.


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