Sunday, May 15, 2011

Review: Sweep No.1: Book of Shadows by Cate Tiernan

"Something is happening to me that I don't understand."
"I see things, feel things in a new way. I can do things normal people can't do. Powerful things. Magickal things. It scares me."
"I never chose to learn witchcraft. But I'm starting to wonder if witchcraft is choosing me."
Copyright © Speak- Penguin Group, 2001

Book #1 for my Witch Challenge for 2011!

This book was really different than any other witch book I have read. 
Sweep by Cate Tiernan centers around a girl named Morgan. There is a new boy named Cal at Widow's Vale High and he is completely stunning and drop-dead gorgeous who grabs the school at storm from the first minute. He catches all the girl's attentions especially Morgan's, Bree's, and Raven's attentions. We find out later that Cal practices Wicca (a form of witchcraft) and is descended from a huge ancenstry of witches henceforth, he is a blood witch. Wicca captures Morgan's attention the most out of all the characters in the book and she figures out that she has a knack for witchcraft. Although Morgan is interested putting her random musings and spells in the Book of Shadows or being a part of Cal's coven (which is all she thinks about) her parents disagree with her practicing Wicca due to their strong Catholic ties. As the book rolls on, drama ensue between all three girls and Morgan finds a deeper connection in her powers and her connection with Cal. 
Morgan: Morgan is pretty much the plain jane of the whole group. However her looks may be a little bland, she notices that whats on the inside really counts. She takes a step and delves into her spirituality. She is an awesome character, who really becomes a stronger person and shines in the spotlight. She knows her morals and family means most to her--there is a sort of connection girls feel with Morgan in this book. She is quite shy and reserved, but then anger is shown at the end of the book with her. 
Cal: Cal is certaintly the "it" boy and three girls try to get Cal to notice them, especially Bree. He is quite of a hard person to read..he hangs out with multiple people and he fits in with every person in the book. At first, I thought he was going to be a villain or something, but he definitely earns some brownie points for me by thinking of what is on the inside that counts. 
Bree: Bree is that girl that Morgan aspires to be. She's pretty and not flat-chested and she is the type of girl who can get any boy she wants. Because of Cal's hotness, she dumps her existing boyfriend knowlingly that she will go out with Cal. This is the main reason Bree joins the coven and thinks that Cal and her have a special connection when the do not. She ultimately throws a temper tantrum at Morgan, because she is jealous of Morgan's connection to Cal and wicca. 
Raven: Raven is the goth punk stoner in the book. She is quite forceful and mean, but when practicing wicca she becomes more light and free. She is hard-hitting, menacing, and ultra non-sensitive; the total opposite of Morgan. She also joins the Cirrus coven. 

Other characters were simply just background and added to the story in their own way. 

I love Tiernan's vivid imagery of nature from the gorgeous shades and sounds she added to get a closer look into Morgan's transition into a witch. This book was great, I loved how funny some lines were and her use of setting to really create imagery into my mind. However, this book was a little bit predictable. You know that Morgan was a blood witch, before Cal says it to her in the end and the whole use of the Seven Great Clans of Wicca and that Rowanwands was one of the Seven Clans. Why is it predictable? Because Morgan's last name is Rowlands so, we automatically figure out she's a part of the clan. Also, the fact that the book is named "Book of Shadows" and the BOS is only mentioned three times in the book. That's why I bumped one star off of my review. Other than that I loved how everyone in the school knew about Cal's wicca and how everyone else practiced it and didn't keep it a total secret like vampires or werewolves. 

P.S. I also appreciate Tiernan's use of LGBT in the novel. Her aunt and another boy are gay, which I appreciate alot that she is supporting the LGBT community in teen literature. It is also that her aunt's girlfriend really connects with Morgan to really truly be who you are and this makes Morgan accept Wicca even more as a part of her....Good job Tiernan.
There are 14 books in the Sweep series, so I am interested in where the story goes. 

My rating: A (or 41/2 stars out of five).

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