Review: A Magic Dark and Bright

Monday, April 27, 2015

Title: A Magic Dark and Bright
Author: Jenny Adams Perinovic
Genre: YA, Romance, Paranormal
Publisher: Bookish Group Press
Release Date: April 28, 2015

I received an e-ARC of A Magic Dark and Bright through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Summary (via Goodreads)
She meant to help a ghost...not unleash a curse.

Amelia Dupree hasn’t seen the Woman in White since the night her brother died.  

The ghost seems to have disappeared from the woods surrounding Asylum, Pennsylvania—that is, until Charlie Blue moves into the creepy old MacAllister House next door. Amelia can’t help liking him, even though she spent her childhood thinking his grandmother was a witch. And she definitely can’t ignore the connection between his arrival and the Woman in White’s return. 

Then Amelia learns that the Woman in White is a prisoner, trapped between the worlds of the living and the dead. Devastated by the idea that her brother could be suffering a similar fate, Amelia decides to do whatever it takes to help the Woman in White find peace--and Charlie agrees to help her. 

But when Amelia’s classmates start to drown in the Susquehanna River, one right after another, rumors swirl as people begin to connect the timing of Charlie’s arrival with the unexplained deaths. As Charlie and Amelia uncover the dark history of Asylum, they realize they may have unleashed an unspeakable evil. One they have to stop before everything they love is destroyed.
Let's judge a book by it's cover, shall we? Because A Magic Dark and Bright is book that is exactly like its cover: mysterious, romantic, magical. When I saw the cover and the word ghost in the description, I knew I was already going to be pretty sold.

The writing was great, at times even gorgeous. It had a good fast pace which made it a quick read. Though sometimes it could be a bit too quick, like events happened and were gotten over in an unrealistically short amount of time. The plot was so engaging that there was never a point where it dragged. I really enjoyed how the mystery of the ghost and all the murders blended with Amelia's teenage life, getting a taste of each without one pulling more focus. The small town vibe really highlighted the supernatural story line with all of the finger pointing and almost mob mentality. Honestly, sometimes small towns freak me out more than ghost stories! 

One thing that I really found interesting about this book is the way it deals with grief and guilt. With Amelia's brother dead, the reader gets to see the hole it left in her family's life and the guilt that eats away at her. While it is mostly ghosts and romance, the story really explores Amelia's grief and how to rebuild a life after a tragic death. Way to pull at my heartstrings.

I loved Amelia and Charlie! Pretty much Charlie is the ultimate book guy. He's sweet with a fun curiosity and a really frustratingly hot habit of brushing Amelia's ear with his lips when he whispers to her. Seriously, I dare you to read this book and not end up doodling "Mrs. Charlie Blue" in the margins of your notebooks during class. And what is even more adorable than just Charlie is Amelia and Charlie together. They are so awkward and sweet and have so much tension.  The build up of their friendship and relationship is done at such a good pace that it was more like a real relationship than most books portray.

My main turn off from this book was the many times where events took a turn for the cliche, even a few moments that had me rolling my eyes. While they furthered the plot, some situations and reactions didn't seem believable. For example, an actual note that I wrote while reading was: "Since when is a Ouija board a good idea? Let alone twice in one book!" Some things just threw me off and took me out of the story. Toward the end there was one particularly angry eye roll at a pretty cliche and soft of out-of-left-field plot twist. But even with all of these cliche moments, I still really enjoyed the book.

Which brings me to to the end with: Holy cliffhanger, Batman! There are cliffhangers, and then there are cliffhangers. I cannot wait to get my hands on the next book to see what happens!

Rating 4 out of 5. Great read with plenty of ghostly mystery and romance. I really need the next book to find out what happens to Amelia and Charlie!

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