Review Digest: The Witch Hunter by Virginia Boecker + Let's Get Lost by Adi Alsaid

June 20, 2015

Title: The Witch Hunter (The Witch Hunter #1)
Author: Virginia Boecker
Publication date: June 2, 2015
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Rating: 
Source: Publisher (NetGalley)
Amazon | Goodreads TBD
Your greatest enemy isn't what you fight, but what you fear.

Elizabeth Grey is one of the king's best witch hunters, devoted to rooting out witchcraft and doling out justice. But when she's accused of being a witch herself, Elizabeth is arrested and sentenced to burn at the stake.

Salvation comes from a man she thought was her enemy. Nicholas Perevil, the most powerful and dangerous wizard in the kingdom, offers her a deal: he will save her from execution if she can break the deadly curse that's been laid upon him.

But Nicholas and his followers know nothing of Elizabeth's witch hunting past--if they find out, the stake will be the least of her worries. And as she's thrust into the magical world of witches, ghosts, pirates, and one all-too-handsome healer, Elizabeth is forced to redefine her ideas of right and wrong, of friends and enemies, and of love and hate.

Virginia Boecker weaves a riveting tale of magic, betrayal, and sacrifice in this unforgettable fantasy debut.
In theory, The Witch Hunter sounds pretty good. A former witch hunter with the super-self-healing powers and a worthy cause? Whats not to like?
Well, for me, The Witch Hunter could've been a lot better if it weren't for the utterly boring voice of the MC (whose name I have now forgotten and have to look up), Elizabeth. A lot of the banter and narration felt like she was trying to cultivate a sense of forced jocularity and familiarity, which did not work for me. There's also a solid bit of insta love, and like you'll find in the review below, me no likey insta love. Worldbuilding is meh, too. I was under the assumption that it was a fantasy, but then its set in the 16th century, which is around when witch hunting was a thing, so now I'm confused.

However, if you can get past those, there are some interesting bits to this story, one of which is the snarky friend Elizabeth makes (whose name I also don't remember, but am too tired to go looking for now). All in all, The Witch Hunter reads like a slightly shaky start to a new series.

Title: Let's Get Lost
Author: Adi Alsaid
Publication date: July 29, 2014
Publisher: Harlequin Teen (Harlequin)
Genre: YA, Contemporary
Rating: 
Source: Publisher (Edelweiss)
Amazon | Goodreads TBD
Five strangers. Countless adventures. One epic way to get lost.

Four teens across the country have only one thing in common: a girl named LEILA. She crashes into their lives in her absurdly red car at the moment they need someone the most.

There's HUDSON, a small-town mechanic who is willing to throw away his dreams for true love. And BREE, a runaway who seizes every Tuesday—and a few stolen goods along the way. ELLIOT believes in happy endings…until his own life goes off-script. And SONIA worries that when she lost her boyfriend, she also lost the ability to love.

Hudson, Bree, Elliot and Sonia find a friend in Leila. And when Leila leaves them, their lives are forever changed. But it is during Leila's own 4,268-mile journey that she discovers the most important truth— sometimes, what you need most is right where you started. And maybe the only way to find what you're looking for is to get lost along the way.

FIVE REASONS LET'S GET LOST WAS NOT FOR ME

  1. Insta-love. I CANNOT STAND insta-love at all.
  2. I didn't really like either of the main characters, and any of thee secondary characters. No connection. At all. What is Hudson? Ugh. And I'm kind of tired of the whole manic pixie dream girl trope, thank you very much.
  3. Five different POVs? Really? FIVE? 
  4. Unrealistic and idealistic. First of all, what are the odds that all the people you meet are the ones who need your help, and you're just in the nick of time? And what is Leila, some handyman fix-it-all girl?
  5. That ending. Sorry, but while Leila's story was suitably emotional in theory and all, it failed to do anything at all for me.